What is indigestion?
Have you ever experienced being in a high stress situation and feeling ‘sick to your stomach as a result?’ Well, personally, whenever I’m going to a job interview or sitting down to take a final exam, my stomach is in ‘knots’ and I feel extremely nauseous. The reason for this is that the digestive system and the mind go ‘hand-in-hand.’ Therefore, if your mind is upset or anxious, your stomach will follow suit and be out of commission for a while.
Besides there being a direct relationship with the mind and stomach, you can also get an upset stomach from simply, eating excessively or too quickly. Simply put, the act of overindulging stresses the digestive tract to the point where it’s unable to break down the food adequately. This inability causes you to feel bloated, gassy, and nauseated with the residual food left lingering in your digestive system. Not to mention, the consumption of fatty and fried foods, as well as alcohol, caffeine, and soda increase the likelihood of indigestion.
Treating an upset stomach with ginger
The herb, Ginger root has been around for hundreds of years and used mostly as a food seasoning, but also, for medicinal purposes. In fact, as stated by Reader’s digest.com, “it was a staple at Roman banquets, to counter symptoms of overindulgence, and was much favored in ancient China and in India’s Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for indigestion, stomachaches, respiratory congestion, constipation, and diarrhea.” Furthermore, it can be as simple as sprinkling some ginger on your food or sipping on a bit of tasty ginger tea.
The mechanism behind ginger
Ginger is an all around great resource when dealing with ingestion issues. First, ginger has the ability to aid in dissolving proteins found in food, as well as stimulate mucus secretions. In addition, it can drive out gas and thus, reduce symptoms of bloating and gas build-up. In turn, there’s a decrease in the need to ‘pass gas.’
Not to mention, ginger possesses “anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-emetic properties and helps to decrease inflammation, swelling and pain due to its ability to inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis” as stated by thehealthsite.com. Furthermore, these properties derive from the antioxidant material known as gingerols which have shown to ease menstrual cramps, as well. Lastly, ginger actually provides a ‘shield’ for the stomach to any lurking ulcers.
The drink, ginger ale
When you are dealing with an upset stomach, one of the quickest remedies is to pick up some ginger ale at the local convenience store. However, do you wonder if drinking ginger ale is equivalent to the consumption of ginger root when treating indigestion? Well, the good news is that classic ginger ale has a substantial amount of ginger housed in its ingredients. With that being said, you will receive the anti-nausea benefits, as well as the carbonation which quells the turmoil inside the stomach with its incorporation of air bubbles.
In contrast, some present-day ginger ale’s on the market mask the authenticity of ginger with artificial additives. Therefore, when choosing a ginger ale, look for the all-natural designation, as well as the specific wording of ginger root on its label. Lastly, although extremely helpful to some, it’s advisable to refrain from drinking ginger ale due to its carbonation if you are bloated or have an exorbitance of gas. The reason being is that the air bubbles may exasperate the air that’s already enclosed in the digestive tract.
Moreover, if you have become dehydrated as a result of severe indigestion including diarrhea and vomiting, it’s advised to drink a combination of ginger ale, fruit juices, and water. The reason to add ginger ale in the mix is because it can re-hydrate the body and stop the impulse to vomit.
Thehealthsite.com lists three tips for easy and quick consumption of ginger
- “Wash and peel some fresh ginger. Crush it and squeeze out the juice. Collect it in a small cup and drink the concentrate once a day.”
- “Cut fresh ginger into thin slices. Place the piece at the back of the mouth and bit into it once. Do not swallow it and allow the juice of the ginger to slowly enter your stomach.”
- Take a thin slice of ginger and sprinkle some salt on it. Chew on it the same way as in tip #2.”
So there you have an explanation on treating an upset stomach with ginger. As always, if you’re having symptoms of indigestion for 2 weeks or more, it may be best to seek medical advice from your physician. Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of ginger and the upset stomach.
Reader’s Digest. (2017). Benefits of Ginger: How It Heals Indigestion and More Think beyond ginger ale.. [online] Available at: https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/benefits-of-ginger/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2017].
The Health Site. (2014). Ginger, the perfect home remedy for indigestion. [online] Available at: http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/ginger-the-perfect-home-remedy-for-indigestion/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2017].