The root of the ginger plant is used in many different culinary dishes to enhance it’s flavor and add a variety of health benefits. Even though it is used for both cooking and medicinal purposes, the main way that ginger is used is through ingestion. It is usually added as a side to a meal, or used as a garnish, and is commonly used in making tea.
But did you know that there is a different way to get all of the beneficial effects of ginger? This method is especially effective at soothing joint or muscle pain.
Ginger is well known to be effective at treating symptoms of chronic joint pain by conditions such as arthritis. This is due to ginger’s incredibly efficient anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, ginger has been found to be more effective at treating joint pain than most conventional pain relievers.
This is because ginger suppresses leukotrienes, which are the molecules that cause inflammation, and actually switches off inflammatory genes, which makes it more effective than conventional painkillers used for joint pain. Those type of pain killers only block the enzymes that cause swelling and pain, while ginger gets to the root of the problem and fixes it.
Researchers found that taking 255 milligrams of a specific ginger extract (Eurovita extract 77) twice a day help reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Ginger has also been shown to be effective at reducing muscle soreness and pain, especially when the cause of it is exercise. One study followed 74 healthy adults that performed a variety of exercises meant to cause muscle pain over an 11 day period, taking either ginger supplements or a placebo pill. Researchers found that those who took the ginger supplement had significant reductions in muscle pain.
Christopher D. Black, Ph.D. is one of the researchers who participated in this study and he came to the conclusion that ginger is directly responsible for this reduction in muscle pain.
“Daily consumption of raw or heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury,” Black said.
Topical Use of Ginger
Although it is obvious that ginger contains a number of properties that help soothe joint and muscle pain, you may notice one similarity in all of the studies mentioned above. In all of these studies. they tell you that you have to consume a ginger extract or supplement in order to get all of the benefits of ginger. However, there may be a different way to go about it.
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What if I told you that you could relieve muscle and joint pain just by taking a bath in ginger? I bet you would call me crazy. This would most likely be due to the fact that the benefits of the topical application of ginger had never been extensively studied, however, recent research shows that you can get the full effects of ginger just by putting it on your body!
According to a study in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, 20 adults with chronic joint pain caused by arthritis were split up into two groups, one that was to be treated with a homemade ginger compress and the other with a standardized ginger patch.
After one full week of topical treatment for 30 minutes every day, both groups noticed a significant reduction in joint pain. The total consensus went from 80% of the entire study group being dissatisfied with their health before the study to 70% being satisfied with their health after applying ginger for a week. This means that there was a 50% increase in satisfaction.
This proves that the beneficial anti-inflammatory and pain preventative effects of ginger are present when applying ginger topically, and are incredibly effective at treating joint pain.
DIY Ginger Bath
One of the best ways to ensure that the benefits of ginger reach all parts of your body is to bathe in it. Using a patch or a compress is fine, but it is limited in that it can only help the part of your body that you’re are holding it to, while a ginger bath will make sure all areas of your body are soaking up the benefits.
- 5-6 inches of ginger root*
- Bathtub full of hot water
*You will need a decent amount of ginger root considering the volume of water you will be using is relatively large.
- Turn on the water in the bathtub and put it on the hottest setting possible, it should be steaming.
- While the bath is filling up, chop up your ginger into slices that are about 1/8th of an inch thick. Throw them into the bath as it is filling, turn off the water once it is full and let sit for around 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes, the ginger should be fully infused into the bath water and the water should be cool enough to get in. Lie down in the bath and try to submerge as much of the body as possible.
- Stay in for at least 30 minutes. Do this as much as possible to help reduce or prevent muscle and joint pain.
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