薑的新魅力

薑獨來獨往東西方數千年 , 從食用到藥用 , 魅力始終不減 。

但你可知道 , 家家戶戶廚房中不難找到的生薑 , 是天然的抗噁心藥 ?

暈吐得臟腑移位 , 吃暈車藥又覺得昏昏沉沉 , 會暈車的人都很苦惱 : 「不知道怎樣才能讓自己舒服一點 ? 」 暈機 , 暈車本來也是茱蒂 . 史蒂芬斯生活的一部份 , 比較幸運的是 , 有人跟她提到薑 。

她第一次嘗試是在起飛前半小時 , 效果卻不可思議 : 「真的很管用 , 我一點也不覺得不舒服 , 焦慮或噁心。」 藉著服用薑膠囊 , 1994年春天 , 茱蒂和會暈車的孫女潔西卡 , 終於可以一起搭飛機 , 享有一趟舒服 , 不難過的旅行 。

薑根 , 更精確地說 , 薑的地下莖 , 從久遠以前 , 已被中國 , 印度和其他亞洲國家用來減輕噁心 , 幫助消化 。

如果你的體質會暈機 , 暈船 , 暈車  , 現在該優先選擇的藥物 , 不見得非化學藥品不選 ,  可以在出發前半小時左右 , 喝些薑湯 。「薑是你在哪兒都能找到的 , 已知最安全 , 最古老 ,  最有效的抗噁心藥 , 」«神奇的天然藥物»作者珍恩.卡柏爾說 。

►天然的抗嘔藥

醫藥界一片「復古」的草本研究風潮中 , 現代西醫早就開始對薑另眼相看。1982年英國的醫學雜誌«刺胳針»率先刊載猶他州心理學家丹尼爾.毛瑞的研究報告 。

他發現 , 假如預先給研究對象1000mg的薑粉 , 然後叫他們坐傾斜的旋轉椅 , 與吃安慰劑的人相比較 ,  服薑的人比較不會噁心。後來 , 另一項對80位丹麥海軍候補軍官的試驗也顯示 , 比起服用安慰劑的人 , 在大浪襲擊前半小時服用薑膠囊(大約半茶匙的碎薑)的那些人 , 薑壓制住72%的人的噁心感 , 其中約38%的人覺得「受到薑的保護」 , 這保護性長達4小時 。

因此 , 在德國 , 薑是對抗因交通工具所造成噁心問題的天然武器;丹麥政府則證明薑可做為「風濕和旅行時的止嘔藥」 , 每年大約賣出 1400萬的膠囊;英國人也把薑視為一種成藥 。

國防醫學院航太醫學所的研究也初步證實 , 乾生薑磨粉服用 , 可經由胃黏膜吸收 ,  直接可以抑制胃蠕動的頻率與振幅 , 紓解胃部的不適感 。

傳統醫學裡 , 生薑早就是嘔家聖藥 , 長庚醫院中醫部藥局 主任楊榮季則指出 , 因為它可減緩腸胃的蠕動及收縮 。

►抵擋害喜

因為抗噁 , 止嘔 , 薑可說是女性的親密夥伴。在歐美 , 已經有些專家或產科醫師 , 會向孕婦推薦 , 用一點點薑去抵擋害喜現象 , 而且不會影響胎兒  。

李小姐懷孕頭三個月 , 看到食物就噁心 , 卻惟獨能吃任何有薑片煮的排骨湯 , 酸菜鴨湯 ,  「薑的微辣香氣 , 讓我好舒服 , 」她說 。

連許多女性在月事期間會有的嘔吐現象或寒性體質的經痛 ,  台北市立中醫院內科部主任鄭振鴻也說 , 聽聽老阿嬤的意見 , 以乾薑煮紅糖水 , 喝下去就會舒服些 。

薑裡具抗噁心的成分究竟是什麼 ? 很難確定。只知道從薑根分離出的生薑醇(gingerols)和薑烯酚(shogaols) ,  在動物實驗中 , 的確有止吐效應 。

根據國防醫學院的觀察 , 檢驗 , 乾薑細粉對血壓 , 心跳 , 呼吸量 , 腦波等中樞神經並沒有影響 ,  重要的是 , 它幾乎全在消化道起作用 。

所以 , 對一些人而言 , 薑比其他止噁藥理想 ,  主要就因薑對消化系統起作用 , 而不是腦部中樞神經 , 不會有惱人的昏昏欲睡 , 耳鳴 , 神經緊張等副作用  。

