Ginger has healing properties derived from its volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols. These are responsible for its pungent taste. It is a powerful herb, which has been shown to be useful in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines.

A recent research by the University of Michigan Medical School in the United States suggests that ginger supplement may reduce colon inflammation and cancer risk because of its anti-inflammatory properties. The research published in the journal, Cancer Prevention Research, revealed: “People who took ginger supplements experienced 28 per cent decrease in colon inflammation – an important precursor to colon cancer – compared to those who only took dummy pills.” However, the lead author of the research Suzanna Zick has warned that the findings are still preliminary, noting that as people look for ways to prevent cancer “that are nontoxic and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way,” the study on ginger is going to increase. According to Zick, the 2grms of ginger extract used in the supplement is equivalent to 20grms of raw ginger root, which is “probably beyond what most people would eat in their regular diet.”

However, the health benefits of ginger have never been in doubt. In eastern societies, ginger has always been known to be excellent for digestion. The oils in ginger cause digestive enzymes to be produced and this helps with the digestion process; it neutralises the acids, which can cause nausea (vomiting), cramps and even diarrhoea. The ginger plant is very popular for its spicy aroma and it has been known in India and China as a universal medicine for centuries. It is said to produce relief to conditions as diverse as asthma, painful menstruation, infection, indigestion and migraines. It is also said to reduce cholesterol level and prevent the formation of blood clots.

Ginger plant originated in China but has been cultivated in many countries in West Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Although it is considered a good, effective and medicinal spice for healthy living, experts have warned that ginger should be taken with care so as not to cause damage to your body organs.