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Ginger Is An Effective Remedy For Heartburn, Science Says

Ginger Is An Effective Remedy For Heartburn, Science Says

Ginger is a widely used and versatile plant. It has so many potential health benefits that it has been studied in detail in relation to over 100 health symptoms or conditions. Ginger has traditionally been used to manage various gastrointestinal problems. It is widely known for its anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also believed to help with digestion by promoting smooth intestinal movement.

Ginger has now been proven to be a remedy for heartburn. A recent study shows that the ginger root is more effective in managing and treating heartburn, a painful and uncomfortable disease that affects millions of people, than mainstream prescription medications.

Causes of heartburn

There are various causes of heartburn.  “Fatty foods, large portions, and late-night meals are the top three triggers that affect many people with heartburn.”

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A number of foods and drinks can cause the loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). A weak LES is can be a factor in the cause of heartburn. Food and drinks that commonly trigger heartburn include:

  • alcohol, in particular red wine
  • spicy foods and black pepper, garlic, raw onions
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits and citrus products (such as orange juice)
  • coffee, tea and soda
  • peppermint
  • tomatoes

Side effects of heartburn drugs

Many people who suffer from heartburn opt to take mainstream medication in an effort to alleviate their symptoms. However, recent research has suggested that people who take certain popular medicines for heartburn known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) should do so with caution.

According to a study lead by Morgan Grams, an epidemiologist at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that PPIs appear to significantly elevate the chances of developing chronic kidney disease. The study involved more than 250,000 people. It is estimated that 15 million Americans use PPIs; common PPIs are Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, meaning that many Americans are at risk.

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In the 1980s, when PPIs were first approved, they were viewed as being very safe. Concerns about their safety have been mounting and various evidence has suggested that the drugs may increase the risk of certain health problems such as: infections, bone fractures and maybe even heart problems.

Given the risks associated with taking PPI medications many people are looking for alternative solutions to help them with their heartburn. The following study shows that ginger is a real substitute for PPI prescription medications.

Study: Ginger as a treatment for heartburn

A study published in the journal Molecular Research and Food Nutrition found compares the efficacy of acid-blocking drugs (PPIs) with the ginger root. The study aimed to find out the anti-ulcer and anti-Helicobacter plyori (Helicobacter plyori is a bacteria that is commonly associated with ulcer formation) ability of ginger extracts when compared to mainstream acid-blocking medicine such as lansoprazole (a PPI).

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It was discovered that ginger performed six to eight times better than the drug (lansoprazole) did at inhibiting acid production. Moreover, it was also found that ginger has potent antioxidant properties. These antioxidant properties protect lipids from being spoiled and DNA from being damaged. Researchers concluded that ginger have “potential in-expensive multistep blockers against ulcer.”

While mainstream medical drugs removes stomach acid barrier, ginger does the opposite. It protects these barriers as it contains a proteolytic enzyme several hundred times more potent than the one found in papaya (papain). In addition to aiding with heartburn, ginger also has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.  

Getting started with ginger

The University of Maryland Medical Center prescribes taking no more than 2g to 4g of ginger. This is equivalent to 1 tsp. to 2 tsp. of fresh ginger root or ¼ of the amount of powdered ginger. You should never take more than 4 gm of ginger daily.

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 Fresh ginger root can be taken in the following ways:

  • You can crush or grate the fresh ginger root and leave it to soak in water. You can then drink the water once the ginger has soaked sufficiently.
  • You can chew a fresh piece of ginger, but make sure that you don’t swallow it.
  • You can eat a ginger sweet.
  • You may also add pieces of ginger to a cup of tea (such as chamomile tea).
  • If you take ginger syrup or ginger capsules be sure to follow the dosage and instructions written on the package.

Be careful not to consume too much ginger as this may have adverse effects. Too much ginger may cause further heartburn or intervene with drugs that treat severe cases of heartburn. Be sure to consult your physician when trying ginger for heartburn.

Summation

“Given the fact that so many people use PPI medications, I think it is judicious to exercise some caution,” said Morgan Grams. Ginger has been proven to be a safe and real alternative to PPI medication. Ginger gives new hope to heartburn sufferers who do not want to risk the side effects of PPI medication but need an effective way to manage their heartburn disease.

Featured photo credit: Mail Online via dailymail.co.uk

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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