You may be most familiar with ginger’s ability to ease symptoms of nausea and stomach upset, but the healing benefits of this spicy flowering plant go back to ancient times for its ability to treat not only nausea, but also symptoms of joint and muscle pain, cough, bronchitis and more.

Here are a few scientifically-proven health benefits of ginger.

Plagued with period pain? You may want to give ginger a try. A review article examining the effectiveness of oral ginger for treating symptoms of dysmenorrhea concluded that ginger could be effective for relieving menstrual pain and cramping. In the studies reviewed, the daily dose of ginger ranged from 750 to 2,000 milligrams, and it was most commonly given for the first three days of menstruation.

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the U.S., effecting 10 percent of women and 13 percent of men over the age of 60. According to a study of adults with chronic osteoarthritis, topical ginger treatments in the form of a patch alleviated symptoms of osteoarthritis and subjects who used the patches reported a better quality of life.

Other studies have found ginger effective at relieving symptoms of pain and inflammation due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends doses of up to 2 grams daily (given in three divided doses), or drinking up to 4 cups of ginger tea per day.

Looking to boost your calorie burn? A study out of Columbia University found enhanced thermogenesis (a process where the body burns calories to produce heat) in overweight men who drank a concoction of ginger powder dissolved in hot water with their breakfast meal. They also reported reduced feelings of hunger on the days they consumed ginger, suggesting that ginger could play a role in healthy weight management.

Try:

Oregon’s Wild Harvest Ginger Capsules. Each capsule contains 500 milligrams of organic ginger.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Herbal Tea. With 1,500 milligrams of ginger per cup.

Spicely Organics Ground Ginger. Add to smoothies or your favorite drink.

Karen MorseKaren Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, YouBeauty.com and others.