You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't familiar with ginger and the health benefits of this root have been well publicized, but very few people know about it's Thai cousin, Black Ginger! These two have a few things in common, but many different aspects, including flavor and properties. Watch to learn more!
- Hi, I'm Sage, welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel! Today we're gonna be talking about ginger and black ginger, two relatives that have some things in common but have a lot of different aspects to them that are important to understand. They're not the same thing, even though they have some relation.
So let's start with ginger. It's the one that everybody knows pretty well, even if you're not in the health world, or have no interest in health, you still know what ginger is. The same cannot be necessarily said for other herbs that we love talking about like Reishi Mushroom or Gynostemma or Cordyceps, most people have no idea what those are. But generally, out there, people are pretty well aware of the existence of ginger. Now ginger is coming from Southeast Asia, originally. But it didn't take much time for it to migrate out to being distributed all around the world, many hundreds of years ago.
It's within the Zingiberaceae family, and in this family, you have 52 different genera, and over 1300 species. So that's a big family of different roots here. And turmeric is also in this family, interestingly enough. So there's another big famous guy in this family. Ginger's not the only one. And the benefits are pretty widespread. Nausea, helping with nausea is one that people are very familiar with. And then it's an anti-fungal. There's some indications that it could be helping with cancer growth. Although those are very early stage studies, and there definitely needs to be more research done in that area before we can make any serious claims about ginger. It's helping you regulate blood sugar. It's a great anti-inflammatory, and that's such a big deal in today's modern world, where inflammation is really the leading cause of disease, and so many people are dealing with health issues that, while they may be trying to treat them as a symptom, really at their root core, are very much connected to runaway inflammation throughout the body and ginger is a very powerful, natural anti-inflammatory.
It's also gonna be supporting digestion. It lowers the amount of time the food has to spend in the stomach, so that's gonna be improving things like gut transit time, and that's overall a really good thing for your digestive health. And if you're consuming actually the whole ginger, it does have prebiotic fiber in there as well, but most people are consuming it in some form of an extract. It's gonna be, as I said, lowering oxidative stress and that's connected to the inflammation. It's a powerful antioxidant in and of itself.
And it also, recently, actually been more research for brain function protection. It helps as people are aging and there was a 2012 study on middle aged women, and its ability to slow, or even potentially prevent cognitive decline. So I wouldn't use ginger as the only tool in your toolkit for staving off things like cognitive decline and Alzheimer's and dementia, but it's a great thing to be incorporating, along with a well-grounded, holistic approach for long term, cognitive health.
Now that's ginger. That's the one everybody's familiar with. Let's go off to meet a relative of ginger, black ginger. This is coming from Thailand. And it's not very well known outside of Thailand, but there has been a fair amount of research done on it. The first thing that people usually wanna know is what does it taste like? Now it's not black really in color, even though that's what it's called. It's really a dark, dark purple. And it has a pretty different flavor than normal ginger. It has a spiciness to it, but much more subdued than ginger. It's just kind of a hint of the normal spiciness and heat that you would get with ginger, and it's much earthier in its flavor.
Now, in terms of its benefits, the research has been very much focused around physical fitness and performance enhancement benefits, as far as dealing with actual performance metrics, like endurance, and muscular strength, and grip strength. And it's also activating metabolism in brown adipose tissue. So it's really getting your energy burning going, and getting you to burn fat, and revving up your mitochondria. So it's really interesting in that department as well. Now we talked about ginger being interesting from a neuroprotective standpoint, and protecting brain function. And we also see some of this with black ginger. So this was found in an animal study a number of years ago. And they found that when they subjected rats to very intense stress for a number of hours, it reduced the damage to the neurons and minimized memory impairment during the stress, and also increased neuronal density in the hippocampus. So of course, these things still need to be confirmed in human studies, and a lot more research done on them. But looking at these initial signs, it's very promising that black ginger has some really great, neuroprotective and stress-modulating effects, because the reality is the stress in our lives is not going anywhere. You know the sources of stress are probably just gonna get worse if you look at technology and EMF and how busy we're getting. Things are not getting better in those departments, necessarily. But we can do things to affect the way that we react to stress, the impact that these external stressors actually have upon us and it looks like black ginger could play an interesting role there.. It also improves spatial memory in these studies as well.
So it's just overall very interesting the way that it affects us, in terms of stress response and cognitive function. It's a vasodilator, and that leads to the other area in which it's really been studied a bit, and that is in male sexual performance. And so, there was a study done that found performance in erectile function improved, and that was just not based on any actual specific metrics but just based on the subjective feedback of each element. This was actually quite a low dose, so it's quite promising. But of course, this study, we have to mention was funded by a company that was selling a black ginger product, so you always have to take these things with a grain of salt, and give it a try yourself.
This is a very exciting herb that is gonna be certainly, I think, getting much more popular in coming years as knowledge of how effective it is in these broad range of areas, begins to spread. So if you've tried black ginger, leave a comment. I'd love to hear what your experience has been. And thank you guys for joining me today. I really appreciate your time, and wishing you all a wonderful day.