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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Supplements: Ginger Root

A perennial herb native to China and India, ginger root has been used for centuries in Asian cooking and medications. Ancient peoples used ginger root to cure everything from menstrual cramps to seasickness to food poisoning to body odor. The roots of the plant, called rhizomes, are where the benefits of ginger root lie.  It's health benefits include, lowering cholesterol, aids in digestion, lowers blood pressure, treats nausea and morning sickness (I can attest to this one!), athlete's foot, increases circulation and can help with diarrhea and indigestion, halitosis, hay fever and allergies and sinus.  It has immunity boosting properties, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that aid in alleviating arthritis pain and may help treat ulcers.

To achieve maximum benefits of ginger root, you have to make sure you are taking a supplement with standardized herbal extract of pure ginger root. Many ginger products on the market do not use standardized extract, because it is much cheaper to produce. Also, you must make sure that the ginger root product is manufactured at a facility that follows strict GMP compliance for quality standards.
Pregnant women should be careful with ginger due to its potential to cause uterine contractions. Ginger has also been shown to interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins. Stomach upset is a common side effect with larger doses. Ginger may potentate the effects of blood thinners, barbiturates, beta-blockers, insulin, and other diabetes medications. Due to the blood thinning effect ginger should not be used before surgery. Ginger root works best in coordination with other herbs, so taking more than one together maximizes benefits.
For example: Ginger root can work together with other herbs such as gingko biloba and olive leaf to ease blood flow. Vitamin E works in conjunction with Vitamin C in a similar fashion. Ginger root can alleviate nausea, while turmeric can protect your digestive system and still another herb can ensure that your nausea won't return.

So you can see how important it is to find a high quality product, and how a blend of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients may be more beneficial to your health than a single herb product, not to mention safer!

Total Balance is a great blend of herbs that work well together to help your body achieve an increased level of homeostasis.  Here is the extensive list of ingredients that formulate a great herbal blend.  It comes highly recommended by herbalists and naturalpaths.  For those of you with allergies or intolerance, Total Balance is gluten and dairy free, but does contain soy, shellfish and peanuts.

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