Ginger Health Benefits and Side Effects


Ginger is one of the most popular spices and herbal medicine in all over the world. For thousand years ago, ginger has been used to treat the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches, aid digestion and painful menstrual periods. Besides ginger can help reduce nausea, vomiting, relieve nausea in cancer patients who are having chemotherapy. It is also promoted for arthritis or joint and muscle pain. With me, ginger is one of my favorite spice and drink’s ingredients. I love cooking fish, chicken, beef with ginger and make some ginger drinks in cold days to keep me warm or reduce cold’s symptoms. Today I would love to share with you what I know about health benefits of ginger; side effects and how I use it in my daily life.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER:

Home remedy for cold and flu-like symptoms

Ginger is a great ideal for treating cold and flu-like symptoms. This spice can make your body warmer and reduce the cold symptoms. I always keep some fresh ginger in a fridge in case I got a cold suddenly. Ginger also gets on well with lemon, honey, and mint leaves. And here the way I usually make a ginger honey drink when I got a cold.
All you need is 2 gram of fresh ginger and honey. You can press or chop ginger into small pieces. But with me, I prefer pressing ginger more than cutting it into small pieces. By pressing ginger we can take more water and nutrient from ginger than cutting. After that, you can put pressed ginger or cut ginger into a cup with 1 or 2 tsp. of honey. Depend on your taste, you can put more or reduce the honey. Pour 150-200 ml of fresh boiling water over it. Wait for 5 -7 minutes you can enjoy your ginger honey tea.
Having 2 cups of ginger honey tea in a day can reduce the cold symptom and support the cold medicine. Besides, the ginger honey drink also can help to reduce muscle pain caused by exercises.

Natural remedies for muscle pain

Several types of research of the University of Georgia have found that daily ginger consumption can also reduce muscle pain caused by exercise. In a research, 30-40 volunteers consume 2 gram of raw ginger or heated ginger for 11 consecutive days. On the eight days of research, volunteers performed 18 extensions of the elbow flexors with heavy weight to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Three days after the exercise, doctors assessed prior volunteer’s arm functions, inflammation, pain and a biochemical involved in pain. The research found that ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25 percent. Besides, the research also found that the heat-treating ginger like cooking ginger could not reduce the pain as the raw ginger. So that is a good new that you can use ginger as natural remedies for releasing the pain in exercise. You can eat or drink 2 gram of fresh ginger in 11 continuous days to reduce the pain in exercise.

Natural remedies for nausea and vomiting

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting for a thousand years ago. This ginger’s health benefit has been proved in some recent clinical studies of using ginger to reduce nausea associated with pregnancy. According to these research, ginger has proved the help to reduce morning nausea if pregnant women use 1g daily of ginger in short period no longer than 4 days. If you want to use ginger as a home remedy for nausea and vomiting during your pregnancy, you should ask your doctor before taking it. Pregnant women do not take more than 1 gram of ginger per day.
A few studies also suggest that ginger reduces the severity and duration of nausea – but not vomiting during chemotherapy. However, there is some disagreement in published studies about the likelihood of this side effect. It is too early to say whether ginger really can reduce nausea during chemotherapy in cancer treatment. People who have cancer should talk to their doctors before taking ginger because ginger has the potential to interfere with blood clotting and prolong bleeding time.

Other applications

Ginger has a long history as an herbal remedy for upset stomach, motion sickness, and loss of appetite and as a pungent spice for cooking. In Asia, ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years. Ginger has also been used to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea, and heart conditions.

SIDE EFFECTS OF GINGER

Is ginger good to everybody? The answer is yes but if you use too much ginger it might cause mild heartburn, diarrhea, and irritation of the mouth. And here are some situation people should pay attention when using ginger.
      Don’t use ginger with children under 2-year-olds. Children over 2 may take ginger to treat nausea, stomach cramping, and headaches. But you should ask your doctor to help you find the right dose for the children.

–  Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with heart conditions, cancer, diabetes, and gallstones should not take ginger without asking doctors.

–  Ginger may interfere with blood clotting and prolong bleeding time like Chamomile. There is a risk of serious bleeding if a person takes blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or medicine which can reduce the level of platelets (blood cells that help the blood to clot) or interfere with platelet function. So do not take ginger if you have the bleeding disorder or using blood-thinning medication and even aspirin. Make sure to tell your doctor if you are taking ginger before surgery or being placed under anesthesia for any reason.

