Often called gingerroot, this spicy Asian flavor enhancer is actually a rhizome — an underground, horizontal-growing plant stem. Much more than just a zesty accent to baked goods and sushi, ginger contains potent compounds that help quell inflammation, ease nausea, and potentially lower blood pressure.



Eat it

To soothe osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, mince about ¼-inch slice of fresh ginger and add to food every day. Or mitigate hypertension and relieve motion sickness by taking ginger in capsule or tincture form. Talk with your health care practitioner about an appropriate dose.

Drink it

Combat a queasy stomach or morning sickness with simple ginger tea. Place one or two ½-inch slices of fresh ginger in a mug of hot water. Let steep for a few minutes, and drink.

To eliminate gas, sip nonalcoholic ginger beer — as opposed to conventional ginger ales, which often don't include any fresh ginger.

Rub it on

When massaged into skin, ginger creates a warming sensation that helps increase circulation, soothe sore joints, and relax muscles. Plus, antioxidants in ginger boost skin's ability to fight free radicals. Mix a couple of drops of ginger essential oil into a carrier oil and knead into problem areas.