It improves appetite, and is quite effective in case of nausea and against vertiginous problems.
However, studies during the past few decades have found more important properties of ginger, such as antioxidant activity and anticancer properties.
Namely, the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Michigan, has performed a research which showed that ginger prevents proliferation of cancer cells and improves the effectiveness of other treatment options.
It has been suggested that paradols, gingerols, and shogaols present in its root have a crucial role, although the active substances of ginger which are responsible for anticancer properties are not strictly defined.
Paradols, gingerols and shogaols are photochemicals contained in low concentrations in the root, so in order to obtain greater concentration, many supplements with ginger root extracts are formulated.
Ginger and Breast Cancer
One study investigated the effects of ginger on breast cancer cells, and apart from killing breast cancer cells, ginger showed effects on diminishing several important signal molecules within cancer cells responsible for metastatic and spreading properties of this aggressive tumor.
The conclusion was that ginger could be a safe and effective treatment for breast cancer, however, more examination should be done on its effects.
Ginger and Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer cells were also subjected to studies investigating the effects of ginger. The findings showed that phytochemicals in ginger cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) of ovarian cancer cells.
Moreover, researchers suggested that besides anticancer activity, ginger supplementation could help people to better handle chemotherapy.
Ginger and Prostate Cancer
Another study investigated the effects of ginger on the development of prostate cancer in mice.
Tumor cells were treated with ginger extract both in vivo and in vitro.They used ginger extract in daily dose of 100mg/kg of bodyweight and got amazing results.
Namely, ginger impaired the growth and slowed down the progression of prostate cancer in 56% of cases. Moreover, ginger caused no detectable side effects.
Accordingly, the findings of the studies mentioned above can propose that the regular use of ginger as a part of a healthy diet may help in preventing cancer.
In general, it is not prescribed to take more than 4 g of ginger a day, or no more than 1g in case of pregnancy.
However, ginger could be considered a component of future treatments of cancer, due to its beneficial effects against different types of tumor cells.
Further studies will reveal which substances specifically should be extracted from ginger and what are the appropriate dosages.