HOW TO USE GINGER?

You can use fresh or dried ginger root in cooking and in preparing herbal remedies. Remember that a maximum amount of ginger adult can take is only 5 gram per day including food sources. And always ask your doctor to help you find the right dose for you.
·        If you use ginger for the treatment of nausea, you can use 250 milligrams to 1 gram of powdered ginger taken with liquid several times per day.
·        For pregnancy-induced vomiting, some studies have used 650 mg to 1 g per day. Pregnant women should not take more than 1g per day. Don’t take ginger without first talking to your doctor.
·        For arthritis pain: You can use 2 gram of ginger daily for 11 continuous days to reduce the pain.

With me, ginger is my favorite home remedy for cold and flu-like symptoms. One cup of ginger honey is not a bad choice to reduce the cold and support the cold medicine. Besides, you can combine ginger with the mint leaves, lemon and honey to make tasty and healthy drinks for cold days. In the coming posts, I will discuss more fresh ginger mint tea and how to mix ginger with other ingredients. 

REFERENCES

Medical news today, ‘‘What are the benefits of ginger?’’, medicalnewstoday.com, 11th September, 2013

Medical news today, ‘‘Daily ginger consumption found to ease muscle pain’’, medicalnewstoday.com, 20th May, 2010

American Cancer Society, ‘‘Ginger’’, Cancer.org, 15th May, 2010

Chamomile tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects and Uses


Chamomile is a daisy-like flower, a member of the family Asteraceae. Chamomile tea is often used to fight fevers, colds, anxiety, insomnia, and anti-inflammatory. This herbal tea has palliative effects on the intestine, uterus, stomach’s muscles and support digestion. I like chamomile tea and wanted to know more about this healthy drink. But I surprised with what I found about this tea. The truth is chamomile tea is not safe to everyone. And the biggest surprised is there are few researches on the effectiveness of chamomile and whether it works or not in human. Most research’s evidence we have comes from animal studies, not studies with people. For this reason in this post I’d love to share with you what I found and learnt about benefits and side effects of chamomile tea.

Chamomile Tea Benefits

Home Remedy for Fevers and Cold

Chamomile tea is ideal for treating fevers, and colds. This tea can ease cold and flu’s symptoms by reducing fever, relieving headaches and mucus. You can combine chamomile tea with some honey to reduce sore throats. This combination can make you feel relax and breathe easier.  

Natural Anti-inflammatory tea

Chamomile tea is rich anti-inflammatory ingredients. The tea helps the body to heal the wounds and sooth inflammation. Animal studies have shown that chamomile reduces inflammation; speeds wound healing, reduce muscle spasms. But there are very few studies to see if the tea works as though in human. In another test tube, studies have shown that chamomile can kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses.

Herbal Remedy for Anxiety and Natural Sleep remedy

Chamomile is used to relieve restlessness, tension, anxiety, headache and insomnia for a long time ago. The tea can serve as a mild sedative to help with sleep and relaxes. You can find chamomile tea in the ingredient of almost sleeping herbal teas. But, so far there has been only one clinical trial using chamomile to treat anxiety in people. The scientists found that chamomile capsules can reduce anxiety in generalized anxiety disorder patients. In other animal studies, low dose of chamomile was proved to relieve anxiety, while higher dose helps you to sleep well. With me, I often have one cup of chamomile tea before sleeping for better and deeper sleep. 

Add Digestion

Chamomile tea can treat stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, diarrhea, gas, and colic. Chamomile tea helps to ease stomach and intestinal disturbances.This tea can relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth intestine’s muscle. You can combine the herb iberis, peppermint, and chamomile to make drink to relieve indigestion.

Chamomile Skin Benefits 

Chamomile is often used in a cream or ointment to soothe irritated skin. Chamomile compresses are touted for backache and treatment of the skin against dryness. Inhaling the vapors from a chamomile infusion it clears the bronchi and acts against acne of the face. Chamomile also can soothe eczema. In two studies in people found that a chamomile cream helped relieve symptoms of eczema.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is generally considered safe and nontoxic. But allergic reactions to chamomile are fairly common. Be careful when using chamomile tea if you have allergy to ragweed, purple cone flower, sunflowers, dandelions, marigolds, sagebrush or other members of the Asteraceae family. The chamomile allergy can lead to stomach cramps, itching, skin rashes and throat swelling. It also can cause serious problem with breathing, and even dead. Before using chamomile you should ask your physicians and read the instruction label carefully. Stop using chamomile tea when you got any allergic symptoms.

