A combination of ginger and honey is easy to consume and has many health benefits. The ginger and honey combination has been used for the treatment of various respiratory ailments like cough and cold. Honey is a very healthy medium to transmit the benefits of ginger to the body. Both ginger and honey have individual health benefits which we will review in this article.
Proven Immune/Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a very healthy spice. It suffices to say that it is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet.
Ginger is loaded with bioactive compounds and nutrients that have immense benefits for your brain and body.
Here some of the evidence-based health and immune benefits of ginger.
It contains gingerol, a compound that has several potent medicinal properties
Ginger is a flowering plant whose origin can be traced to China.
It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, with a very close relationship to turmeric, galangal, and cardamom.
The underground part of ginger (which is commonly used as the spice) is known as the rhizome. Its common name is ginger root.
Ginger has been in use for quite a long time. It treats digestive issues, reduces nausea, and fights the common cold and flu.
You can use ginger fresh, powdered, dried, as a juice, or as an oil. Sometimes, it may be added to cosmetics or processed foods. It is a widely-used ingredient in many recipes.
Ginger has a very unique fragrance. This fragrance comes from its oils, and the most important oil in ginger is gingerol.
Gingerol is the most active compound in ginger. It is responsible for the many medicinal properties of ginger. It has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (1).
It can treat various forms of nausea such as morning sickness
Ginger is very effective against nausea (2).
For instance, ginger has long been used as a remedy for seasickness. Studies have shown that it may also be potent as a prescription medicine (3).
Ginger relieves nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy (4, 5).
However, its efficacy is mostly seen in pregnancy-related nausea, like morning sickness.
A review of 12 pieces of research that involved 1,278 expectant women found that 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger were effective against nausea (6).
But ginger did not have much effect on vomiting episodes in this research.
Ginger is safe, no doubt. But you must discuss it with your doctor before taking it in large amounts especially if you are pregnant. Some experts think that large amounts of ginger can increase the risk of miscarriage.
It reduces soreness of the muscle and muscle pain
Ginger is very effective against muscle pain, especially pain induced by exercise.
In a particular study, taking 2 grams of ginger daily, for 11 days caused a significant reduction in muscle pain in a group of athletes (7).
The healing effect of ginger on muscle pain does not occur immediately. It occurs gradually (8).
These healing effects may be due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
It has a healing effect on osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a major health condition.
It degenerates the joints in the body, resulting in symptoms such as stiffness and pain.
In a controlled trial involving 247 people with knee osteoarthritis, those who took ginger extract experienced less pain. They also did not take any medications (9).
In another study, it was discovered that a combination of mastic, ginger, sesame oil, and cinnamon can reduce stiffness and pain in osteoarthritis when applied topically (10).
Ginger shots boost immune health
Because of its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, ginger may enhance immune system function.
Acute inflammation is an important component of the immune response. However, chronic inflammation can compromise your immune system, thus increasing your risk of sickness (11).
Increasing your consumption of foods rich in antioxidants may help fight inflammation and boost your immune system.
Many animal studies and test-tube studies suggest that ginger can boost immune response. Also, ginger has a very potent antibacterial and antiviral properties (12, 13).
A test-tube study discovered that fresh ginger has potent antiviral effects against the human respiratory syncytial virus. This virus is responsible for respiratory infections. The study also revealed that fresh ginger boosts the immune response against the virus (14).
Also, many ingredients used in ginger shots, like lemon juice or honey, can boost immune health. For instance, lemon and honey have antiviral and antibacterial effects (15, 16).
Also, honey protects your immune system and boosts immune response (17).
Proven Health/Immune Benefits of Honey
Raw honey has been used for ages as a folk remedy. It has many health and medicinal benefits. Some healthcare facilities use it for the treatment of wounds. Most health benefits of honey are gotten from unpasteurized, or raw honey.
Most of the honey in grocery stores is unpasteurized. The heat destroys unwanted yeast and improves texture and color. Its shelf life is also extended. Most of the nutrients are also destroyed during the process.
If you want to buy raw honey, purchase it from a trusted producer.
Here are some of the health and immune benefits of raw honey.
It is enriched with nutrients
Honey is a thick liquid with a sweet taste. It is made by honey bees.
The bees fetch sugar from the nectar of flowers (17).
Once the bees get into the hives, they consume and digest the nectar.
The end product of digestion is honey. Honey is a liquid that acts as stored food for bees. The taste, color, and smell of the honey depend on the flowers that the bees visited.
A spoonful of honey provides 64 calories as well as 17 grams of sugar.
Honey does not contain any protein, fat, or fiber (18).
Honey also contains minute amounts of minerals and vitamins. To get your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals from honey, you may have to eat many pounds of it.
Honey also contains a lot of bioactive phytocompounds and antioxidants. Studies have shown that darker honey contains more antioxidants and phytochemicals than lighter honey (19, 20).
It is rich in antioxidants
Original and high-quality honey is enriched with many antioxidants. These include phenolic compounds and organic acids (21).
Researchers think that the combination of these compounds is responsible for the antioxidant effects of honey (22).
It is interesting to note that two studies have proven that buckwheat honey increases your blood antioxidant value (23, 24).
Antioxidants reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and some forms of cancer. They also give your eye health a boost (25).
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties
Studies have shown that raw honey has toxic effects on fungus and unwanted bacteria. It contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. It is very effective as an antifungal or an antibacterial (though this depends on the honey).
It is a powerhouse of phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are plant compounds that offer protective effects for the plants. For instance, some phytonutrients shield or protect the plant from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Honey contains phytonutrients that take charge of its antioxidant properties, as well as its antifungal and antibacterial effects. They are also responsible for the anticancer and immune-boosting benefits of honey. These nutrients are destroyed when raw honey undergoes heavy processing.
It helps to relieve digestive issues
Apart from its immune benefits, honey also treats digestive issues like diarrhea. However, not many studies have been done on this.
It is effective against H. pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcers.
It is also a good prebiotic. This means that it enhances the growth of intestinal flora, which is essential for both digestive health and overall health.
Ginger and honey, along with lemon help to fight sickness. They also boost your body’s immune system. You see, you can give your immune system a boost by simply drinking a cup of lemon, ginger and honey tea, or simply taking a spoon of honey ginger every day. Their antioxidant properties give your immune system a big boost!