Ginger is a flowering plant whose root is used by us humans for regular consumption in different capacities. Something that both Science and your grandparent can agree on is its ability to cure stomach-related discomfort. It helps fix indigestion, acid reflux as well as brings ease to the issue of heartburn.
Ginger is believed to be one of the pioneering medicines residing in the corners of our kitchen. From a normal cold cough to viral flu, it can bring your body to immunity.
A study done in 2011 shows that people who used a combination of ginger, cinnamon, and sesame oil can help in reducing stiffness and pain concerning knees and joints.
Table of content
- What are heartburn and acid reflux?
- Benefits of ginger that help with heartburn
- How to add ginger to your regular diet?
- Ginger decoction/Ayurvedic kadha recipe
What are heartburn and acid reflux?
The valve in the stomach called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) works to pass food through to the stomach and keep the acid produced away from the food pipe. However, if it doesn't close immediately after the food passes through it, it might give space for the acid from the stomach to move up to your esophagus which might lead to issues like Heartburn.
Hiatal hernia is one of the common causes of acid reflux. The stomach along with the LES in this condition moves above the diaphragm, thus treading beyond the barriers created between the stomach and chest. Acid can thus move up the esophagus causing acid reflux.
Causes of acid reflux
- Eating large meals can be the easiest, most common contributing factor.
- Alcohol, carbonated drinks, or too much caffeine can also contribute to bloating and heartburn.
- Another thing to avoid, for reasons more than one, is smoking.
- Risk factors can also be obesity or lack of physical exercise
- Certain medications such as drugs for asthma, painkillers, or antidepressants.
- Heartburn or acid reflux is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the baby pressing against the stomach as it grows in size.
Beverages that can trigger acid reflux (Avoid them)
- Carbonated drinks
- Citrus drinks
Benefits of ginger that help with heartburn
- Treatment for digestive issues: Ginger helps in facilitating the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract and heals the gut to reduce any symptoms of bloating or cramps. It is believed that it also contributes to waking up your taste buds to get the digestive juices flowing.
- Contains gingerol: Gingerol is said to be the main bioactive compound in ginger. It is a compound that gives much of the medicinal property to ginger. This makes ginger anti-inflammatory as well as bestows it with anti-oxidant properties that help get rid of toxins from the body and allow the absorption of nutrients better. This goes a long way in providing an inflammation remedy
- Helps with reducing regular bloating: Ginger, as discussed above, stimulates the movement of digestive juices in the body. This prepares the body for digestion. It quickens the process of absorption of nutrients thus avoiding any production of toxins. Since the toxins are discarded without letting the undigested food sit in, it reduces any chances of bloating.
- Can help with osteoarthritis: Lack of physical movement is one of the contributing factors behind heartburn. Sometimes physical movement becomes a difficulty in case you develop health problems such as osteoarthritis. This could cause a degeneration of the joints in your body thus restricting much of the physical movements. As mentioned in earlier section, ginger can help relieve joint pain.
- Loss of appetite: Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties speed up the process of digestion and reduce bloating. This keeps your stomach healthy, relieves heartburn, and keeps the digestive tract fit for work thus avoiding any kind of acidic issue. In the absence of acidity, a person is more likely to find a restored appetite.
- Acidity: Ginger contains certain oils that reduce any gastrointestinal irritation and also protect gastric lining against acidity.
How to add ginger to your regular diet?
Here are some ways suggested by health experts:
- Ginger tea: It is suggested to start your day with a hot cup of ginger tea. A combination of ginger tea with other spices like cinnamon and cardamom can go a long way in giving you a fresh and clean start to the day.
- Most dishes, especially Indian cuisines, can be cooked with ginger paste. It adds a delicious flavor to the dish along with its innumerable medicinal properties.
- Soups with ginger: Adding spices like ginger to your evening soup can act as a great tastemaker.
- Drinks: You can add ginger to your drinks such as tea, detox drinks, or even fruit punch.
Ginger decoction/Ayurvedic kadha recipe
- Mix tulsi (Holy basil), cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, munakka (dry raisins) in one cup of water.
- Bring it to boil until it reduces to half a cup
- Add jaggery or lemon juice as per your taste
- Drink once or twice every day.
You may not be able to use ginger if you have certain medical conditions.
Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professionals if it is safe for you to consume ginger if you have:
- A bleeding or blood clotting disorder.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Any heart disease
- Or, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Other natural substitutes (If you are not a ginger person)
Here are some other natural food items that help to relieve heartburn and reflux:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe vera juice
We have all grown up seeing extensive use of ginger in our homes and we can't really blame our elders for doing so. With the growing awareness of ginger and its properties across the world, ginger and its extracts are have proved to be beneficial due to their healing properties. Heartburn or acid flux can certainly be treated with ginger if taken in a considerate amount.