Aug. 27, 2021
Black ginger, you may have never heard of this superfood before, but you should pay close attention to this emerging supplement. Yes, it's related to the ginger you use to flavor Asian recipes. It's also related to turmeric, whose potent curcumin component is being studied for life extension, pain relief, and as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The root of the flowering plant, black ginger looks just like regular ginger until you cut it off. On the inside, this horseradish is dark purple, almost black. When dried, it does take on a darker charcoal color. That's where it gets its name.
Thailand is the home of this herb. It has been used as a food and medicine in Thailand for over a thousand years. In Thai medicine, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including allergies (not surprisingly, since ginger has antihistamine properties), gout, diabetes, fatigue, and dysentery.
Black ginger extract is more readily available as a dietary supplement than as a food ingredient. Supplement preparations include pills made from powdered black ginger extract with honey, herbal liquor with honey, blends with other herbs, and capsule and tablet forms (source).
Imagine burning more calories after taking a dose of KPE. That's what happened in a 2015 study that concluded that KPE increased the activation of brown adipose tissue (source). Brown adipose tissue plays a crucial role in energy expenditure (source). These results are similar to the results of a 2014 study on the effects of KPE on brown adipose tissue in mice (source).
Black Ginger Extract
Studies like this one suggest a potential impact of black ginger on the prevention of weight gain. Improved metabolism can have beneficial effects elsewhere. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, improved glucose burning can promote weight loss. AMPK has been linked to lower fat and improved muscle tone in animal studies.
Although more research is needed, black ginger extract may be a natural way to fight cancer. In a 2018 study, ovarian cancer cells were treated with KPE and cell proliferation and cell migration were found to be positively inhibited. kpe induced cell death (source). In a 2017 study, KPE was also found to significantly inhibit cell migration in cervical cancer cells (source).
Today, common acne affects many people worldwide. Bacteria are responsible for acne, including strains of Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus . In one study, different concentrations of KPE were tested on these pro-inflammatory bacteria (source). higher concentrations of KPE were associated with reduced viability of both bacterial strains (source). This was associated with a reduction in the bacteria and the inflammation they cause.
Black ginger extract may be a healthy alternative to some traditional medicines that may have side effects. It is available in several forms. It can be added to sweet and savory dishes or as a dietary supplement. Always consult your dietitian or doctor before trying any new supplements.
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