The benefits of ginger for your health are umpteen. A cup of ginger tea or pieces of ginger works wonders if you are troubled with nausea, headaches, or a sore throat. The list of good ginger does for your health is endless.
Does ginger help you the same way during menopause as well, like other times? Menopause which occurs in most women between 45 and 55 years of age, comes with several troubling symptoms.
There are several ways to alleviate and manage the related symptoms. These include following a healthy diet, exercising well, practicing relaxation techniques, and so on.
When it comes to herbal remedies for menopause, black cohosh, evening primrose, red clover, Korean ginseng, wild yam, and linseed are much above on the list. Culinary herbs like turmeric and ginger aren’t behind as well. So, let us focus specifically on the benefits of ginger for managing symptoms of menopause.
Is Ginger Good For Menopause? 6 Useful Ways In Which It May Help
True, ginger may not be the first herb that comes to your mind when you think of managing the symptoms of menopause. Yet, its role in providing relief to women who are around menopause (perimenopause) or have already gone through it cannot be ignored.
The role of ginger in menopause has been assessed through various studies. Let’s analyze each one of them in detail.
1. To Manage Hot Flashes
Phytoestrogens are compounds present in plants as well as plant-based foods. These compounds are known to function similarly to estrogens.
In the perimenopause phase, the estrogen levels begin to decline and reach a minimum level during menopause. The fluctuating hormonal levels lead to hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Hot flashes aren’t a pleasant feeling to have during menopause. When you feel warm all of a sudden, mainly on the chest, neck, and face, it isn’t a good experience at all. If these episodes of hot flashes keep occurring, your sleep, mood, and overall well-being will surely go for a toss.
The Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research published a study that mentioned ginger supplements worked towards lessening the severity and intensity of hot flashes in women who had entered the postmenopause phase.
A separate study published in the Climacteric Journal spoke about the effectiveness of ginger extracts in lessening night sweats that mostly occur during an episode of hot flashes.
Another study conducted from August 2013-July 2014 on menopausal women showed how beneficial ginger, cinnamon, and saffron were in treating various symptoms of menopause, like night sweats and hot flashes.
2. For Improving Gut Health
Prebiotics refer to high-fiber foods which play a significant role in managing gut health. It lessens the inflammation in the intestines and even helps in the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
The foods that make it to the list of prebiotics include dandelion greens, chicory root, onions Jerusalem, artichokes, whole oats, apples, bananas, and so on. Ginger, our topic of discussion, is also a good source of prebiotics and helps to maintain good gut health.
The several transformations your body goes through in menopause aren’t unknown. The main reasons for the same are the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogens are not just reproductive hormones. They have other functions as well and play a significant role in regulating gut microbiome positively. A decline in estrogen levels takes a toll on gut health, leading to several digestive disorders. Several studies have shown that ginger extracts help towards improving gut microbes. Thus it results in better digestion.
3. For Lessening Depression and Mood Swings
The lessened estrogen levels are responsible for the mood swings women go through in menopause. As already mentioned, estrogen controls various functions of the body, like cardiovascular health, brain health, etc.
So, low estrogen levels lessen the activities of norepinephrine and serotonin, which play a significant role in controlling mood. That’s why women who are near menopause or who have experienced the same are more prone to stress, irritability, fatigue, concentration issues, forgetfulness, and so on.
Ginger is said to have properties that help to lessen anxiety and depression caused during menopause, thus leading to an upliftment of one’s mood.
4. For Easing Joint Pain
If you feel that your bones are eventually getting weaker since the time you have hit the perimenopause phase, then you may blame the fluctuating hormones (estrogen and progesterone) for the same. Swelling of the areas surrounding the joints, stiffness, and aches are some of the commonest signs of joint pains triggered due to menopause.
If you are planning for herbal remedies to get rid of joint pains, you can add ginger to your list. Just like turmeric, ginger, too, has antioxidant properties that help to protect the body from free radical damage. This also makes it an effective anti-inflammatory agent, effective in reducing pain and inflammation of the joints.
5. For Lessening Heavy Bleeding
When you are in the phase around menopause, i.e., the perimenopause phase, your periods become irregular. In some months, you could experience light bleeding, while in certain months, the flow could be increasingly heavy. The reason for the same is low estrogen levels and lessened production of eggs by the ovary.
So, if you are one of those who often encounter heavy bleeding during the perimenopause phase, then having ginger will help in lessening your bleeding to a greater extent. This usage of ginger comes from the anti-inflammatory property of the herb.
A certain study was conducted on 92 high school girls with heavy menstrual bleeding. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of ginger in menstruation. It showed that those who took ginger experienced remarkably low blood loss than those who didn’t.
When your flow is heavy, you will mostly pass bigger clots. Ginger is said to have the ability to reduce the number and size of clots and improves blood flow.
Though most of the studies aren’t specific to menopause, however, if you have heavy cycles in the perimenopause phase, you could opt for ginger as an additional remedy. However, do not miss out on consulting your doctor for irregular and heavy periods during the time around menopause.
6. For Relief From Nausea
Nausea is one of the symptoms of menopause that mostly occurs because of fluctuating hormones. It is also a side effect of hot flashes. Those who go for hormone replacement therapy to combat the symptoms of menopause might also experience nausea as a reaction. However, nausea isn’t a common symptom of menopause and does not occur in every woman.
Now, coming to ginger, its role in relieving nausea isn’t unknown. You could eat freshly sliced ginger raw or even prepare it as an infusion to get relief.
There are several ways of having ginger to manage the symptoms of menopause. Eat it as your morning drink by adding freshly grated ginger, squeezed lemon, and a little salt to a glass of water.
You could even have a slice of fresh and raw ginger to get immediate relief from nausea, indigestion, and so on. A cup of ginger tea is another refreshing option. You could even add ginger to soups, stir-fries, and curries.
Ginger doesn’t have too many side effects. But, eating it in increased amounts could lead to digestive disorders . Ginger can lessen clotting and act as a blood thinner. So, if you are on blood-thinning medications, do consult with your doctor first before implementing this remedy.
Ginger might even lower your blood sugar and blood pressure. So those who take medications for diabetes, and high blood pressure, it’s better to be cautious.
The role of ginger as a medicinal herb to treat several conditions dates back over 5000 years. It belongs to the same family as turmeric. Like the latter, it yields a lot of medicinal benefits when taken during menopause.
Alongside resorting to herbal remedies, it is important to improve your lifestyle. Maintain a proper exercise regime and a healthy diet as well. It will help you manage a lot of your symptoms.