Americans are familiar with soda flavor, Ginger Ale, especially if they’ve ever taken a commercial airline flight. Clear carbonated beverages, such as soda are said to relieve nausea (Carbon Dioxide, which makes it fizzy, regulates acid levels in the blood) so they’re typically offered as a complimentary treat. Although the name– similar to Root Beer– can be confusing to foreigners because Ale typically denotes a type of beer, (traditionally alcoholic), soda is not fermented.
Personally, I experience relatively acute sickness from both motion/ blurred peripheral vision, such as from riding in a vehicle and from any extreme change in altitude, such as plane travel and mountain hiking, in addition to Mast Cell symptoms. Unfortunately, Altitude Sickness is unpredictable and its symptoms– excess fluid on the lungs and fluid on the brain– can be deadly. I’ve tried over-the-counter tablets but they only make me groggy and disoriented.
The most likely under- considered factor is methylation: adding/removing methyl groups to molecules. There are hundreds of these reactions in the body. The most well-known activate the ability to detox chemicals and to generate the hormones that regulate sleeping and waking.
The he largest organ in the body is largely responsible for detoxification is the liver. When working properly, it removes viruses, alcohol, drugs and poisons from the bloodstream, in addition to breaking down insulin, excessive hormones and destroying old blood cells. The effects of Altitude Sickness strain many functions by depriving the body of Oxygen while flooding it with various substances it is then forced to filter out.
Too bad most soda doesn’t contain any actual Ginger; merely artificial flavoring and High Fructose Corn Syrup. To scoff at the notion of Ginger root as an all-natural remedy simply because you once drank some soda to no effect is like being surprised that cola flavored lip gloss didn’t help you stay awake or that a coffee scented candle couldn’t keep you alert. An artificial version is useless!
This rhizome (creeping rootstalk) has been found to increase the secretion of liver bile in lab rats, despite their lack of a gallbladder, which is equally instrumental in producing bile to process waste. In humans’ complex digestive system the effect is enhanced; for hundreds of thousands of years, Ginger has been prized by cultures around the world, who recognized its health benefits.
So the next time you’re preparing for airline travel, mountain hiking, chemo, pregnancy, or something as simple as a road trip and/or visit to a theme park with carnival rides, bring along some Ginger. It’s available as tea and candy. You can even find it dried and sugared or it’s too spicy for you.
Better yet, experiment with it in your cooking. When dried and powdered it’s ideal for smoothies! Regular ingestion (assuming you aren’t on blood thinners or don’t already produce excess bile) will aid digestion. Moreover, it has scientifically proven antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an effective remedy– and preventative treatment– for a variety of ailments, including pharmaceutical- resistant super bugs.
What else dances on the tongue while simultaneously comforting the digestive system and fighting germs? Ginger is truly a natural remedy superhero!