Flavored waters are the new health craze—and for good reason.
Not only is water essential for hydration and flushing toxins from your body, but now, by adding a few all-natural ingredients, with their own array of health benefits, simple H20 can be a potent healing tool. And the possibilities are endless.
You can add berries galore. You pick…strawberries, blueberries, possibly some blackberries. Maybe you like vegetables. Why not throw in some cucumbers? And if you are the adventurous type, you can even toss in a few herbs, like lavender or mint to mix it up.
But if you are looking for a real power drink, you might want to try adding some fresh ginger. This ancient root will give your taste buds just enough zing to make it interesting, and provide countless healing properties for your entire body—head to toe.
The Power of Ginger Water
Ginger has always been respected for its powerful effects on gastrointestinal issues. This carminative (a substance that helps eliminate intestinal gas) is widely used for everything from mild stomach upset and heartburn to nausea and vomiting. (1) It is also a proven intestinal spasmolytic, meaning it can help to relax and soothe the intestinal tract. (2)
But ginger is much more than a remedy for stomach issues. This powerful root has also been shown to relieve migraines. In fact, researchers showed that ginger is just as effective as Imitrex (sumatriptan), a popular prescription triptan medication that works by constricting blood vessels and blocking the pain pathways in your brain.
While some people can feel immediate relief using this drug, in 40 percent of people the headache will return within 24 hours, often worse than the original. (3)
Of more concern, however, is that triptans come with side effects such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness and in some cases, even more serious symptoms like coronary artery spasms, heart attacks, stroke, abnormal heart beats, and even seizures. (4)
In the double blind study, some people were given 250 grams of dried ginger, while others were provided 50 mg of sumatriptan. Results revealed that ginger was just as effective as the sumatriptan, actually providing relief to a whopping 90 percent of people within two hours.
One of ginger’s more exciting properties is its ability to prevent the formation of inflammatory compounds and even effectively treat inflammation in tissues, muscles and joints. According to Green Med Info, there are almost 800 studies on the various healing properties of this magnificent root, 275 of which specifically relate to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. (5)
What makes ginger such an effective anti-inflammatory is a compound known as gingerol. From a chemical standpoint, gingerol is similar to capsaicin and piperine, the compounds that give chilli peppers and black pepper their spiciness and healing powers.
In two studies involving two groups of people (those who had responded to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs in the past and those who didn’t), researchers found that 75 percent of arthritis patients and an amazing 100 percent of people with muscular pain, actually experienced relief from both pain and/or swelling when using ginger.
In fact, according to researchers at the University of Miami, because the effectiveness of this zesty root is so powerful, one day it will essentially replace NSAIDs. (6)
And because ginger works on a cellular level, it not only heals the underlying issue, unlike drugs, but it does so without the known side effects that come from harmful NSAIDs.
As an added bonus, ginger contains many essential nutrients and vitamins like vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene, as well as B vitamins, including pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5).
It is also full of minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Potassium, in particular, is an important component of cell and body fluids that help control your heart rate and blood pressure. (7)
Ginger also contains more than 50 different antioxidants that fight free radicals, thus protecting against disease and boosting your immune system. (8)
How to Make Ginger Water
- 1-2 inches fresh ginger root
- 3 cups fresh, filtered water
- ½ freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Raw honey to taste
Pour 3 cups of filtered water into a glass jar. Finely grate the fresh ginger into the water using a zester for best results, and then add the squeezed lemon juice. Finally, add the honey to taste and stir until it dissolves. You can drink this mixture tepid or chilled. Drink daily for preventative measures or when you are experiencing issues, drink several glasses during the day to help relieve symptoms.