Ginger Helps to Improve Circulation

Ginger Helps to Improve Circulation

Most people know of ginger as being a very important ingredient in our kitchens, however many people don’t know that ginger also is very helpful in our general health and in balancing our bodies yin and yang.
1) Ginger helps the body in dispelling the cold. Chinese medicine considers ginger as being a mild sweet spice, and having warm characteristics. Due to this it’s function is to help warm the bodies circulation and remove the cold from the body. Ginger is suitable for people who suffer from cold hands and feet, loose stool, and those who have stomach pain after eating cold things. Especially in the winter, eating a little amount of ginger with your food is good for raising your qi and yang energy.
2) Ginger has the function in improving the intestine contraction. One ancient books called <‘Be Cao Jin Ji Zhu’> records ginger as ‘helping digestions, to strengthen the spleen and stop vomiting and nausea, also warm the stomach and to stop the stomach spasming from the coldness.’
Thus chinese medicine considers that people who overeat cold foods or raw foods, it is best to have ginger and the same time, as it will help your digestion and to avoid stomach pain and bloating from the coldness.
3) Ginger also one of the Chinese herbs which can calm down and relax the stomach which will stop nausea. Such as using ginger tablets for sea sickness.
4) Ginger is also beneficial in helping the lower abdomen and is suitable for women who have period pain, those who have symptoms of dark bleeding, blot clots, stomach pain, and cold sensation.
How to eat ginger:
Chop ginger and add to your soup or stir fry, and even into your porridge to balance your food and balance your body.
A cup of ginger tea.
Also you can use ginger drinks, half a teaspoon of ginger chopped finely, and placed it a cup of boiling water. It is a great drink, to drink when you are cold. If you like, add a teaspoon of brown sugar will be better for taste and circulation. ( If you have diabetes, it is best to avoid the added sugar.)
Precautions:
Because ginger has warm characteristics, if your body constitution is hot or yin deficient, with symptoms of constipation, dry skin,very thirsty, red face and eyes, and lots of perspiration it is best to avoid or reduce the amounts of ginger you eat.
People who have high blood pressure, or hyperactivity of the thyroid, or menopause it is also best to avoid or reduce the amounts of ginger you eat.
Ginger is very good for certain type of people, if you are unsure if it is suitable for you please visit an experienced practitioner to find out.Most people know of ginger as being a very important ingredient in our kitchen, however many people do not know that ginger is very helpful for our general health, circulation and in balancing our body’s yin and yang.

Most people know of ginger as being a very important ingredient in our kitchen, however many people do not know that ginger is very helpful for our general health and circulation.

Causes of cold hands and feet

There are many causes that result in cold hands and feet. Anxiety, stress and excessive sweating can lead to acute cold extremities. In my clinic, the most common case of cold hands and feet is due to Spleen Yang Deficiency syndrome.

Chinese medicine considers Spleen Yang to help spread circulation to the limbs, hence those with Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency will have decreased circulation to these areas and possibly have cold hands and feet or even pain.

Symptoms of cold limbs

Most cold hands and feet are due to Spleen Yang Deficiency as we mentioned above and may also be associated with the following symptoms:

  • Lack of energy
  • Puffy and heavy legs and arms
  • Puffy eyes and face
  • Bloating after eating
  • Sluggish bowel movements or loose stools
  • Sensitivity to cold environments or foods
  • Some may experience under-reactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), overweight or difficulty to lose weight

Health Effects of Ginger

The following are health benefits of ginger known to traditional Chinese medicine diet therapy.

Ginger can improve circulation

Ginger helps the body to dispel cold. Chinese medicine considers ginger as being a mild sweet spice, and having warm characteristics which help to improve the Spleen and digestive systems to raise Spleen Qi and Yang. This can therefore warm the limbs by improving circulation to the extremities. Ginger is suitable for people who suffer from the symptoms above. Especially in the winter, eating a little amount of ginger with your food is good for raising your Qi and Yang energy.

I suggest that you can drink ginger tea or spring onion and ginger porridge, especially in the winter. Please see the recipes below.

Ginger can regulate digestion and reduce nausea

A traditional chinese medicine text Ben Cao Jin Ji Zhu states ginger as ‘helping digestion, to strengthen the Spleen and stop vomiting and nausea, also warm the stomach and to stop the stomach spasming from the coldness.’ Many pregnant women suffer from nausea in the early stage of pregnancy, and drinking ginger tea can help to calm down your stomach.

Many people also suffer from motion sickness, ranging from airplane, cars and boats. I remember a few years ago I went to Cairns and spent a day on the boat and suffered from sea sickness. A few minutes after taking ginger tablets my symptoms subsided. It is suggested by many people to take ginger to overcome this feeling. Ginger is also known to calm down and relax the stomach which will stop nausea.

Ginger and Period Pain

Ginger is also beneficial in helping circulation of the lower abdomen and is suitable for women who have period pain, dark bleeding, blot clots, stomach pain, and aversion to cold. I suggest you can drink ginger and brown sugar tea. This tea is very popular in cold areas in China for period pain.

