- Ginger is a classic tonic for the digestive tract. Classified as an aromatic bitter, it stimulates digestion. It also keeps the intestinal muscles toned. This action eases the transport of substances through the digestive tract, lessening irritation to the intestinal walls. Ginger may protect the stomach from the damaging effect of alcohol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) and may help prevent ulcers.
Double blind research has shown that ginger reduces nausea after surgery. Other studies have found ginger helpful for preventing motion sickness, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and nausea of pregnancy.
Ginger also supports a healthy cardiovascular system. Like garlic, ginger makes blood platelets less sticky and less likely to aggregate. A high dose (10 grams) of ginger can inhibit excessive platelet aggregation in humans, but lower doses taken for longer do not seem to have this effect. This action reduces a major risk factor for atherosclerosis.