Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
Ginger has been used for 1000s of years as a food and medicine; it is likely one of the most ancient remedies valued by humans. Ancient Indian and Chinese cultures reportedly used ginger for a wide variety of conditions and modern day research has found it effective as an anti-emetic and anti-inflammatory agent, when taken internally. Random controlled trials using ginger extract have been found effective in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the primary cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in Western cultures. Current management is primarily through the use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication, with cortisone injections and joint replacements a final resort. There is a need for a self-administered, non-toxic, natural therapy that relieves osteoarthritis symptoms, with none of the disadvantages of conventional medication or surgical procedures. A treatment is needed to control symptoms that are: easy to administer, using minimal materials, comfortable to receive, with no known side effects. People with osteoarthritis require a simple treatment that supports the management of chronic pain, relieves their anxiety and improves mobility. This chapter introduces the significant effect on osteoarthritis symptoms, when ginger is applied externally rather than ingested internally. Four aspects are discussed: 1) ginger for arthritis, 2) ginger qualities and characteristics, 3) ginger for osteoarthritis and, 4) management and ginger therapy.