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What are the Health Benefits of Powdered Ginger?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
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Powdered ginger has been used for centuries as a digestive aid and to combat nausea. It breaks down fats and proteins in food to allow easier absorption without creating gas. As a treatment for motion sickness, ginger wards off the nauseous feeling some people experience when traveling by car, airplane or boat. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that might ease arthritis symptoms and lessen the discomfort from a cold or flu.

There are substances in ginger called gingerols that give the spice its potent flavor. This oil calms stomach spasms by neutralizing acids and increasing enzymes in the digestive tract. Pregnant woman often use ginger in tea to combat morning sickness. Zingibain, another enzyme in ginger, breaks down proteins and contains anti-bacterial properties that might help calm fever, clear sinuses and break up congestion.

Studies in animals show that ginger powder slowed the growth of cancerous tumors and reduced the amount of kidney damage caused by diabetes. In laboratory tests, exposing ovarian cancer cells to ginger formulas caused the cells to die. Antioxidants in the herb may fight other diseases as well, and might lower the level of cholesterol that clogs arteries. Some proponents say powdered ginger stimulates blood circulation, which helps the muscles relax and prevents blood clots from forming.

Often called ginger root, ginger actually comes from the stem of the plant that grows underground. Fresh ginger is preferable for health benefits because it contains four oils that give it its distinct flavor. Powdered ginger can be boiled with water to make a tea, with honey used as a sweetener. Used in cooking, the flavor of ginger complements the taste of garlic.

The herb originated in Southeast Asia but grows well in any tropical area, growing best near the equator. India produces more ginger than any other country. It is also popular in China, where it is routinely used to ease the pain of menstrual cramps.

The ginger plant grows 4 inches (10.16 cm) high and blooms with pink or white flowers. Some herb gardeners cultivate pots of ginger inside the home. As the plant matures, the amount of healthful oil increases and the flavor of ginger becomes stronger. The ginger stem can be boiled and dried before being pulverized into powder. The oils can be extracted though a steaming process.

Ancient Romans imported ginger from India until the Roman Empire fell and the use of the spice declined. The exportation of the spice later came under the control of Arabs, and its cost was considered quite high. As more countries began cultivating the herb, its cost came down and it became readily available in most grocery stores. Ginger is related to the turmeric and cardamom family and is best known for its use in gingerbread cookies.

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Discussion Comments
By anon941010 — On Mar 20, 2014

I do prefer fresh ginger, but that requires me to be able to use my food processor to grind it up so I can consume it. Powdered also costs way less as I am in a part of the country where "fresh" herbs are rare. The "fresh" ginger and garlic selection in the stores around here look like they're about to go bad so I don't buy them.

By anon326688 — On Mar 23, 2013

What are the health benefit differences between using store manufactured ginger spice vs ginger tinctures or ginger tablets sold at health food stores? Looking for arthritis relief. Been putting ginger spice in 300mg cellulose capsules for three months--no relief in swelling or pain in hands.

By discographer — On Mar 01, 2013

@turquoise-- To strengthen your immune system, fight colds and stomach ailments, you can take ginger supplement pills. You can also add the powder to honey on toast or add it to your tea.

By turquoise — On Feb 28, 2013

I like fresh ginger but not dried ginger. It's so spicy. I think ginger becomes much stronger when it's dried and powdered. That's probably why it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

I don't consumer powdered ginger in any way but I do put some in my bath water when I have a cold or flu. It makes me sweat it out. I always feel much better after I do this remedy.

By fBoyle — On Feb 27, 2013

I use ground ginger to make homemade sweets and candies. It's a tradition in our family during holidays.

I also make it when a relative or friend is pregnant because ginger is the best remedy for morning sickness. That's how both of my daughters and my sister's daughter got through their pregnancies.

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