Fresh ginger is aromatic, pungent, and spicy, and is not just for sushi! I learned today that ginger is used as a natural remedy for headaches when I was looking for a way to cure a rare headache I was having without using medication. While I came across several other natural remedies, I had fresh ginger on hand and decided to give that one a try.
I chopped an inch of fresh ginger and let it steep in a cup of boiling water for several minutes before drinking the hot “ginger tea”. While waiting for the ginger to steep, I inhaled the ginger vapor coming out of the cup.
The intensity of the headache lessened while inhaling the ginger vapor. Then, within only a few minutes of sipping the “ginger tea”, the headache literally disappeared! I never experienced such immediate headache relief from taking ibuprofen. And, unlike ibuprofen, fresh ginger is gentle on my stomach and liver.
Follow-up: On June 10, 2015, Michael Greger, MD released a video about using ginger for migraine headaches. In the video, he talks about a study published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature in 2014 that compared the efficacy of powdered ginger to sumatriptan (also known as imitrex), one of the top-selling billion-dollar drugs in the world for treating migraine headaches.
In the study, researchers compared 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger to 50 milligrams (common dosage) of the drug and discovered that they both work just as well and just as fast at significantly reducing or diminishing the pain!
Powdered ginger is a much better choice because ginger is significantly cheaper, about a penny for 1/8 teaspoon, and has fewer side effects. The only side effect reported for the ginger group was an upset stomach for one out of 25. Compare that to a sedative effect, dizziness, vertigo, and heartburn, not to mention increased risk of heart attack or death reported for the drug group.
So my little study with ginger on myself was on the mark! Try it yourself next time you have a headache.