Here’s what research shows about the mental health benefits of ginger


Image: Here’s what research shows about the mental health benefits of ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that also offers other health benefits. In fact, the versatile plant can even help boost your mental health.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) comes from the rhizome or root of a flowering plant native to China, but the spice can grow in any area that is warm and humid. Aside from its use as a natural remedy for digestive disorders, ginger can also be used to address arthritis, memory loss and dementia, and muscle aches and pains.

Thanks to scientific research, experts are beginning to understand how ginger works. To date, research has identified over 100 compounds in ginger. More than 50 of these are antioxidants, which is crucial to brain health since the organ is vulnerable to free radical damage.

Ginger is often used as an anti-inflammatory, making it a popular natural remedy for arthritis. The plant’s anti-inflammatory property can also help people with brain disorders like ADHD, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, brain fog, and depression, which are often associated with chronic inflammation of the brain. Experts believe that ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects on the brain are due to two unique compounds called 6-shogaol and 10-gingerol.

Like the Indian spice turmeric, ginger also has a compound called curcumin. This compound is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral. Curcumin is a potent herbal brain supplement ingredient that can help address anxiety, brain aging, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. (Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Start Eating Ginger Every Day.)

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Ginger for brain health

Your body is constantly under attack from oxidative stress. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons, and electrons can often be found in pairs. These atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to find other electrons so they can become a pair. When these atoms are paired, they cause damage to cells, DNA, and proteins. Studies show that free radicals are linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, and Parkinson’s, among others.

Your brain is prone to free radical damage since it requires a lot of oxygen. Free radicals are caused by common factors like:

  • Air pollution
  • Fried food
  • Grilled meat
  • Lack of sleep
  • Radiation from your mobile phone and computer
  • Stress

Antioxidants in ginger can also protect the brain from further damage and memory loss after a stroke.

Ginger increases the level of two of the most important brain chemicals: dopamine and serotonin. Depression is strongly associated with deficient levels of both chemicals.

Dopamine is called the “motivation molecule” because it helps you focus and be productive. Dopamine is also in charge of your pleasure-reward system. Meanwhile, serotonin is known as the “happiness molecule” because it helps sustain a positive mood.

The spice is traditionally used to treat memory loss and dementia and research has determined that ginger can help improve other cognitive functions besides memory. According to a study, healthy adults given dried ginger supplements showed improvements in attention, reaction time, and working memory.

People with diabetes also rely on ginger as a natural remedy because it can help control blood sugar, especially if you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Ginger has antioxidants called gingerols that enhance insulin sensitivity and prevent certain neurological diabetic complications.

Ginger is an effective remedy that can minimize the pain of migraine headaches. The spice has similar effects to sumatriptan, a commonly prescribed migraine drug that narrows blood vessels to the brain. But unlike sumatriptan, which is associated with negative side effects, ginger can relieve migraines without any side effects.

Suggested ginger dosages

Ginger, which comes in many forms, can be used as a food and as a supplement. Ginger supplements are available as capsules, crystals, essential oils, extracts, loose powder, and tinctures.

A typical dose of ginger is one gram, and the best way to ingest this dose is by taking two ginger capsules. Most supplements contain at 500 milligrams (mg) per capsule.

Below are some ginger dosage equivalents:

  • One teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger root
  • Two droppers (or two milliliters [ml]) of liquid ginger extract
  • Two pieces of crystallized ginger (about a one-inch square and 1/4 inch thick for each piece)
  • Four cups of ginger tea (Make the tea by steeping two teaspoons of grated ginger in 32 ounces of water for five to 10 minutes.)

Possible ginger side effects and interactions

When consumed as a food, especially fresh, ginger is considered very safe with little to no side effects. However, when too much ginger is consumed in other forms, especially powdered ginger, it may cause side effects such as bloating, gas, heartburn, and nausea.

Ginger also functions as a blood thinner. Avoid taking it as a supplement if you take blood-thinning medication such as warfarin. If you take diabetes or high blood pressure medications, talk to a healthcare professional to determine adjustments to your medication if you want to take supplemental ginger.

Ginger is a versatile herbal remedy that can help relieve digestive upset, and it also offers various benefits for brain health and function. Add fresh ginger to your diet or take it as a supplement to enjoy its many benefits and improve both your physical and mental well-being.

