Ginger is not only popular for spice but also has a long history of treating a wide variety of diseases. In some countries of Asia, it is often used to help treat problems associated with gastrointestinal condition such as nausea, vomiting, colic, diarrhea, constipation, and motion sickness. Some studies showed that it may also help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Is it also good for lowering blood pressure (BP)?
Ginger is a thick, underground knotted stem (rhizome) of the plant called Zingiber officinale Roscoe. The stem sticks up 30 centimeters or 12 inches above the ground with green-yellow flowers and green leaves.
It has a pungent aroma and spicy taste – the major reason of why it is used as spice because can add characteristic and unique flavor to curries.
Pungent phenol substances (shogaols and gingerols) and volatile oils may be the major active components of ginger.
According to a booklet published by the Pennington Center, the following are some medical properties associated with this herb:
- Hypoglycemic essential properties. Hypoglycemia is a medical health condition to describe the abnormal low blood sugar level.
- Antioxidant essential properties.
- Antitumor essential properties.
- Antimicrobial essential properties.
- Essential properties that may help lower blood pressure.
- Essential properties that may help lower bad cholesterol.
- Anti-thrombotic essential properties.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
There are few studies showed that a certain dose of ginger can help reduce systolic and diastolic pressures.
However, the effectiveness of this herb to help treat hypertension (high blood pressure) is still unclear and debatable.
If it does help, the following are some reasons.
Actually, the body needs some blood clots for certain circumstances. For instance, when you get an injury, blood clots are needed to stop potentially dangerous bleeding.
But when they occur in wrong locations, this can be a problem. They can arise in the blood vessel such as artery, and this can affect the way of blood to flow through the artery or even can be potential to totally block the blood flow. If the blood flow through artery doesn’t run as well, the pressure against the artery walls increases.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center – some preliminary research found that ginger may help prevent the blood from clothing.
However, more research are needed to confirm and find the clearly answer.
Having chronic high LDL can put you at greater risk of hypertension since excessive bad cholesterol deposits in the bloodstream can lead to narrowing and hardening artery which then can be bad for your blood pressure.
Like in the issue of blood clots, ginger may also help reduce LDL in blood.
Diabetes is another chronic health problem that can cause increased risk of hypertension. In fact, episodes of high systolic and diastolic blood pressures are pretty common in diabetic people.
According to some studies, ginger has anti-diabetic property that may help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. The researchers found that it may help improve insulin sensitivity.
Some people say that it improve their high blood pressure, while others don’t find any significant change.
Since the effect of this herb on blood pressure is still not fully understood, the use of it to specifically help lower blood pressure in hypertensive people is not commonly prescribed by doctors.