Ayurvedic nutrition: The 5 health benefits of ginger

Following an Ayurvedic diet is one of the most important means for balancing the primary life energies or doshas and creating wellness. The mind-body imbalance that can result when one or more doshas are lacking or in excess can cause or aggravate medical issues. Yet choosing the foods you eat carefully, according to Ayurvedic nutritional principles, can restore balance. Ginger, the pungent root used to season many south Asian dishes, is sometimes called nature’s ‘medicine chest’. Here are 5 reasons for ginger’s medicinal reputation:

  1. Ginger is cleansing.  The build-up of toxins in the body leads to health problems. Ginger helps to cleanse toxins and is also a potent alkalizer.
  2. Ginger helps to thin the bloodIf you are at risk for cardiovascular disease and blood clots, adding ginger to your diet will help as it contains compounds that inhibit the enzymes in the blood that cause clotting.
  3. Ginger is balancing for kapha types.  If your primary dosha is kapha, ginger is particularly useful for balancing your doshas. Kapha- type systems benefit from pungent, warm spices. An excess of kapha can aggravate kapha-associated health problems such as weight gain and sinusitis caused by having too much mucous.
  4. Ginger pacifies vata.  Vata, the dosha associated with movement and air, is closely linked to digestion. Vata types are prone to digestion-related ailments such as bloating and constipation. Ginger helps to pacify vata and keep this dosha in balance. Drinking a cup of fresh ginger tea before eating a meal aids digestion and provides additional health benefits.
  5. Ginger eases nausea.  Ginger is also taken as a natural remedy against nausea. It is thus often recommended to counteract motion sickness, morning sickness and nausea stemming from primary medical treatments such as chemotherapy.

These are just some of the ways this aromatic root can help you find better health and balance. To make a quick health tonic, simply place a few slices of fresh ginger in a mug, add just-boiled water, and leave to stand until the tonic is at drinking temperature.

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