Ginger for Osteoarthritis and Back Pain
Author: Shannon Miller
Health and fitness expert, motivational speaker, and wellness consultant Susan Smith Jones, PhD, recommends natural ways to rejuvenate your health in her new book Walking on Air: Your 30-Day Inside and Out Rejuvenation Makeover.
by Susan Smith Jones, PhD
The latest research on ginger showed its pain-killing properties for osteoarthritis (OA) are on par with over-the-counter painkillers.
While ginger is probably best known for adding flavor to foods, my grandmother recommended it to relieve pain. Now there are studies to corroborate her wisdom. In the results of one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the November 2000 issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, those 247 people with OA who took ginger extract noticed a reduction in discomfort.
In fact, of the patients who took ginger, 63% noticed a reduction in knee pain when they were standing, while only 50% of the placebo group reported a similar reduction. Wrote the researchers, “A highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee.”
My grandmother taught me to start the day with a hot hug of fresh tea and to add coin slices of fresh ginger to many of my teas. I make a quart of this tea each morning to enjoy throughout the day. While you can use ginger tea bags, it’s less expensive and fresher to simply slice fresh ginger root and simmer these ginger coins for about five minutes.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and gives a warming sensation to the body. It also soothes the respiratory tract. So if you don’t have any peppermint or spearmint on hand, try a cup of fresh ginger tea after dinner.