Known to reduce motion sickness and nausea, have a soothing effect on the digestive tract, and help remedy a cold, ginger offers a variety of health benefits. New research shows the spice can also help to support memory and cognitive function in middle-aged women, according to a report by the Nigerian Tribune.
In the study, published in 2012 issue of the “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” researchers considered 60 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 60 in Thailand, who received either a placebo or a standardized ginger extract of 400 or 800 milligrams daily for two months.
The women’s cognitive function and memory was assessed at the beginning and end of the time period, and those receiving the ginger supplement reported a significant improvement in cognitive functions, and an enhanced working memory compared to the placebo group, according to the report.
Researchers found daily ginger intake, especially at a higher amount, led to improvements in four key brain functions: power of attention, accuracy of attention, speed of memory, and quality of memory, the report stated.
“Ginger extract enhances both attention and cognitive processing capabilities of healthy, middle-aged women, with no side effects reported,” according to the study. “Our data revealed that ginger extract is a potential brain tonic to enhance cognitive function for middle-aged women.”
However, the researchers stated the use of ginger in enhancing memory and cognitive function should be performed with caution because of the possibility of the extract interacting with medications, including anaesthesia, anticoagulants, and analgesics, which could lead to arrhythmias, poor wound healing, bleeding, photosensitivity reaction, and prolonged sedation, the report stated.