With the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens, researchers are turning their attention to natural products in hopes of finding cures outside of the patented pharmaceutical paradigm for fighting disease. In a study just published in Journal of Applied Microbiology, Australian researchers studied 22 natural products and their ability to inhibit the spore cycle of Clostridium difficile. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is mostly incubated in hospital settings, is antibiotic resistant, and very contagious. It can create life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The Australian researchers tested 22 natural products in vitro, and found that three of them "showed inhibitory effects on sporulation of C. difficile. Effects on sporulation, determined using microscopy and a conventional spore recovery assay, showed that fresh onion bulb extract (6.3% v v-1 ) and coconut oil (8% v v-1 ) inhibited sporulation in all four isolates by 66-86% and 51-88%, respectively, compared to untreated controls. Fresh ginger rhizome extract (25% v v-1 ) was also inhibitory, although to a lesser extent."
A recently published study in PLoS indicates that a substance found in ginger called 6-shogaol is a potent agent in fighting breast cancer—much more potent than chemotherapy and much less dangerous. Shogaol—from the Japanese word for ginger—is special because it doesn’t merely target cancer cells in general, but cancer stem cells that are responsible for the growth of tumors. These cancer stem cells, while few in number, can self-renew, split off, and create new tumors, and are resistant to chemotherapy treatments.
A  study reveals ginger contains a pungent compound that could be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy in targeting the cancer stem cells at the root of cancer malignancy.
Ginger has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 pharmacological actions. It is anti-inflammatory, making it valuable for pain relief for joint pain, menstrual pain, headaches, and more. Ginger also shows promise for fighting cancer, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bacterial and fungal infections, and more.
Ginger is one of the most versatile food-spice-herbs known. Ginger is a fundamental herbal treatment among among Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Traditional Thai Medicine, Japanese Kampo Medicine and various others. An accumulation of studies and chemical analyses in 2000 determined that ginger has at least 477 active constituents. Finally, researchers are getting wind that ginger can treat numerous ailments – as purported in these traditional medicines thousands of years ago. In fact, in the past five years, a number of human clinical studies have shown some of ginger’s amazing properties to treat and prevent various disease conditions—just as predicted by the ancient medicines.
Research from Australia’s Edith Cowan University has confirmed an ancient treatment – that osteoarthritis pain and mobility is reduced with the application of ginger root topically. The researchers recruited 20 adults between the ages of 35 and 90 years old – average age of 64 years old. All of the volunteers had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. 85% of the patients had osteoarthritis of the knees and/or hips. The researchers randomly divided the patients into two groups, and treated half of them with a ginger (Zingiber officinalis) compress, and half with a ginger transdermal patch – a patent-pending product from New Zealand. The patients applied the patch or compress daily. They were monitored weekly with a Health Assessment Questionnaire throughout the 24 week study. The patients in both groups experienced significant improvement in pain, fatigue, well-being and mobility after only seven days, and this improvement increased through the study. Researchers concluded that “This pilot study suggests ginger therapy using both the ginger compress and ginger patch has the potential to relieve symptoms and increase independence for people with osteoarthritis.”
Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory and other effects that may help with pain relief, diabetes control, heart health, weight management and much more. New research found that adding ginger compounds to isoproterenol, a type of asthma medication, enhanced its bronchodilating effects, helping to open airways. Ginger is wonderful for your gastrointestinal tract and may help relieve nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness. Fresh ginger is simple to use; peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes.
Patients with colorectal cancer are usually treated with chemotherapy, which reduces the number of blood cells, especially white blood cells, and consequently increases the risk of infections. Some research studies have reported that aromatherapy massage affects the immune system and improves immune function by, for example, increasing the numbers of natural killer cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. The objectives of this study were to determine whether the use of aromatherapy with light Thai massage in patients with colorectal cancer, who have received chemotherapy, can result in improvement of the cellular immunity and reduce the severity of the common symptoms of side effects. It was found that aromatherapy with light Thai massage can be beneficial for the immune systems of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy by increasing the number of lymphocytes and can help to reduce the severity of common symptoms.
Many well-intentioned workout resolutions have been thwarted by the first signs of sore, stiff muscles in the days following a visit to the gym. A new study finds that two common kitchen spices, cinnamon and ginger, help relieve that post-workout muscle pain.
Recent research has confirmed and quantified that whole extracts of Garlic and Ginger have the ability to stop several species of multi-drug resistant bacteria. Both Garlic and Ginger have been used for centuries to combat infections of different types. The use of these herbs has crossed over many traditional medicines around the world as well.