Using a small amount of chamomile tea can relieve nausea. But a large amounts of  highly concentrated chamomile tea may cause vomiting. And here are some notices you should consider before using chamomile tea.

Interact with blood medicines

Chamomile might increase the risk of bleeding when taking with blood-thinners medicines. These medicines include 
– Warfarin (Coumadin)
– Clopidogrel (Plavix) 
– Aspirin. 
Do not use chamomile tea with  other substances that possess anticoagulant action. As it can interfere with blood clotting.  Besides, taking chamomile tea with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.

Chamomile may also lower blood sugar too. People who have diabetes should take chamomile tea carefully. When using it with diabetes drugs, it could raise the risk of low blood sugar.

Stop drinking chamomile tea at least 2 weeks before having surgery or dental surgery.


Chamomile and women: Chamomile may act like estrogen in the women body. Ask doctor’s advice before using chamomile tea if woman has a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, breast or uterine cancer.

Pregnant women should avoid chamomile because of the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. The tea can lead to early uterine contractions and miscarriage. During pregnancy women also should not use tincture or essential chamomile oil version. These products may increase the anticoagulant effects in pregnant women.

Chamomile and children: 

Chamomile tea is strongly not recommended to the newborns by both herbalist and physicians. Chamomile’s sedative effects may be too strong for a young baby because the risk of botulism poisoning.  

Children under 5 should not take more than half a cup of tea per day.

You should always ask your doctor before giving chamomile tea to children. Children might have serious and severe allergic reaction, breathing’s difficulty, skin hives, unconsciousness, etc.

Risks of drowsiness: You should avoid taking the tea if you are driving or operating machinery. Because the tea has mildly sedative and anti-anxiety properties and it may cause you drowsiness.  It is unwise to drive shortly after having a cup of chamomile tea.

Medication Interactions:  

Avoid taking Chamomile in conjunction with alcohol and sedative medications.  Our liver break chamomile down in the same way with other drugs. If we drink chamomile tea and drug in the same time they may interact each others. These drugs are: 
–  Fexofenadine (Seldane)
–  Statins (drugs that can lower cholesterol)
–  Birth control pills and some anti fungal drugs
–  And other blood medication drugs

How to use chamomile tea?

It is easy to make a cup of chamomile tea from a dried flower or tea bad. All you need is one tea bag or 1,5 gram – 3 gram of chamomile tea (about 1 -3 teaspoonful’s).
Then boiling water and pour 5 ounces (about one-half cup) of fresh boiling water over it. Wait 6-10 minutes for the tea is totally infused. I usually steep chamomile tea in 6 minutes for 1 teaspoon of Chamomile. Depend on your taste and amount of tea you can increase the steeping time. The longer the tea is steeped, the stronger flavor it will be.
Having two or three cups of chamomile tea a day is recommended for muscle relaxation and antispasmodic effects. When I have a cough, I will have 2 cups of chamomile tea before sleeping. The inflammation ingredients in chamomile tea can treat the cough well and fast. But remember not to drink too much more than 4 cups chamomile tea in the day because it can cause vomiting.
On the whole, I love drinking chamomile to relax and sleep easily. A cup of chamomile tea is a great home remedy for colds and flu, natural anti-inflammatory, and natural skin cares. But before using it you should notice some side effects of the Chamomile. Ask your doctors if you use medicine which might conflict with chamomile tea. Stop using it if you have any symptoms of allergic. And now it’s time to boil water and enjoy your time with a cup of chamomile tea.

References:

Cancer.org, ‘Chamomile’, Cancer.org ,

Leena Palande, ‘Chamomile tea side effects’, buzzle.com, December 5, 2011

Juniper Russo, ‘Chamomile safety and potential side effects’, suite101.com, Nov 4, 2013

ST. Luke’s hospital at the vintage, ‘Germanchamomile’, stukesvintage.adam.com, 17th March 2013