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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 June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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