Ginger is classed as a herb and because it includes many vitamins and nutrients that are essential when you are trying to conceive, it really is a wonderful way to add some ginger spice to your fertility diet. Native to South East Asia, ginger has been used by many ancient cultures, for both culinary and medicinal purposes, for centuries.
The part of ginger that is most commonly used is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant, and comes from the same botanical family of turmeric and cardamom. It can be used fresh, powdered, dried, pickled or as an oil or juice. The flesh of the rhizome can be yellow, white or red in colour, depending upon the variety. The juice from a piece of fresh ginger can be rubbed onto the skin to treat burns, and ginger extract or oil can be rubbed on skin to discourage insect bites.
Ginger contains many essential nutrients and vitamins including vitamin C, B5 and B6, along with a good amount of the minerals iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Ginger has a long tradition of being used to help alleviate a whole host of gastrointestinal complaints and stomach problems, which include nausea, colic, IBS and diarrhea. Indeed, a chemical found in ginger is used as an ingredient in laxatives, anti-gas and antacid medications. It also plays a role in reducing inflammation throughout the body, boosts the immune system and is thought to protect against certain cancers such as colorectal cancer. It also has anti-microbial properties.
Amongst the many widely researched medicinal uses for ginger, the use of the fresh or dried root (Zingiber officinale) is thought to help boost fertility. Ginger is not only an anti inflammatory, it also plays a role in cleansing, pain relief and improving circulation, including to the reproductive organs.
Ginger is one of the best known foods to improve fertility in men. It improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Research has shown that regular intake of ginger may improve a man’s sperm health, including DNA fragmentation.
Ginger is also thought to help women who have uterine fibroids as it increases circulation in the body, helping to support a healthy inflammation response and normal detoxification. It also helps to support proper digestion which is very important for inflammatory conditions such as PCOS.
In a recent study ginger was found to be effective in regulating menstrual cycles and minimising the severity of menstrual pain.
Why not try making this carrot, orange and ginger smoothie
2cm piece of fresh ginger – this can be adjusted to taste
- Scrub and chop the carrots and peel the oranges
- Cut the fresh ginger into even sized pieces
- Place ingredients in juicer/blender and juice … add a little still or carbonated water if you wish
- Pour into a glass – add a few ice cubes
Please ensure that you talk to your GP before supplementing your diet with ginger, especially if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or health supplements.
Jenabi E (2013) The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea. JPMA 63: 8 http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=3925
Romm, Aviva, M.D. (2010) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. St. Louis, Missouri: Churchill Livingstone http://www.pdfarchive.info/pdf/R/Ro/Romm_Aviva_-_Botanical_medicine_for_women_s_health.pdf
Reduction of sperm DNA fragmentation by oral ginger https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02032251