藥用之外 , 薑是廚房裡不可缺的大師 , 扮演「食物的香水」的角色 。它的芳香成分具有調味和促進食慾的作用。覺得料理不足以人垂涎時 , 加點薑末 , 食物就能搖身一變 。

►食物的香水

另外 , 傳統中醫理論裡 , 食物分寒 , 涼 , 溫 , 熱的性質 ,  料理時加性溫的生薑 , 可降低食物的寒涼性。振興復健醫學中心營養師謝宜芳指出 , 臨床上 , 薑有消除脹氣 , 紓解消化不良的功效 ,  食用生冷 , 魚 , 肉等食物 , 生薑去腥 , 解毒 , 又助消化 , 是不錯的配角 。

不過 , 台北醫學院生藥學研究所所長楊玲玲提醒 , 薑吃多了傷眼力 , 還是適量就好。«本草»已說明 , 雖然「薑久服通神明 , 生者尤佳」 , 但是 , 多吃就「少志 , 少智 , 傷心氣 。」

蘇東坡因為所貶的惠州之地 , 正好是盛產薑的地方。所以很懂得薑的好。喜歡美食的蘇東坡 , 發明 東坡羹 , 用雙層鍋同時煮飯和菜湯 ,  下層煮湯 , 用甘藍 , 蘿蔔 , 油菜和薺菜 , 再加薑和生米 , 煮開後再將飯層擱在上面 ,  使香氣和蒸氣均勻透入四方 。

煮魚的時候 , 東坡先生先用冷水洗淨 , 再抹一層鹽 ,  塞入甘藍嫩心於魚腹 , 加菊花煎熬 , 秘訣在半熟時加幾片薑 , 再灑酒和醃蘿蔔 , 最後加些橘皮 , 趁熱上餐桌 , 清香四溢 。

蘇東坡如此 , 世世代代的中國料理也傳承 , 想想看 , 如果中國菜限制用薑 , 會減色幾分 ?  薑一切開就有香氣 , 來源就在於成分中的揮發油類 , 辣味成分則為姜辣素 。

薑的年齡不同 , 姜辣素所含比例也不一樣 , 導致生薑和乾薑吃起來味道有異 。

生薑效用偏重在發汗 , 止嘔和解毒 , 烘乾或曬乾的乾薑則在溫中袪裡寒。夏季盛產的子薑 , 則是生薑的嫩芽 , 適合切絲生食 。

幾千年來 , 世界各地人類的文明進展中 , 都會妙用生薑 , 解決生活上的不適 , 包括 :

►驅寒

離島駐兵 , 部隊中常分配有薑糖 , 為驅風散寒 , 以免因為常待在濕氣重的坑道裡 , 造成以後的風濕痛。爬山時建議吃點薑糖 , 一則補充糖分 , 做為能量的來源 ,  一則也因為薑能散寒驅邪氣。楊玲玲教授指出 , 生薑可以刺激周邊循環 , 對循環不良 ,  凍瘡 , 抽筋 , 痙攣時有用 , 發燒時也有排汗作用 。黃色薑皮 , 味辛 , 性涼 , 有利尿消腫功能 。

►預防感冒

印度人傳統上把薑片浸在蜂蜜裡  , 供喉嚨痛時食用。中國人一向也知道 , 淋雨後以薑湯服下 ,  一來加強心臟跳動 , 血流加快 , 以保持身體溫度 , 能促使毛孔張開 , 去風邪 , 預防感冒 。

►止痛

鮮薑汁可對付胃潰瘍 , 十二指腸潰瘍患者的食後疼痛 ,  但不能根治。

►止偏頭痛

丹麥有研究發現 , 薑能減輕關節炎的症狀 , 且有助防止偏頭痛 。楊玲玲教授則建議 , 把 薑母切片 , 在烤箱中烤熱或放於平底鍋中烘烤後 , 熱貼於太陽穴或關節疼痛處 , 則薑中的精油成分會隨熱滲入皮下組織 , 減輕疼痛 , 並促進關節腫痛消失  。長相樸拙的薑 , 真是人類生活中不可或缺的好朋友 。
 

生薑, 洋蔥 可抗癌症
Ginger, Onion and Cancer

 

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, April 4, 2006 Ginger an Ovarian Cancer Killer
-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News

Ordinary ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die, highlighting the spice's potential in fighting the killer disease, a new study found.