Visit Healing.news to read more articles about ginger and other natural cures that can help improve your mental health.

Sources include:

BeBrainFit.com

LiveScience.com

Accumulating evidence suggests curcumin and turmeric can treat psychiatric disorders


Living with a psychiatric disorder can be devastating for both sufferers and their loved ones. Unfortunately, many of the solutions offered by modern medicine do more harm than good while offering little in the way of relief. Thankfully, researchers have discovered that a compound in the popular Indian spice turmeric has the potential to effectively treat psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and depression.

You may have heard the fanfare about turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, which it gets from a compound within the spice known as curcumin. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been gaining popularity in Western medicine in recent years. This polyphenol is being revered for its protective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is being used to help fight cancer and stop the cognitive decline of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Non-toxic and affordable, it’s showing a lot of promise in helping deal with many of the health problems facing people today.

Image: Accumulating evidence suggests curcumin and turmeric can treat psychiatric disorders

The same anti-inflammatory qualities that make it so good at addressing issues like arthritis can also extend to mood disorders. Not only does it reduce levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and inflammatory interleukin-1 beta, but it also reduces salivary cortisol concentrations while raising the levels of plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

A study carried out by researchers at Australia’s Murdoch University found that curcumin extracts reduced people’s anxiety and depression scores. They noted that it was particularly effective at alleviating anxiety. Moreover, even low doses of the spice extract were effective in addressing depression. In addition, the researchers found it worked quite well on those with atypical depression, which is a marker of bipolar depression.

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Growing evidence of curcumin’s usefulness in addressing psychiatric disorders

Curcumin has been found in other studies to be just as effective as one of the most popular SSRI antidepressants on the market, Prozac, making it an excellent option for those who wish to avoid the negative side effects of this psychiatric medication. It works by raising levels of dopamine and serotonin, two vital neurotransmitters related to depression. In addition, because depression is believed to be caused by chronic inflammation, it makes sense that curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammation could alleviate depression.

Interestingly, studies have also found that when curcumin is taken either alone or with saffron, it reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression in those suffering from major depressive disorder. When taken alongside the herb fenugreek, meanwhile, it can reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety in those with extreme occupational stress. Curcumin supplementation has also been shown to significantly improve compulsiveness and memory loss in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It’s also worth noting that curcumin can be taken alongside antidepressants safely; studies have even shown taking the two together can enhance their effectiveness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that antidepressants carry a lot of risks, so it’s worth exploring whether curcumin alone could be enough to alleviate an individual’s depression.

The idea of curcumin helping with mood is supported by a study that was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry earlier this year. In that study, researchers found that participants who took curcumin supplements noted mood improvements, and they plan to explore this connection in a study of patients with depression. The researchers expressed optimism that curcumin could be a safe way to provide people with cognitive benefits; they also discovered the spice can improve memory.

Now, researchers are looking for ways to increase curcumin’s bioavailability so that people can enjoy the benefits of this all-star natural treatment. In the meantime, be sure to add black pepper to your dishes when cooking with turmeric or look for curcumin supplements that contain piperine, a black pepper extract, as this boosts its bioavailability.

Poorer Health Across the Board for Transgender Youth


More likely to report poorer mental, physical, preventive health

Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) youth reported poorer overall health than their “cisgender” peers, a new study found.

In the study, appearing in Pediatrics and led by G. Nicole Rider, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, TGNC youth more often reported their own health as poor, fair, or good, rather than very good or excellent compared with cisgender young people (62.1% versus 33.1%, P<0.001).

“Although research on youth who are transgender and gender nonconforming is in its nascence, studies indicate that adolescents who identify as TGNC versus cisgender experience significant mental health disparities,” the researchers wrote. “Vulnerability for poorer health outcomes reveals the importance of access to affordable, competent healthcare services for youth who are TGNC.”

Drawing upon data from the Minnesota Study Survey, the researchers included a total of 80,929 students between ninth and 11th grade in the analysis; 2,168 students self-identified as being TGNC. Other self-reported variables measured included health status, which included general and long-term physical and mental health, as well as care utilization, which measures nurse office visits and preventive care visits.

