If you heat ginger in a frying pan, the gingerol contained within will slowly transform to shogaol, which has a sweeter, but still pungent flavor. Like gingerol, it possesses amazing pharmacological properties. First of all, it is effective in treating a cough and the common cold. It helps to lower blood pressure and gastric contraction. Like gingerol, it has positive cytotoxic, or cell-killing, properties when exposed to cancer, especially of the bowels.
One of the more incredible properties of shogaol, however, is that it promotes memory and brain function. According to a research team lead by Dr. M. Moon, “A growing number of experimental studies suggest that 6-shogaol, a bioactive component of ginger, may play an important role as a memory-enhancing and anti-oxidant agent against neurological diseases,” including dementia and Alzheimer’s. It also reduces inflammation of the brain.
This chemical, like shogaol, derives from dehydrating gingerol in some way. It is often accomplished by heating it or by drying it. Zingerone has several of the other alimentary effects of gingerol and shogaol, but this compound, which is found in high amounts in powdered ginger offers one benefit that the other two don’t: it actively fights enterotoxin-induced diarrhea. You may laugh, wondering how diarrhea could possibly match up against cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. If you do, you probably don’t know that enterotoxin-induced diarrhea is the number one cause of infant mortality in developing countries. Adding a healthy dose of powdered ginger into family meals should keep everyone healthy and also regulate their digestive tracts.
It’s pretty amazing that the compounds contained within ginger have the ability to fight cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and infant mortality. What’s more amazing is that much of the research on the health benefits of ginger are still very preliminary. Because this research is in its early stages, we might find even more advantages to this amazing rhizome root. So, brew yourself a cup of ginger tea and be healthy!