Not only did ginger trigger ovarian cancer cell death, it did so in a way that may prevent tumor cells from becoming resistant to treatment, a common problem with chemotherapy.

The preliminary findings from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.

The Michigan team dissolved ginger powder in a solution and applied it to ovarian cancer cells in a laboratory. Ginger caused two kinds of cancer cell death. The first is called apoptosis, in which the cells essentially commit suicide. The second type of cell death is autophagy, in which cells digest or attack themselves.

"Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy -- which is associated with resistance to apoptosis. If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy," study author Dr. J. Rebecca Liu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, explained in a prepared statement.

The researchers' next step is to determine if ginger can achieve similar results in animals.

It's already known that ginger helps control inflammation, which contributes to the development of ovarian cancer cells. By halting inflammation, ginger may stop cancer cells from growing, the researchers suggested.


http://www.wkrc.com/guides/health/headlines/story.aspx?content_id=62AF05D8-7895-4137-B65D-DEE14EE63C4D
The Top Cancer Killer In Your Kitchen
6/1/2006 10:12:09 AM

It used to be in ancient Egypt that this vegetable was symbolic of eternity due to the endless rings you see inside. Now, science may be proving that this ancient myth is true...sort of. Onions, it turns out, may be priceless at warding off compounds that lead to cancer. One study specifically found that it is especially powerful for guys when it comes to prostate cancer. Epidemiologists working with the World Health Organization compared cancer information from 32 countries. They found that those with cultures where more of this pungent vegetable is consumed have a lower rate of prostate cancer deaths than those who don't eat this vegetable. Now, even though they were looking specifically at prostate cancer, there is an ingredient in onions called allium that other studies have shown is an effective immune booster and disease fighter. So, it may help fight off other cancers as well.

The other thing that may be important in foods like onions and garlic are sulfur-based compounds. These are what give these compounds their powerful odor. Researchers have linked these compounds to protection against esophageal and even stomach cancers. And here is what is really interesting: when researchers in this particular trial related to onion eating and other cultures compared mortality statistics with food consumption, they found that the most important factor for guys that increased the risk of death from prostate cancer was more meat and a diet high in animal fat. The most important factor for reducing the risk was eating onions!

It looks like you need about 15 calories a day from onion to get this benefit. One medium onion like this has about 46 calories, so that works out to about 1/3 of a typical onion. That means just cutting up a couple per week and mixing them in your cooking each night at dinner would be enough.


A Cancer Killer in the Kitchen
By Jon Herring

The powerful healing effects of ginger have been well documented. It's a proven remedy for upset stomach. Reams of studies show that it inhibits inflammation. And there is substantial evidence that it fights cancer too.

For instance, a recent University of Michigan study showed that when ginger was added to ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory, it caused the cancer cells to self-destruct (a process known as "apoptosis"). In a separate study at the University of Minnesota, researchers injected colon cancer cells into mice that were bred to have no immune system. Half of these mice were routinely fed gingerol, the main active component in ginger. The researchers found that the mice that were fed gingerol lived longer, their tumors were smaller, and the cancer did not spread as widely as in the control group.

With all these health benefits, you should be using ginger as often as you can. The best way I've found to get a healthy serving of ginger is to juice it. (The brand of juicer I use is an Omega.) Two or three days a week, I juice an apple or two, some carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and a big piece of ginger root. The ginger gives the drink a great flavor and a powerful anti-cancer kick. I highly recommend that you try it.


A Cancer Killer in your Kitchen
By John Susan Saradon.

The powerful healing effects of ginger have been well documented. It's a proven remedy for upset stomach. Reams of studies show that it inhibits inflamation. And there is substantial evidence that it fights cancer, too.

For instance, a recent University of Michigan study showed that when ginger was added to ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory, it caused the cancer cells to self-destruct (a process known as "apoptosis"). In a separate study at the University of Minnesota, researchers injected colon cancer cells into mice that were bred to have no immune system. Half of these mice were routinely fed gingerol, the main active component in ginger. The researchers found that the mice that were fed gingerol lived longer, their tumors were smaller, and the cancer did not spread as widely as in the control group.

With all these health benefits, you should be using ginger as often as you can. The best way I've found to get a healthy serving of ginger is to juice it. (The brand of juicer I use is an Omega.) Two or three days a week, I juice an apple or two, some carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and a big piece of ginger root. The ginger gives the drink a great flavor and a powerful anti-cancer kick. I highly recommend thatąP (source unknown)