photodune-1826593-ginger--xsThis funky looking root packs much more than a unique look. From inflammation to healing, the benefits of ginger are many. Whether you drink ginger tea or shave some into your stir-fry, see how your body can benefit.

Reduce Muscle Pain

A study by the University of Georgia found that a daily supplement of ginger reduced the amount of muscle pain caused by exercise by 25%. In this study, both raw and heated ginger was tested, and both had the same result.

Use it: Shave raw ginger into your post-workout meal, and get an added boost of flavor, too.

Reduce Motion Sickness

While not every study on ginger and motion sickness has found that it can successfully reduce those queasy feelings, several studies do. While it may not work as well as other medications, it’s a great natural option for those who wish to avoid the alternative.

Use it: Flavor your water with ginger root on a road trip.  

Improve Blood Flow

High levels of chromium, zinc and magnesium allow ginger to help regulate your blood flow, and even improve it. In turn this helps to prevent chills, excessive sweating and fever.

Use it: Put a drop of essential ginger oil in your bath once a week.

Improve Absorption

By stimulating pancreatic and gastric enzymes, ginger is able to improve the absorption of essential nutrients in your body.

Use it: Put ginger powder into your morning smoothie to be sure your body reaps all the nutritional benefits.

Reduce Cold Symptoms

If you have a case of the common cold—think coughing, stuffy nose and congested sinuses—have some ginger, which acts as a decongestant and antihistamine.

Use it: Drink a cup or two of ginger tea every day that you’re feeling sick.

Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A study published in Evidence Based Complementary Medicine reported that middle-aged women who consumed ginger saw an improvement in memory and reduction in oxidative stress, both of which are key components in reducing your Alzheimer’s risk.

Use it: Mix ginger paste into your pesto for a fresh taste and brain boost.

Improve Weight Control

If you don’t produce enough stomach acid, ginger can help stimulate your digestive system, allowing you to properly digest your meal. Improper digestion has been linked to weight gain, thus ginger can help you control your weight. This root also helps you feel full longer, so you’re less likely to snack often.

Use it: Put ginger powder in your breakfast muffins to help you feel full all day long.