Ginger naturally suppresses coughs without the addiction-like side effects associated with normal antitussive medicine

A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research suggests that ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome can help relieve or prevent coughs without causing an addictive effect.

For thousands of years, ginger rhizome has been used in traditional medicine for fever, bronchial asthma, and cough. However, the active principle of the formulation has not yet been fully determined.

Researchers from The University of Burdwan in India and Comenius University in Slovakia looked at the antitussive activity of ginger rhizome. For the study, they examined a water-extracted polysaccharide (WEP) that contains a fraction of ginger rhizome. They administered the formulation in doses of 25 and 50 milligrams per kilogram body weight (mg/kg BW) in guinea pigs.

The results revealed that treatment with ginger rhizome greatly prevented the number of citric acid-induced cough efforts in guinea pigs. In addition, it did not change the specific airway smooth muscle reactivity significantly. Furthermore, the treatment did not cause any addictive effect on guinea pigs. These results support the traditional use of ginger rhizome as an antitussive medicine.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that ginger rhizome can help relieve or prevent coughs without causing an addictive effect. (Related: A Miracle Homemade Cough Syrup with Ginger, Honey and Lemon You Should Try.)

Ginger and its other health benefits

Ginger is a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. Ginger, which originated from China, has a long history of use in different forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It is packed with many nutrients and bioactive compounds, making it one of the healthiest spices in the world. The underground part of the stem called rhizome is the part typically used as a spice. It is also referred to as ginger root or ginger. This superfood offers the following health benefits:

  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory: Ginger is rich in the bioactive compound called gingerol. This compound possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • Anti-diabetic: Some studies suggest that ginger has powerful anti-diabetic properties. Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve heart disease risk factors. Additionally, there is some evidence that ginger consumption can significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which also helps prevent heart disease.
  • Dyspepsia remedy: Some evidence shows that ginger can speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be helpful for people with dyspepsia and similar stomach discomfort.
  • Nausea remedy: Ginger may be used to treat different forms of nausea, especially morning sickness. It has been used as a sea sickness remedy and some studies have shown that it may relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery and after chemotherapy.
  • Osteoarthritis remedy: Osteoarthritis is a joint disease causing joint pain and stiffness. Some studies have shown that ginger, when applied topically or take in extract form, can effectively reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce drug pain reliever use.
  • Pain relief: Research has shown that ginger may relieve muscle pain and soreness brought about by exercise. While it does not have an immediate effect, it effectively reduces the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. Its pain-relieving effect may be attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties. Research has also reported that it may relieve menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.

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