Ginger Review

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Since the time of its early cultivation in southern Asia (the word “ginger” has its origins in the Tamil language), its usage has spread throughout the world and diversified from use as a food spice or sialogogue (salivation inducer) to its use as a medicinal herb. From ginger ale and beer to the pickled ginger slices often served as a topping on savory East Asian cuisine, there are few gourmets or even casual eaters who will not be familiar with the distinct tang of ginger; while its supplementary health benefits are no less familiar. As a traditional folk remedy, it has been used to aid against digestive problems such as dyspepsia and constipation, as well as against various forms of arthritic pain, particularly that associated with osteoarthritis. Read more about testosterone boosters.

Given its widespread use, there are also a number of health uses for ginger that have been claimed, yet are not backed up by sufficient evidence: these include flu prevention, prevention of the nausea that results from chemotherapy, and post-exercise muscle soreness. However, ginger’s effect on testosterone is becoming more widely noted, though with the disclaimer that very large amounts of it will need to be “superloaded”: in other words, up to 15g daily of powdered ginger root will be needed to be truly effective.

At least one study can be pointed to as the source for the contemporary discussion about ginger’s androgenic effects, which was conducted in Cameroon in 2002. Two groups of male Wistar rats, over the course of eight days, were dosed either with liquid extract of zingiber officinale or with the indigenous plant pentadiplandra brazzeana, in order to compare and contrast the androgenic effects of the two plants. Among the ‘ginger group,’ the weight of the rats’ testes and the serum testosterone level increased, as well as the testicular cholesterol level. Interestingly, pentadiplandra brazzeana came out ahead of ginger in terms of the androgenic effects’ strength, but this does not remove ginger from consideration as a possible testosterone enhancer. Sadly, trials conducted specifically on humans seem to be lacking at present.

If your local area features a supermarket catering to the essentials for Asian cuisine, it should be very simple to find ginger in root form, while health-conscious supermarkets like Fresh Market and Whole Foods will stock a variety of edible products containing the same (such as crystallized Taiwanese ginger, ginger beer and ginger candies, which are one source of anecdotal evidence regarding libido increase.) One food vendor, The Ginger People, has built its entire company profile around the plant.

Outside the realm of food products, well-represented supplement companies like NOW, as can be expected, offer ginger extract in 90-count bottles featuring 250mg capsules. Elsewhere, New Chapter offers a product called “Ginger Force” which, in each soft-gel serving, offers 96mg of hydro-ethanolic ginger extract and another 54mg of a “super-critical extract”. As noted earlier, “superloading” with ginger root means that, while such products can be had at an affordable price, you may find yourself burning through supplies quickly if committed to testosterone production by means of ginger alone. Given this situation, an alternative may be to meet this intake by means of ginger ale made with real ginger: an 8oz serving of such will translate into 1g. Otherwise, eating two pieces of crystallized ginger – one inch square – with other foods should supply a similar amount.

If hoping to use ginger for reasons other than testosterone production, then much lower doses of ginger are recommended, each differing depending upon what result the user wishes to achieve: for morning sickness, for example, four 250mg doses are recommended daily; while 1-2g of powdered root are recommended for those wishing to stave off post-operative queasiness. Those with already low blood sugar levels may wish to avoid ginger, though those with the opposite condition – hyerglycemia – may again find some benefits from taking a liquid extract or juice made from ginger.

Another study using rats as test subjects showed that zingiber officinale “produced a significant increase in insulin levels and a decrease in fasting glucose levels in diabetic rats” – an effect that was attributed to the ginger’s role as a serotonin receptor antagonist. The use of ginger during pregnancy is also a hotly contested item which brings us back to its effect on testosterone: a dossier on ginger compiled by the University of Maryland Medical Center states that ginger can adversely affect the binding of testosterone within developing fetuses.

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