Gingers Cures Colds, Flues, Coughs, and Sore Throats Keywords Therapeutic activity – refers to the ability of a remedial agent to restore health Anti-emetic activity – illustrates the role of a therapeutic agent to combat nausea and vomiting Spasmolytic properties – refers to the competence of a remedial agent to relieve spasms within the smooth muscles Carminative properties – is the ability of an agent to induce flatulence, which expels gas from the stomach and intestines Introduction Ginger is a rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, which is commonly consumed as a spice or medicine (Chandra 317). South Asia is credited as a pioneer in ginger cultivation, which has since spread to the rest of the world. The rhizome is associated with numerous health benefits and is regarded as one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices, which can be consumed fresh, dried or powdered. For centuries, ginger has been recommended as a natural remedy for a wide variety of ailments including colds, flues, coughs, and sore throats. These ailments are most common during the fall and winter seasons, since cold weather conditions facilitate proliferation of the causative agents. This paper seeks to illustrate health benefits derived from ginger with regard to colds, flues and sore throats. Discussion The medicinal application of ginger dates back to 2500 years in China and India for conditions such as headaches, nausea and colds, where it was thought to warm the body and treat the cold extremities thus improve the condition of any patients (Thorne Research 331). This is a key factor in boosting the body’s immune system, which is often helpful during cold spells. In addition, it application is known to improve a weak pulse and strengthen the body after blood loss. Ginger is illustrated to soothe the gastrointestinal tract through its carminative and intestinal spasmolytic potential. This act to eliminate intestinal gas and promote relaxation of the intestinal tract during upsets. Further research into the therapeutic properties of ginger has revealed the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of its application, which have been effective in inducing cell death in ovarian cancer cells. The mechanism of ginger’s therapeutic action can be attributed to its pungent constituents as well as the active ingredients. The major constituents of ginger include zingiberene and gingerols, which are believed to produce the therapeutic effects, as well as the characteristic taste. Although, the precise mechanism of action via the proposed anti-emetic activity of ginger is not fully understood studies indicate that the spasmolytic and carminative properties of ginger have a direct effect on the gastrointestinal tract as its primary target. Although not clearly demonstrated, the mechanism involving the central nervous system cannot be overlooked. Furthermore, 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol, components of ginger, have been shown to have antipyretic, analgesic and hypertensive effects, which are connected to the central nervous system. The most conventional application of ginger is in generating home remedies for common cold, coughs and sore throats. This owes to its capacity to soothe inflammation and ease respiratory congestion. Commonly taken as in tea, ginger alleviates the symptoms associated with flu. an attribute of high vitamin C content, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to boost the body’s immune system. In addition, ginger tea serves to relieve sinus pressure, a running nose, sore throat and coughs. This is facilitated by the release of dermicidin, which has antimicrobial properties against agents responsible for flu and sore throat. The analgesic effect of ginger is useful in soothing the scratchy pain and irritation associated with sore throat infections. Taking ginger helps in a temporary resolution of irritation and suppression of stimulated coughs. This is in line with the known antihistamine activity, which is critical in treatment of allergies (Rozen, n. p.). Ginger works to cleanse and heal the respiratory system through the pungent warming, action that helps eliminate mucus from the lungs, which is sufficient in suppressing stimulated coughs from infections. Similarly, ginger is regarded as a natural muscle relaxer that can relieve spasms associated with intense coughing (Rauch). Table below illustrates the Sensitivity pattern ofS. Typhito ethanol extracts of garlic and ginger Adapted from Ayogu and Amadi. In conclusion, ginger is known to be a highly beneficial plant with known preventative and curative properties to the body. and in addition ginger comprises of other components essential to the body’s growth and development. Common afflictions such as cold, flu, coughs and sore throat find homemade remedies in ginger therapy, and similarly, it aids in the growth and development by providing essential nutrients. Works Cited Ayogu, T. and E. Amadi. Studies on the Antibacterial Activities of Medicinal Plants on Typhoid Fever Organism. The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine. Volume 7 No. 2. 2009. Web. 10 Feb 2013. Chandra, Suman, Lata Hemant and Varma Ajit. Biotechnology for Medicinal Plants. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. 2012. Print. Thorne Research. Zingiber officinale (Ginger). Alternative Medicine Review. Vol. 8:3. 2003. Print. Rauch, Brigid. Ginger as a Natural Cough Suppressant. livestrong.com. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. Rozen, Annette. Top 10 Health Benefits of Ginger. Hubpages. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.