Ginger is a plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It has many health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, anti-nausea, motion sickness and anti-cancer.
Ginger's health benefits are vast, as it offers a variety of protective effects. This includes the ability to inhibit oxidative damage, reduce inflammation, alleviate nausea and vomiting, potentially combat cancer, assist with asthma, address dementia, manage diabetes, provide relief for ulcerative colitis, support cardiovascular health, mitigate platelet aggregation, and help regulate cholesterol levels.
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection, and chronic inflammation could lead to various health diseases. Ginger works as an anti-inflammatory agent to alleviate inflammation-related conditions.
Furthermore, supplementing with ginger may assist in reducing body weight, as well as the waist-hip ratio and hip ratio, especially in individuals who are overweight or obese.
Precautions: Taking Ginger Safely while Enjoying Ginger's Health Benefits
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ginger root is considered safe; it can be consumed in amounts of up to 4 grams daily. This quantity falls within the range commonly used in cooking and herbal remedies.
Ginger should be taken with caution by patients who are on anticoagulant therapy (using blood thinners such as warfarin, aspirin and others), as it has been shown to increase bleeding by altering the anticoagulant effects of these medications.
Additionally, pregnant women should consult with their health provider regarding the recommended usage of ginger. Generally, they should not exceed a daily consumption of 1 gram.
Lastly, individuals with diabetes, heart conditions, and gallstones should seek guidance from their healthcare provider before incorporating ginger into their routine. Ginger has the potential to interact with medications or affect these conditions, underscoring the significance of seeking professional advice.
Ginger’s Side Effects
Generally, when ginger is used medicinally, it is well tolerated by adults. However, some users have reported mild side effects, such as a bad taste, occasional abdominal discomfort, heartburn, headache, and dry mouth.
To minimize the potential stomach-related side effects, it is advisable to consume ginger supplements in capsule form or take ginger alongside meals.
Potential drug interactions of Ginger
The primary interactions with ginger involve blood-thinning and diabetes medications. Blood-thinning drugs, such as Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), or Aspirin, can be affected. Ginger has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, which may increase the risk of developing hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar.
It has been suggested ginger supplementation could lead to a reduction in blood pressure among hypertensive individuals. Consequently, when taken alongside high blood pressure medications, it might cause a decrease in blood pressure or result in an irregular heartbeat.
It is recommended to refrain from using ginger in conjunction with herbal or health supplements that may impact blood clotting, such as Angelica, Capsicum, Clove, Danshen, Garlic, Ginkgo, Horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, Poplar, Red clover, Saw palmetto, Turmeric, and Willow.
Additionally, it is advised to avoid combining ginger with herbal or health supplements that could potentially lower blood sugar levels, such as:
Panax ginseng, Psyllium
Absolutely, if you are taking any medications, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating ginger into your routine.
How to Supplement with Ginger
It is important to note that while ginger’s potential health benefits are promising, their effects could vary based on factors such as dosage, individual health conditions, and whether ginger is consumed fresh, dried, or in capsule form, among other factors.
Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes to explore these potential benefits. Our naturopathic doctors are happy to discuss ginger and any other oral supplements as well as highly-absorptive IV drips.