Ginger helps in soothing a sore throat in two ways – one by relieving the pain and second by fighting the infections. Here is exactly how ginger helps in relieving sore throat and easy ways you can consume it.
Ginger is rich in bioactive compounds, which are the phytonutrients found in certain foods, beneficial for your health. The most beneficial bioactive compounds in ginger are shogaols and gingerols.
These bioactive compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage and reduce the risk of sore throat.
Ginger also has antimicrobial properties that can help fight viral and bacterial infections.
As per one test-tube study, a solution of 10 per cent ginger extract can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, Candida Albicans and Enterococcus faecalls, the microorganisms responsible for oral infections. however, more research is needed to find out how ginger can inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria that cause sore throat.
Ginger also has antioxidant properties, which have protective and healing benefits against various diseases. One study also found that fresh ginger has more antioxidative benefits as compared to dried ginger.
The pain that you experience when suffering from a sore throat happens due to inflammation and itchiness in the throat. The inflammation is the result of your body’s immune system responding to the infection.
Ginger helps block the pro-inflammatory proteins in the body. These proteins lead to inflammatory pain and itchiness.
Two different studies show that ginger helps in tonsillitis and pharyngitis pain. In a study, 7 out of 10 participants with chronic tonsillitis found relief in symptoms of acute tonsillitis after consuming ginger.
Boosts immune system
The compounds in ginger help in boosting immunity and thus decrease the recovery time.
Sore throat is caused by viruses and while medications for cold might not kill the virus, ginger might just do the trick.
A laboratory study has shown that ginger can stimulate the immune system to kill viruses. This makes ginger a quick pain reliever. Though study on humans is needed to confirm these results.
Ginger protects against microbes
Ginger can help soothe a sore throat by protecting against bacteria, pathogens and toxins, which are also called microbes. Some of these microbes can lead to a sore throat.
A study compared the effectiveness of ginger extract and antibiotics on strep-causing bacteria. For the study, ginger was extracted in different amounts from the root and leaves of the plant and diluted with ethanol and water.
The solution made from leaves and antibiotics were equally effective at inhibiting the bacteria as the antibiotics. Though the ethanol-based solvents were more effective than water-based solvents. The research was a test tube one and more research is needed to understand the antimicrobial effects of ginger in humans.
Ways to consume ginger to soothe a sore throat
Raw ginger is easily available at the vegetable vendor and grocery shops. You can use it by removing the exterior, bark-like surface. Then slice off a one-inch piece and chew on it. You can swallow the root when it turns to a pulp after chewing.
You can get ginger lozenge from a pharmacy or even a local grocery shop. Read the instructions carefully before consuming. Make sure the product you are buying has real ginger.
Sipping on hot ginger tea is a popular and an effective way to soothe a sore throat. The warm tea is soothing for an inflamed throat.
You can make ginger tea at home by boiling 2 teaspoons of dry ginger in one cup of water or by grating a 2-inch raw root in one cup of water.
Let the tea steep for five minutes, then strain and consume it. You can drink this two to three times a day. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste and medicinal properties of the tea.
Who should not consume ginger
Ginger root is safe for most people but it can cause allergy in some. Also, remember ginger is not a replacement for doctor prescribed medicine. You can have it along with the medicine.
If you are pregnant, too much ginger consumption can cause gastric discomfort.