Ginger in the Era of High Tech Medicine
There is a reason that ginger has thousands-of-years long record of use in the management of inflammation. It simply works and rather wonderfully at that.
Last year Søren Ejlersen (the founder of the biggest boxed organic vegetable delivery company in Denmark) and I authored a book about juicing. Apart from 240 recipes for juices, smoothies and greenies (blended vegetables, so basically a vegetable smoothie), the book also included a chapter by me on how different ingredients have beneficial effects on the human body. Ginger was naturally mentioned in that chapter because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
As we were going through the final edit of the book, the chief gardener from Søren’s company started suffering from inflammation in every single lower extremity joint (hips, knees, ankles, toes) due to over-training. He does a lot of adventure- and ultra-distance running and had over-trained over the summer last year. The result was chronic inflammation that would not budge. OTC and prescription anti-inflammatories had no effect except causing digestive upset. Having read the manuscript, the chief gardener started drinking ginger tea made with freshly sliced ginger.
He proudly showed Søren his cup with 3 slices of fresh ginger, noting that he expected the inflammation to subside. But chronic inflammation often requires a more thorough approach. You might even say an aggressive approach. Søren decided to juice 200 gr of fresh ginger with a few lemons and a few apples. He gave his chief gardener this in a glass bottle marked with a hand-written security notice: “Might cause hot flashes, but will help with inflammation. Return the emptied bottle tomorrow for a refill tomorrow.”
The chief gardener drank his ginger juice despite protesting about it being rather spicy and strong flavoured. Søren did not relent and kept giving him a bottle of freshly pressed ginger juice every day. After a week the inflammation was gone. Unremitting inflammation that had lasted for several months and for which OTC and prescription anti-inflammatories had had no effect on. Not only was his pain and inflammation gone; he was able to go and do one of the hardest short-distance obstacle runs in Denmark. He came in at number 35…out of 2000 participants. No pain or inflammation afterwards.
He now keeps the joint inflammation in check by drinking freshly pressed juice made with 25-50 gr of organic ginger every single day.
I blogged about this on my Danish blog in October last year. And I started telling the story at workshops about nutritional management of inflammation. Since then, I have received more than 30 stories back from people with chronic inflammation, whose inflammation had resolved after 1-2 weeks on the 100-200 gr freshly juiced ginger protocol. One case was a 24-year old girl with hypermobile joints. Her hypermobility prevented her from training. Her joints, tendons and ligaments would become very inflamed as soon as she did more than 3 sessions of 20 minutes of structured exercise a week. After starting on ½-1 L of freshly pressed vegetable juice that includes 100 gr ginger, her joint problems are but a thing of the past. She can train all out 60-90 minutes 5-6 times a week and now leg presses heavier loads than most of the men in her gym.
So maybe freshly pressed ginger juice really is liquid gold…