Between the gender identity groups of students, those who identified as being TGNC were more likely to be assigned the female sex at birth and receive a free or reduced-price lunch, and were less likely to be white compared with cisgender peers.

Overall, the health status and care utilization of TGNC youth was significantly worse for all measures assessed compared with cisgender youth.

In addition to more TGNC students reporting having poorer health, a greater percentage also reported a presence of long-term physical disabilities or health problems (25.2% versus 15.2%, P<0.001) and long-term mental health problems (59.3% versus 17.4%, P<0.001). They were also more likely to have stayed home from school due to illness at least once within the prior month (51.5% versus 42.6%, P<0.001).

While at school, a much higher percentage of TGNC youth had visited the nurse’s office at least once within the past 30 days (41.2% versus 25.9%, P<0.001).

Regarding preventive health check-ups, cisgender youth were significantly more likely to have medical and dental check-ups within the past year (64.7% versus 60% and 82.0% versus 71.1%, respectively).

In an accompanying commentary, Daniel Shumer, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, praised the study, writing that the researchers “were able to do what reasonable adults should do when confronted with something new and difficult to understand: they asked the children themselves.”

Shumer also pointed out that it was interesting to see how among the TGNC group, the majority of those assigned male at birth and those assigned female at birth perceived their own gender expression as equally feminine and masculine: “This is in stark contrast to the way that current medical guidance has focused almost exclusively on the treatment of transgender people with binary views of gender. Youth are rejecting this binary thinking and are asking adults to keep up.”

In the post-hoc analysis broken down by perceived gender expressions — which included “very feminine,” “somewhat feminine,” “equally feminine and masculine,” “somewhat masculine,” and “very masculine” — the only significant differences seen were in regards to long-term mental health problems.

 TGNC youth assigned male at birth who perceived themselves as very masculine reported a significantly lower amount of long-term mental health problems compared with all other perceived gender expressions, the study found. Similarly, those assigned female at birth and perceived themselves as very feminine also reported a lower amount of mental health problems compared with other gender expressions.

“With our results, we suggest that healthcare providers should screen for health risks and identify barriers to care for youth who are TGNC while promoting and bolstering wellness within this community,” Rider et al concluded. “Although youth who are TGNC generally appear healthy and many are using healthcare services, continued research and advocacy are needed to decrease barriers to care and improve health outcomes for these young people, particularly those whose perceived gender expressions transgress societal expectations.”

Physicists Conclude That The Universe Is ‘Spiritual, Immaterial , Mental’


When we look at the weird and wacky world of quantum physics, it can be hard to make sense of some of the things scientists have bee observing over the years.

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“We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.”Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate of the twentieth century (Radin, Dean. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences In A Quantum Reality. New York, Paraview Pocket Books, 2006)

One thing is for certain, ‘consciousness,’ or, factors association with consciousness (observation, measurement, thinking, intention) have a direct correlation with what we perceive to be our physical material world.

Max Plack, a physicist who originated quantum theory, regarded consciousness as “fundamental,” and matter as “derivative from consciousness.” He said that “we cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Eugene Wigner, a physicist and mathematician told the world that “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University said that:

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (“The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005)

Recently, Australian scientists recreated an experiment that proves reality doesn’t really exist until we are measuring it, observing it, or ‘looking’ at it, at least to on the scale of quantum mechanics. (source)

An experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the university of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function. It’s quantum entanglement, and it basically suggests that space is just the construct that gives us the illusion of separation. (source)(source)

All of these findings within quantum physics have led to the suggestion that ‘consciousness create reality.’ That is, factors associated with consciousness, like measurement, are somehow involved with our material world.

‘Consciousness Creates Reality’

The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. It is a great example that documents how factors associated with consciousness and our physical material world are connected in some way.

One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)

In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern. (source)

“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” (source)

Although this is one of the most popular experiments used to posit the connection between consciousness and physical reality, there are several other studies that clearly show that consciousness, or factors that are associated with consciousness are directly correlated with our reality in some way. A number of experiments in the field of parapsychology have also demonstrated this.

Sure, we might not understand the extent of this connection, and in most cases scientists can’t even explain it. However they are, and have been observed time and time again.