Benefits of Thai Black Ginger
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- Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. Today, I'm excited to talk to you guys about an herb from Thailand called black ginger. Now this has the name ginger in it because it does come from the same family as the ginger that you're familiar with. But these two, while they have a few things in common, they were pretty different.
This is ginger that is much more serious in its effects. And so you can tell, as soon as you just look at the color of it, you can see there's some more density of nature packed into this little root. And so this black ginger is an adaptogen that's been used in the traditional Thai herbal system for over a thousand years. And it's, in Thailand, very popular amongst adult men, especially amongst athletes. And Muay Thai fighters because of its effects on physical performance.
It's known by quite a few different names. You know, we commonly will call it Thai black ginger or black ginger, but it's also known as Thai ginseng. Now it's of no relation directly, it's a very distant relative, but no direct relation to ginseng. It's specifically called that because it has some overlapping benefits.
So as you travel around the world, you hear different things like your Siberian ginseng, Also not a relative of ginseng, just has overlapping properties. You have this leaf in China, in southern China, called gynostemma, which is known as the seven-leaf ginseng. Also not ginseng, just overlapping properties. So here we're looking at black ginger, Thai ginseng, also known as krachai dum. And the Latin name, kaempferia parviflora.
And so this is most famous, I would say, for its libido effects. It's a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. You don't have to remember that. Even if you don't remember that word, it will still work for you. You don't need to know the terminology necessarily, but what this means, is that it is allowing for more vasodilation. More vasodilation, it means more blood can flow, more blood can flow to your muscles, and to one muscle in particular, if you know what I mean. And so this it's, you know, has an incredible reputation amongst guys for being very helpful and then it goes beyond this, so much more.
So it's beneficial for exercise because not only the vasodilation which has helped getting your blood flowing. So you can do this, you know, before a romantic adventure or you can do this before working out but it's shown to improve endurance, stamina, and grip strength in animal studies with mice. So they, you know, it sounds kinda like a weird thing to study in mice, but basically they have them hang from a little pole and see how long they can do that for. They have them swim until they can't swim anymore. And they don't just let them drown, you know of course they pluck 'em out of the water. But this is really great for improving exercise performance. And as I said, that's one of the things that it's so commonly used for in Thailand. And the other reason it's improving exercise performance is because it is benefiting mitochondrial health and stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis.
What does this mean? Mitochondria are these cells or they're little microbacteria in all of your cells in your body, to speak more accurately. And they have been partnered up with humans and many other life forms for billions of years. And they create energy for all of your cells. We are not out in the sun. We're not doing, you know we don't have chlorophyll going on. We're not doing photosynthesis like a plant. We make ATP with mitochondria. That's how we get our energy. And so the mitochondria make the ATP. So as you can imagine, this is pure cellular energy. So the more mitochondria you have, the more mitochondrial density that you have, the more energy you're gonna have but it's not just about, I've got lots of energy let's go do stuff and be active and run around, it's also important because every function in your body relies on ATP as a fuel.
Whether it's a detoxification or say like when you're sleeping, ATP is important. You know why? Because you have this thing called the glymphatic system which pumps cerebral spinal fluid through your brain to wash out all the metabolic toxins and refresh your brain for the next day. That pumping system relies on ATP to make it happen. So more ATP, healthier mitochondria, has beneficial effects in just about every area of health.
So in the "Journal of Natural Medicines," they did a study where they found that black ginger was able to improve GLUT4 levels. G-L-U-T four. And this has effects on the ability of cells to absorb glucose. How much glucose these cells can take in and then utilize to make energy. So the more energy a cell makes, the more ATP you have and the more new mitochondria can be produced. It's a great beneficial cycle. The more mitochondria you have, the more ATP you make, the more mitochondria you can make. And it just keeps building up. And so the more mitochondria you have the more energy you're gonna have and it just keeps having, I'm not sure what the right way to put it, but something like a domino effect or a snowball effect.
And then the other aspect of this is that mitochondria are brown in color and mitochondria are found in the highest density in a kind of tissue called brown fat. And the fat is brown because there's so much mitochondria in there that it turns it the same color as the, you know, the mitochondria. And this is a special kind of fat. It's not like where you like, you know, have like, "Oh I've got a bit of extra fat on me." That's white fat. Brown fat is totally different 'cause it's got such high levels of mitochondria that it is burning calories like crazy and producing lots of heat. That's where a lot of your heat gets produced, especially you know, for example, like you look at like Wim Hof, the guy who does the incredible exploits in the cold, he has incredible brown fat that is able to increase his heat production. So when you have this brown fat as is supported by the black ginger, you are able to burn more calories. Brown fat, when you have calories come in, it burns them really quickly, produces heat from it, any they don't end up getting stored as white fat. So don't be scared of brown fat 'cause it's called fat. It's the kind of fat that you want.
And there's also anti-aging effects here. For example black ginger is activating a genetic pathway that is famous for its anti-aging benefits called cert one. And then you don't just wanna be like this incredible physical specimen and not have a great brain, right? So last but not least, it's really good for brain health.
So they found that it reduces neuron damage and minimizes memory impairment during stress. So stress is toxic for the brain, especially long-term chronic stress. Black ginger helps to ameliorate some of that and diminish the negative consequences of stress on the brain. And it also increased neuron density and the hippocampus and improved spatial memory. So black ginger is an amazing herb with a wide variety of benefits.
Now, flavor wise, don't come into it expecting it to taste just like regular ginger. It's a much less spicy, much less hot, but it has a much earthier flavor. So, it's a little bit more intense and less recreational, flavor-wise, I would say then a traditional ginger but you can flavor combine with it. You can put it into spicy dishes. You can add it, funnily enough, it goes really well on, into hot chocolate especially if it's like a spicy, hot chocolate with a bit of cayenne and you can experiment with different ways. Some people like to just do a little shot of it where they'd take half a teaspoon, mix it with a couple ounces of water and just do it as a shot before you go work out. So you don't have too much, you know, sloshing around in your stomach. You just get straight down to business. Or, you know, it could be before working out, could it be for some other kinds of physical activity, I'll let you figure that part out.
So black ginger, keep it in your back pocket. Never leave the house without it. You never know when you might need it. So I hope you guys enjoyed this and learned something new today. Thank you again for joining. If you have gotten something beneficial out of this, do me a favor, click the like button below. And if you had any experience with black ginger, leave a comment, or if it's something that you're curious to try, let me know. I always love hearing what your experience has been and what your interest is in these kinds of things. Thanks again for watching, hope you have a great day and look forward to seeing you again here soon.