Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few of its purposes. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. It’s responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body.