Recipes

Ginger and spring onion porridge

This is a very traditional porridge, cooked at home and also available for dim sum or yum cha.

Small handful of rice (if you like oats, you may use these instead)
2 cups of water
2cm Piece of ginger chopped very fine
2tblsp Spring onion

Boil the rice and water until the rice is soft. Add the ginger and spring onion and cook for another minute. You can add soya sauce to taste.

Effects: Tonifying digestion and warms the circulation.

Ginger and brown sugar tea

Chop two teaspoons of ginger into small pieces
Add one tablespoon of brown sugar
Add boiling water

Slowly drink the tea while it is warm.

Effects: The tea will result in a warm abdomen area to improve circulation, clears blood clots and reduces period pain.

Ginger and lemon tea

Chop two teaspoons of ginger into small pieces
1 slice of lemon
1 cup of boiling water

Add the ginger and lemon to a cup and add boiled water. Wait for 2 or 3 minutes and you can drink the tea.

Effects: Helps to reduce nausea and regulate the stomach.

Precautions

Because ginger has warm characteristics, if your body constitution is hot or yin deficient, with symptoms of constipation, dry skin, thirst, red face and eyes, and excessive sweating it is best to avoid or reduce the amounts of ginger you eat.

For people who have high blood pressure, or hyperactivity of the thyroid (hyperthyroidism), elevated pulse rate, or suffer from menopause, it is also best to avoid or reduce the amounts of ginger you eat.

Ginger is very good for certain body types, if you are unsure if it is suitable for you please ask your Chinese medicine practitioner for more advice.

Food as medicine (A disclaimer)

Our “food as medicine” articles share knowledge about health foods in the context of traditional Chinese medicine diet therapy and practices often dating back thousands of years. We also support this knowledge with references to published scientific research. Please keep in mind that scientific research into the health benefits of foods is still emerging and human research is limited.

Consuming a wide variety of natural foods as part of a balanced diet is most beneficial for health, however, we don’t advise using food alone to treat diseases. Please consult with your doctor or health professional about which foods are suitable for your body or health issues.

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Ginger.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific research on Ginger. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.

Cureus Journal of Medical Science

2021, Mar

Efficacy of Ginger in the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Cureus Journal of Medical Science

The finding in this study has verified the possibility of ginger efficacy in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea, though no/small side effects have been identified and its use is associated with health benefits. Ginger is easily accessible due to its low cost. It can also be commonly used in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.

Rizu Negi, Suresh K. Sharma, Rakhi Gaur, Anupama Bahadur, Prasuna Jelly Full Article

Nutrients

2020, Jan 6

Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials
Nutrients

This study showcased that ginger has been effective in digestive function, improvement in the expression level of markers for colorectal cancer risk, and anti-inflammatory functions.

Anh NH, Kim SJ, Long NP, Min JE, Yoon YC, Lee EG, Kim M, Kim TJ, Yang YY, Son EY, Yoon SJ, Diem NC, Kim HM, Kwon SW. Full Article

Complementary Therapies in Medicine

2019, Aug

Ginger for health care: An overview of systematic reviews
Complementary Therapies in Medicine

This study concluded the high efficacy of ginger to reduce signs and symptoms of nausea and vomiting, decrease metabolic syndrome and alleviate pain.

Li H, Liu Y, Luo D, Ma Y, Zhang J, Li M, Yao L, Shi X, Liu X, Yang K. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2016, May 5

Efficacy of Oral Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The academic review highlights that ginger significantly reduced dysmenorrhea related pain such as gastrointestinal pain, heartburn and headaches.

Chen X. Chen, Bruce Barrett, Kristine L. Kwekkeboom, Full Article

Nutrition Journal

2014, Mar 19

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting
Nutrition Journal

The systematic reviewed academic articles highlight the efficacy of ginger for treating nausea in pregnant women. Ginger in low dosage of <1500 per day are found to have reduce effects of morning sickness or vomiting. Thus making it a safe treatment with less side effects for nausea symptoms in pregnancy.

Viljoen, E., Visser, J., Koen, N. et al. Full Article

Pain Medicine

2011, Dec 11

The Use of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for the Treatment of Pain: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
Pain Medicine American Academy of Pain Medicine

The systematic review highlighted the efficacy of ginger to alleviate pain in osteoarthritis patients. Patients reported to have reduced symptoms and less side effects compared to drug-usage group. The study also indicated that ginger may have anti-prostaglandin effects similar to those of mefenamic acid found in ibuprofen.

Rohini Terry, PhD, Paul Posadzki, PhD, Leala K. Watson, BSc (Hons), Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD Full Article

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WRITTEN BY:

Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.

  • jodi
    REPLY

    Hello, i had cold hands and feet. Since taking up ginger tea drinking some time back, my hands and feet got warmer. Your recipes look good.

    19 April, 2016

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