Ginger is an absolutely amazing superfood and many benefits of ginger for use on the Candida Diet make it one of our favorite ways to combat Candida overgrowth.
Ginger root is actually the underground stem of a plant whose botanical name is Zingiber officinale. It has been used for centuries as a spice and medicine for numerous conditions. Studies have even confirmed that it can treat osteoarthritis and dysmenorrhea (period pains).
This rhizome has also been proven to have anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (1). It is also said to have anti-ulcer, antiplatelet and antipyretic properties. Ginger also contains bioactive compounds which enable it to treat Candida because of the following reasons:
Benefits of Ginger to Reduce the Growth of Candida
A study found that ginger has antifungal activity against Candida albicans (2). This study exposed the yeast cells to ginger extracts and found that they inhibited its growth.
This ability of ginger to inhibit Candida was found to be compare favorably with that of the medication Nystatin by another study (3).
These antifungal properties of ginger have been attributed to gingerols and shagelol (4). Having several ingredients with antifungal activity makes ginger a better option than other antifungals with just one antifungal constituent since the yeast cells are less likely to adapt to it.
Benefits of Ginger to Reduce Nausea
Ginger has been proven effective for reducing nausea and vomiting caused by a chemotherapy medication known as cyclophosphamide (5). Its anti-emetic properties were even found to be equal to those of a drug known as metoclopramide.
This healing botanical is also used to treat motion sickness, seasickness and morning sickness during pregnancy. It is therefore useful for reducing the nausea associated with Candida infection (6).
Benefits of Ginger to Reduce Muscle Aches
Consuming raw or heated ginger has been proven to reduce muscle pains (7). This pain relieving effect which is attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties makes ginger beneficial for ameliorating the muscle soreness and aches that develop as a result of Candida colonization.
Benefits of Ginger to Reduce Indigestion
Consuming ginger before drinking soup was shown to boost emptying of the stomach and reduce indigestion (8). Ginger has also been used for years to treat flatulence or abdominal gas.
Consuming it can therefore relieve indigestion, belching, bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms of Candida overgrowth.
Benefits of Ginger to Reduce Inflammation
Studies have confirmed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties (1) and it can be consumed to reduce the chronic inflammation that characterizes Candida colonization.
Since inflammation in the gut contributes to Candida crossing from the intestines into the bloodstream, consuming ginger can also prevent Candida overgrowth.
Benefits of Ginger as an Immune Booster
Ginger has been used for years to boost the immune system and it can therefore be consumed to prevent this condition especially in persons with compromised immune systems who are more prone to developing Candida infections.
Benefits of Ginger to Enhance Detoxification
Ginger promotes sweating which is useful for controlling Candida colonization since sweat contains dermicidin which is a compound that has been shown to inhibit Candida.
In addition, perspiration enables the body to remove toxins from the body through the sweat. By aiding detoxification, ginger helps keep the body in a balanced state that can prevent Candida overgrowth.
Reaping the Benefits of Ginger
Reaping these Candida healing benefits is relatively easy since ginger is a very versatile spice. For example it can be used to make ginger tea by steeping a one inch piece in a cup of boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes. It can also be used to make Candida healing smoothies as well as ginger tea.
Ginger powder can be used as a healing spice to flavor meat and fish dishes. It can be mixed with other herbs and spices with antifungal properties like cumin, oregano, sage, cinnamon and cloves to make a Candida clearing spice mix.
Avoiding the Side Effects of Ginger
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) categorizes ginger as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe). This means it typically does not cause serious adverse effects when used to spice food. However some people do develop heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating and belching when they consume it. Persons who have gallstones, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal blockages are therefore advised to avoid it.
Diabetics are also cautioned to use it carefully since it can lower blood glucose levels. Persons with bleeding disorders like hemophilia as well as those taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin should also consume it after consulting their doctors because of its antiplatelet properties.
The use of ginger by pregnant women is also controversial (9) since there is concern that it might increase the risk for bleeding. It is also suspected to affect sex hormones of the unborn baby. However studies show that it can be safely used to control morning sickness.
- Ficker, C., M.L. Smith and K. Akpagana, 2003. Bioassay-guided isolation and identification of antifungal compounds from ginger. J. Phytother. Res., 17: 897-903. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1335