While there have been no clinical studies involving ginger for fibromyalgia, there are some studies which have been performed with ginger in other inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis.It is entirely possible that the results noted in osteoarthritis patients could apply to those with fibromyalgia.
Ginger root is technically an herb, although most people think of it as a spice. It is considered the “quintessential” digestive herb; however, ginger’s healing properties reach much farther than the digestive system.
Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, has been a favorite spice for gingerbread, ginger snap cookies, and Christmas potpourri. It has been prized as both a culinary spice and healing herb since ancient times. The root, or rhizome, is the coveted part of the ginger plant.
Ways that ginger helps fibromyalgia
Ginger contains protein, healthy plant fats known as lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. It is high in potassium and the antioxidant Vitamin C.
Ginger root contains a powerful digestive enzyme, similar to the digestive enzymes found in papayas and pineapples. This enzyme, called zingibain, breaks down proteins, and comprises up to 2% of the entire root.
One gram of zingibain can tenderize twenty pounds of meat. Besides improving digestion, the enzymatic action in ginger also has anti- bacterial, anti- spasmodic, anti- parasitic, and anti- inflammatory effects.
Because ginger root is both a digestive herb and an anti- spasmodic, it is very useful to curb nausea and soothe the stomach after vomiting. It has even been used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and sailors for sea sickness.
The anti-spasmodic properties include muscle spasms and restless leg syndrome.
Ginger is Nature’s antacid. It helps regulate bowel elimination by calming over-active intestines. It also relieves gas, bloating, and intestinal cramping.
When ginger is taken as a hot tea, it causes the body to perspire in what is known as a diaphoretic action. Perspiration helps push toxins out of the body through the skin.
If someone has a fever, a cup of ginger tea and a hot bath made with ginger and a few other herbs can help to break the fever. This could be beneficial to the fibromyalgia patient who suffers from colds and sinus infections frequently.
Because ginger is warming, brings blood to the surface of the skin, and has anti- microbial properties, it makes an excellent tonic for sore throats and laryngitis.
Does ginger reduce fibromyalgia pain?
Ginger is a natural pain reliever, confirmed by medical science in a study published in 2010 by the Journal of Advanced Nursing. When participants applied ginger compresses externally on parts of the body affected with osteoarthritis, they reported: