The Consumer

Ginger is a good painkiller

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I rarely take any medication for headaches anymore. I discovered that a cup of salabat (ginger tea), even the instant variety, is a more pleasant way to banish the pain. So I keep a jar of instant salabat both at home and in the office for headache relief.

Now it seems my faith in ginger for pain relief has scientific basis. Michelle Schoffro Cook reports in the website Care2 Make a Difference that a new study, published in the journal Arthritis, found that ginger was as good as, if not better than, popular remedies and certain drugs for the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—two conditions that can be very painful.

Anti-inflammatory agent

Cook quotes the authors of the study as saying “ginger extract was as effective an anti-inflammatory agent as betamethasone in this in vitro model.” Inflammation is associated with joint pains among the arthritic.

Ginger, says Cook, was compared to ibuprofen and betamethasone (cortisone) in the study. Ibuprofen, a popular pain remedy, was found to have no effect whatsoever on the production of cytokines—immune-regulating substances that can have inflammatory effects that cause pain.

While betamethasone reduces cytokines, Cook says it is linked to many side effects like vision problems, weight gain, swelling, shortness of breath, depression and seizures.

Cook says other studies confirm the findings that ginger has excellent pain-relieving properties.

New banking products

The BPI Family Savings Bank has launched, with MasterCard, a no-frills credit card. It is available to people with a minimum income of P15,000 and boasts of the lowest annual membership fee of P1,000 and a finance charge of 2 percent, also the lowest in the market.

The very first credit-card offering of the subsidiary of the Bank of Philippine Islands, the new product,  explained BPI president Aurelio Montinola III, was designed for people who did not really want the rewards for credit-card use but simply wanted something to tide them over during emergencies or cover unexpected expenses.

BPI Family Savings Bank president José Teodoro Limcaoco said the initiative was just another attempt of the family-oriented bank to provide an affordable solution to the specific needs of its clientele.

Meanwhile, parent company BPI has launched mPOS, described as a “convenient and affordable business solution that is specifically made for business on the go.” Taking advantage of the latest technology, mPOS is designed to make the iPad, iPhone or any Android phone or tablet a credit-card acceptance terminal.

Cashless transactions

If you are a BPI client, find out from your branch how you can use this facility that will make it possible to do cashless transactions even in weekend specialty markets and tiangge.

The bank also launched recently the BPI Mobile Wallet, “an innovative product that uses a device allowing Near Field Communication (NFC) in certain mobile phones.” Users can make over-the-counter purchases without cash and credit or debit card using their phone, which can be loaded with up to P10,000.

While transactions are secured by the bank, phone owners will have to be extra vigilant against thieves. If their phones get stolen, whatever amount is in their mobile phones can also be used by felons.

Initially available for certain Blackberry models and iPhone 4S with iOS 4 or 5, users of other smartphones will be allowed access to the service gradually. Find out from BPI details of this facility.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or

e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph

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