Ginger is a powerful plant, the root of which can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including nausea, irritable bowels and the flu. Arthritis sufferers can find relief from ginger as well. The plant is available in many forms, from a pure extract to a fresh slice of ginger root, and offers a wide range of benefits. As with any at-home treatment, a doctor should be consulted before embarking on any ginger regimen.
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Ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the painful swelling that occurs in the joins and muscle tissues of individuals with arthritis. A study performed by the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Miami in 2001 found that ginger extract can have a moderate effect on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. In the study, approximately two-thirds of the almost 250 patients in the study noticed decreased pain after taking ginger extract pills.
Ginger is known to significantly improve circulation throughout the body. For individuals with arthritis, this effect helps to ease pain in the joints as fresh blood and oxygen are circulated around the problem areas. Shogaol and gingerol, two of the most active ingredients in ginger, are natural antioxidants as well. These agents help to cleanse the blood of impurities.
Ginger oil massaged into the skin has warming properties that help relax the muscles and ease pain. Ginger oil blends well with other essential oils such as birch or lavender. A neutral massage oil with no scent is a good base to add these oils to. This type of massage is a common practice in Japan. A massage using ginger oil can help to increase circulation as well. Ginger can be used in a compress or added to a hot bath for similar effects.
When ingested, ginger can ease pain from a variety of causes, including chronic arthritis pain. One hundred to 300 milligrams of ginger root extract up to three times a day will help with pain. Patients who don't mind ginger's strong taste can take half a teaspoon of powdered ginger or a half-inch slice of fresh ginger three times a day. Ginger tea, ginger ale and ginger candy can be used as well, though the effects of these products will be lessened because of the diluted nature of the ginger in them.
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