Ginger is a popular herb known for its intense, spicy flavor and warming aroma and it used for medicinal purposes in cultures around the world. The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.
Ginger is indigenous to Southeast Asia where its cultivation dates back about 3,000 years in India. Ginger was incorporated into Indian traditional Ayurvedic medicine and today it is used a common herbal treatment for nausea in both Asian and Western countries. Ginger contains various potentially bioactive substances such as gingerols, shogaols, zingerone and paradol. It also includes volatile oils such as sesquiterpenes [b-bisabolene and ()-zingiberene], geranial, and neral.
A article published in Journal of Ethnic Foods (2015) reported that from animal and cellular studies strongly suggests that ginger has effi- cacy for the management of blood glucose levels and that the effects are both preventive and therapeutic for Type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the August 2012 edition of the natural product journal Planta Medica suggested that ginger may improve long-term blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the 2010 edition of Molecular Vision revealed that a small daily dose of ginger helped delay the onset and progression of cataracts - one of the sight-related complications of long-term diabetes - in diabetic rats.
In another 2014 animal study, obese rats with diabetes were given a mix of cinnamon and ginger. These rats experienced a wealth of benefits, including:
- reduced body weight
- reduced body fat mass
- decreased blood sugar levels
- increased insulin levels
Source: diabetes.co.uk, doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.258., doi: 10.4093/dmj.2016.40.1.46, healthline.com, doi.org/10.1016/j.jef.2015.02.007