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Garlic and Ginger: two powerful allies for your health

Undoubtedly, the science of medicinal plants has been studied during the last century and demonstrated with a multitude of scientific trials.  At no time does it replace modern medicine, but acts in a complementary way.

In fact, many current drugs are based on concentrating the active principles of these medicinal herbs.

What is sought from this type of plants or parts of the plant, such as ginger root or garlic cloves, is that they are easily accessible by the general public.

In this case, we have two magnificent products that we can buy in almost any store (garlic and ginger) and give us a multitude of scientifically proven properties.

Properties of ginger

Ginger rhizome

Ginger is used its underground stem or rhizome. It has a very pronounced aroma and a characteristic spicy taste. It is widely used in Asian cuisine and has more and more followers.

One of the most important compounds in ginger is gingerol (related to capsaicin and piperine). Its chemical formula is C17H26Or4 and many clinical trials of the pure compound have been done with the obtaining of magnificent results for human health.

Anti-nausea treatment

Ginger extract has been widely used by sailors to avoid nausea and dizziness when sailing through turbulent seas.

Currently, it has applications for cancer patients, where in the chemotherapy processes they suffer nausea and vomiting, as well as by pregnant women.

Reduces muscle pain

Although its effect is not immediate, the active principles of this medicinal plant produce relief and have anti-inflammatory capacity for muscle aches.

The effects were positive by taking 2 grams daily of ginger extract for 10 days, once the pain has appeared.

Diabetes management

More and more studies are focused on obtaining new drugs practically harmless for patients with diabetes, trying to regulate blood sugar levels.

In several scientific studies, ginger has been shown to help reduce blood sugar by up to 12% on an empty stomach.

In turn, it also reduces the HbA1c marker (long-term diabetic sugar level detection) and remained stable for at least 12 weeks, reducing the marker by up to 10%.

Improves digestion

There are people who suffer from constant and chronic indigestion. To do this, infusions and medicinal plants are often used to gradually improve the initial situation.

Ginger can help with this problem known as dyspepsia.

The active ingredients of this rhizome favor the speed of digestion, so significantly limit the problem.  It has been shown in clinical trials how, if we take soup, the stomach manages to digest it up to 4 minutes before for those who accompany it with ginger versus those who do not (from 16 minutes to 12 minutes).

Contraindications of ginger

Despite its excellent properties, this root can present in sensitive people side effects.

The ginger has contraindications and we will comment on the main ones that may be presented. Therefore, if we have never taken this product, the first time should be a small amount to check that there are no allergic reactions of any kind and it is totally safe for consumption.

You should not consume more than 4 grams of ginger per day. Although side effects are rare, you may experience heartburn, diarrhea, and upset stomach if you eat ginger in large quantities.

Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about recommended use. It is often thought that pregnant women should not eat more than 1 gram of ginger per day.

You should also consult your doctor if you are taking blood pressure medications. Ginger can lower your blood pressure, which can cause irregular heartbeats.

If you want to learn how to grow ginger in your garden, we recommend this article.

Properties of garlic

Woman eating garlic

Garlic is a plant of the lily family with active compounds related to sulfur that has been present in our diet for hundreds of years.

It forms bulbs, such as onions and potatoes, but in the form of segments, which are known as “teeth”, for their particular shape.

One of the main medicinal compounds of garlic is allicin and the allyl disulfide.

Let’s get to know its main properties.

Highly concentrated in vitamins

Although it does not bring many calories to nutrition, it is loaded with vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect complement in our diet.

The main vitamins it contains are the following:

  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the GDR.
  • Vitamin C: 15% of the GDR.

Protects the immune system

The 2 compounds mentioned above (allyl disulfide and allicin) have activity on the immune system in the prevention of flu and colds.

Several scientific studies have proven a reduction of up to 70% in the duration of cold symptoms, and the same happens for cases of flu.

Blood pressure reducer

These sulfur-derived principles also have action on the cardiovascular system.

Specifically, several scientific studies have shown how a dose of 600 to 1,500 mg of garlic extract managed to significantly reduce systolic and diastolic pressure.

Improves cholesterol levels

The consumption of fresh garlic or even supplements based on pure extract can favor the reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides in the body, obtaining results with a reduction of 10 to 15%, according to clinical trials.

Contraindications of garlic

Like ginger, contraindications to garlic they can also appear in certain types of people, since it is quite powerful both in taste and smell.

Although it is generally safe to eat, you may experience mild side effects.

These can be the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Gases and flatulence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

It is totally safe for Pregnant and breastfeeding children.

Some tips to keep in mind before purchasing garlic supplements:

  • Ask your doctor before adding supplements to your regimen. They can help you determine if this is the best option for you.
  • Always buy from a reputable manufacturer that does not use thermal processing. This can destroy the active compounds in garlic, which provide the greatest health benefits.
  • Avoid odorless products. They probably do not contain sulfur compounds that give the characteristic smell and are responsible for many of their health benefits.


  • The effects of ginger on fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein AI and malondialdehyde in type 2 diabetic patients. [Nafiseh Khandouzi , un Farzad Shidfar , b, Asadollah Rajab , Tayebeh Rahideh , Payam Hosseini , e yMohsen Mir Taheri]
  • Acute effects of dietary ginger on muscle pain induced by eccentric exercise. [Black CD 1 , O’Connor PJ .]
  • Aged garlic extract lowers blood pressure in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension: a randomised controlled trial. [Ried K 1 , Frank OR , Stocks NP .]
  • Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. [Ashraf R 1 , Khan RA , Ashraf I , Qureshi AA .]
  • Garlic as a lipid-lowering agent, a meta-analysis. [Silagy C 1 , Neil A .]

About Andrew Parkinson

Andrew Parkinson is a highly accomplished pharmacist with a passion for improving healthcare. With a wealth of experience in both community and clinical pharmacy settings, he's known for his dedication to patient well-being. Mr. Parkinson actively engages in medication management, offering personalized solutions and promoting better health outcomes. He has also played a pivotal role in educating patients on proper medication usage and potential interactions. Andrew's commitment to advancing the field of pharmacy and ensuring safe and effective drug therapies has garnered him recognition as a trusted and invaluable healthcare professional, making a positive impact on countless lives.

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