Ginger – 4 Ways It High-Octanes the Endometriosis Diet (and Healing and Killed the Pain)
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Ginger blasted my endometriosis diet into high gear.
The pain in my abdomen had been on and off for years, climaxing over 7-8 months to the point where I was white-knuckling it at times. Ugh.
If you've experienced a bout of endometriosis pain in your uterus, ovaries, or abdomen that knocked you on your butt, you know what I'm talking about. It can only be explained as labor-light.
The 36 hours I spent in actual back labor giving birth to my son was, on a scale of 1-10, a 55. Endometriosis pain, for me, felt like it got pretty close sometimes.
The doctor visits and options offered, left me still hurting and powerless - to the point that I had worried myself to tears with worst case scenarios. So I took to the internet to find answers.
"Endometriosis Diet," "How to Heal Endometriosis," "Endometriosis Cure..."
Different tidbits came up with each search, some of which I implemented, others I did not. But the biggest bang came when I added ginger to my diet.
Ginger - 4 Ways It High-Octaned My Endometriosis Diet and (Killed the Pain).
Ginger is an amazing spice. In fact, it's one of the most widely eaten in the world. It's been used for culinary and medicinal purposes throughout the ages dating back to the times of ancient Rome. Ginger's taste is just a tease of the healing powers it offers.
Ginger has many chemical components, and it seems that they continue to discover new facets of it regularly. But the two most studied constituents of are: Gingerol and Shogaol
- Gingerol is the active constituent of fresh ginger
- Shogaol is activated through heating and drying
Both of these constituents have powerful effects on women's health and wellness:
- balancing our hormones
- reducing our inflammation levels
- assisting in detox
All three of these things have been implicated in endometriosis, as well as other women's health issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
And while gingerol and shogaol have both been found to be similarly beneficial, in terms of having anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, if you are exploring ginger for a health issue, you'll want to do your research on which form could be most potent for you.
Ginger - How Can It High-Octane an Endometriosis Diet.
But let's talk the top 4 ways ginger can high octane your endometriosis diet:
1 - Ginger boosts NK cell activity (aka, boosts your immune system)
Some researchers believe that endometriosis results from immune disfunction - particularly a reduced innate immune response (natural killer cell activity).
...in women with endometriosis, multiple studies have shown that immune surveillance is impaired and the innate immune system appears to be unable to adequately respond to displaced endometrium within the peritoneal cavity. Specifically, a decrease in NK cell cytotoxicity and an enhanced activation state of monocytes and peritoneal macrophages has been documented in endometriosis patients.(1)
2 - Ginger reduces inflammation.
Endometriosis is considered a chronic inflammatory disease. Ginger is known have many anti-inflammatory effects, some of which include:
Ginger has been been found to suppress NF-κB signaling. (2)
It also inhibits the production of other pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and IL-37, both of which have been associated with endometriosis infertility. (5)
So, while it's pretty widely found that ginger is anti-inflammatory, knowing the specific ways it effects that upon the immune system and that those ways are related to endometriosis, makes ginger something to consider.
3 - Ginger has been found to reduce estrogen levels
Estrogen, via estrogen dominance, is thought to play a role in endometriosis (as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS), by stimulating the tissue growth. Ginger has been found to reduce estrogen levels. (3)
4 - Ginger assists in detoxification pathways
Certain toxins, such as PCB's, are known endocrine disruptors that are potentially linked to endometriosis by contributing to miscommunication between the endocrine and immune systems.
Ginger has been found to assist the body's detoxification pathways which could help against endometriosis. (4)
So now that you know all the amazing things ginger has to offer for endometriosis relief, you might be interested to know how I added ginger to my diet?
How I Added Ginger to My Endometriosis Diet
I decided that I wanted to get gingerol - vs shagaol. So fresh ginger was my go-to. I simply took a piece that was 1/2- full thumb size and blended it in a couple of ounces of apple juice.
This took a little bit of getting used to. It's a powerful taste, I'm not going to lie. And, the ginger does not completely lose it stringy texture, so chewing it goes with the territory.
But what I felt was pretty amazing!
Within about 5-10 minutes of taking the ginger, my lower abdomen would feel warm. Then the pain would subside in about 15-20 minutes, as if I took an ibuprofen.
When I first started this, it took me about 3 days for the pain to completely disappear. Now I only do this if I feel any pain creeping in - so I am not doing this regularly.
If this raw ginger/apple juice blend sounds too intense, you can try these ginger capsules that are standardized to 5% gingerol. I have not used these but trust this brand for other supplements.
Additionally, if you decide that shogaol is your ginger constituent of choice, this ginger supplement would be your go-to.
1. Herington JL, Bruner-Tran KL, Lucas JA, Osteen KG. Immune interactions in endometriosis. Expert review of clinical immunology. 2011;7(5):611-626. doi:10.1586/eci.11.53.
2. Hee Joo Kim, Joe Eun Son, Jae Hwan Kim, Charles C. Lee, Hee Yang, Soonham Sami Yaghmoor, Youssri Ahmed, Gingernone A Attenuates Monocyte‐Endothelial Adhesion via Suppression of I Kappa B Kinase Phosphorylation
3. Atashpour S, Kargar Jahromi H, Kargar Jahromi Z, Maleknasab M. Comparison of the effects of Ginger extract with clomiphene citrate on sex hormones in rats with polycystic ovarian syndrome. International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine. 2017;15(9):561-568.
4. Hodges RE, Minich DM. Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2015;2015:760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689.
5. Summary of "IL-37 affects the occurrence and development of endometriosis by regulating the biological behavior of endometrial stromal cells through multiple signaling pathways."Biological chemistry