For ages, people have been turning to nature to improve their health. Either for physical health problems or mental health challenges, herbs, plants, and spices have performed miracles in improving symptoms. A good example of herbs that have been used for decades is ginger. In our case, we will look deeper into whether ginger can help with anxiety. But first thing first:
What Is Ginger?
Ginger is a plant that flourishes well in warm climates such as Africa, China, and the Caribbean. Ginger is considered a spice or herb related to other spices such as turmeric and cardamom. Ginger comes in many forms that have been used to prepare delicacies for decades.
Ginger can be consumed in many ways. Some use raw ginger to prepare soup, stir fry, among other dishes. You can find ginger in the form of beer or tea on shelves all over the world. In Africa, ginger is commonly blended in tea, commonly known as “chai.” Ginger can also be found in chocolate, lollipops, and ice cream. Ginger supplements are also found in the form of capsules.
Ginger and Brain Functioning
Ginger is believed to have extreme effects on human intelligence and brain function. For example, one study involving middle-aged women found that ginger extracts improved cognition ability and working memory. Another study on rat brains also found that ginger improved cognitive ability.
There have been promising studies on whether or not ginger can help with anxiety, and these studies involve serotonin. A certain review of animal studies revealed that ginger could reduce anxiety when it binds to serotonin receptors. One study performed on rats performed some tests on the mechanism of cellular action to check whether ginger can help with anxiety in preliminary studies.
The scientists found nine components of ginger that somehow bind to the 5-HT(1A) receptors in the brain. The aftermath was a decrease in symptoms linked to anxiety on these specimens. However, there are not enough studies proving that ginger on anxiety is better compared to anti-anxiety drugs.
Can Ginger Help With Anxiety?
Currently, no specific studies are proving whether or not ginger can help with anxiety. Clinical data reveals that ginger has antioxidative impacts on the body and brain, hence enhancing digestion, cognition, and serotonin uptake. However, a study performed on mice shows that ginger can indeed help with anxiety. Therefore, if you are looking forward to using natural remedies for anxiety, give ginger a try.
How Ginger Work for Anxiety
Ginger is a herb or spice rich in bioactive compounds and antioxidants. To be precise, ginger has 14 special compounds. One of the most important compounds found in ginger is gingerol since it’s responsible for most of its healing properties. Gingerol gives ginger its peculiar antioxidant properties, which can lower oxidative stress markers. This effect is somewhat accountable for the anti-inflammatory capability manifested in ginger consumption.
Gingerol alongside other compounds also builds up the bloodstream and digestive tract to help with nausea. Ginger is also believed to help in digestive processes since it enhances saliva production.
Benefits and Risks of Ginger for Anxiety
For over 5,000 years, people have been using ginger for different purposes. But, what are the benefits and risks of consuming ginger? Let’s find out.
Ginger is most commonly used as a home remedy for nausea and stomach upsets. Though there is a need for more evidence proving that it can help with nausea, ginger is believed to ease nausea related to vertigo, chemotherapy, motion sickness, and upset stomach.
The use of ginger as an anti-nausea remedy is common in the medical world. Current medicine can determine the effects of substances on one’s body, and some clinical data show the benefits of ginger. Again, more research is needed to determine the truth in this matter. However, some clinical data show that ginger can:
- Help with headaches
- Prevent weight loss
- Ease painful menstruation
- Prevent against Alzheimer’s disease
- Ease osteoarthritis pain
- Reduce swelling in the body
Moreover, ginger is believed to help in some conditions involving the cardiovascular system. These conditions include blood pressure, cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Ginger can also prevent blood clots since it may act as a mild blood thinner. Though it’s early to determine, some clinical trials have shown that ginger has anti-cancer properties.
It’s wise to understand that ginger is healthy when consumed in low doses. However, due to its health benefits, it’s tempting to overdose. For example, too much ginger is harmful to pregnant women. Women who use too much ginger to improve their morning sickness symptoms are at risk of experiencing a miscarriage.
Additionally, doses that exceed 5 grams per day can cause other symptoms such as gas, mouth irritation, and heartburn. Too much ginger can also cause stomach upsets and nausea.
Best Ways to Use Ginger for Anxiety
Using ginger with other spices and petals is a good recipe for relaxation. If you are looking forward to using ginger for mental health, try the following ways:
Make Some Potpourri
As said, mixing ginger with other properties such as flower petals, essential oils, and other spices is a formula for relaxation. Use ginger in your potpourri as an air freshener and enjoy its organic and non-toxic fragrance. It will take you two hours only in the oven and less time if you are using a stove. Remember that your mind is stable and out of danger from mental health problems when you are relaxed.
Make Ginger Tea
In cold and rainy seasons, most people tend to feel down or get depressed. To avoid such cases, make yourself a warm cup of ginger tea. This tea is refreshing, healthy, and relaxing for your mind.
Add to Smoothie
Start your day with a ginger-blended smoothie. It will help with digestion and bloating that may make you feel uneasy. General health problems such as stomach upset may lead to a change in mood that might be stressful. Thankfully, ginger can improve such symptoms.
Ginger has been used for quite some time. Whether raw or in supplement form, ginger’s health benefits are more than you can imagine. To determine whether it can work for your anxiety, give it a try, and you might be lucky.