Ginger – Better Than Aspirin

ginger rhizomeFor decades, doctors have been telling their patients that taking an aspirin daily can prevent heart disease.

Except…it doesn’t.

In 2014, the FDA reversed its position on normal and low dose aspirin.  Here is an excerpt from their website:

“FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

Aspirin is considered by the mainstream to be one of the safest over-the-counter drugs out there.  However, it is still a drug with risks involved with short or long term use. The most well known risk is irritation to the lining of the stomach – causing bleeding. And then there are other risks such as hemorrhagic stroke, kidney and liver failure, stomach ulcers, and even tinnitus if it is taken excessively.

Fact is that the science behind aspirin preventing heart attack or other heart disease was nearly non-existent in the first place.  Studies from the US, UK and Europe came to conclusions varying from the worst cardiac outcomes, especially heart failure, no difference noticed after following 40,000 female patients for 10 years, or that aspirin did not lower heart attacks in high risk patients to showing a higher risk for recurrent heart attack and associated cardiac problems.

Doctors in the UK and Germany questioned aspirin’s use for heart disease prevention for more than 10 years and natural health practitioners have likewise been ignored since much longer.

But, as always ‘follow the money’ shows that in 2013 Bayer earned $1.27 billion in sales of aspirin.

There is a safer, natural way

Ginger is much more than a remedy for an upset stomach, or nausea and vomiting.  Well known to herbalists and alternative health practitioners, ginger is a heart boosting herb.  It contains 12 antioxidants compounds such as gingerol, beta-carotene and flavonoids, which are especially beneficial for your heart.  It also reduces oxidation, protecting the lining of your arteries from inflammation.

Ginger is also a blood thinner, as is aspirin but without the dangerous risks.  Like aspirin, ginger blocks COX-2 (an enzyme that promotes inflammation –  the main cause of chronic illnesses and heart disease).

A study on 1,400 men found that those with the least dietary intake of flavonoids not only had the worst carotid artery diameter but also had the highest risk of heart disease.

Another study involving two groups of men demonstrated that 5 g of ginger powder daily reduced oxidation by 18% in the healthy group and 23% in the group with a history of heart disease after four weeks.

Did I mention that ginger is also as effective as aspirin for headaches and even migranes?

Give your heart health a boost with ginger

Add ginger to your diet easily.  I find that several shakes of ginger powder can replace the pepper called for in many recipes.   Personally, I don’t want to miss out on the benefits of the piperine in black pepper, so I often replace up to 50% of it with ginger powder.  Foods such as chili or stews or any tomato based sauce works well with ginger.  Use more of it in your stir fries and even mix some into your yogurt.  Ginger also has an affinity Sprinkle over strawberries or melon.  Delicious!

And then there is ginger tea.  You can find my recipe here.  It is a really efficient way to get your ginger dose throughout the day and do your heart a favour.  Ginger up!

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Selected resources:

JAMA March 2010
Neuroscience February 2010
Medical News Today

photo attribute: (c) Can Stock Photo

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