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People have used ginger in cooking and medicine since antiquity. It remains a popular home remedy for nausea, stomach pain, and other health issues.
People typically use fresh or dried ginger in cooking or herbal tea, and some take ginger supplements for their possible health benefits.
Ginger root comes from the Zingiber officinale plant, and it has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for
In this article, learn more about these and other possible health benefits of ginger, and the research behind them.
Ginger may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Below are some of ginger’s potential medicinal uses.
Reducing gas and improving digestion
According to a
In addition, the research shows that ginger may help increase movement through the digestive tract, suggesting that it may relieve or prevent constipation.
Ginger also appears to have
A 2016 review suggests that the odor-producing principles gingerols and shogaols are effective in preventing nausea and vomiting. However, the amounts of those compounds can vary, depending on the form of ginger. The researchers determined that dried ginger, followed by fresh ginger and powdered ginger tea had the highest concentrations of gingerol.
One study that the review analyzed included 576 adult cancer patients. The scientists found that doses of 0.5 grams (g) and 1.0 g were most effective at reducing nausea.
Of the seven studies analyzed, five showed ginger to be beneficial, while two found no beneficial outcomes. The authors of the review suggest that the mixed results may stem from differences in the forms and preparations of ginger.
They also called for further studies in humans, in order to fully understand the effects of ginger on nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Supporting the immune system
Many people use ginger to help recover from a cold or the flu. However, the evidence supporting this use is mostly anecdotal.
In an older
A small 2019 study on the effects of ginger extract on smokers and nonsmokers found that daily consumption of ginger extract was associated with a stronger antibody response in nonsmokers.
However, confirming ginger’s effects on the immune system will require further research.
However, the authors noted that the studies in their meta-analysis were small and may not represent the general population.
Meanwhile, a 2017 review of 16 clinical trials determined that the phytochemical properties in ginger may combat inflammation. These authors also called for further research into the most effective dosages and types of ginger extract.
A 2016 review concluded that ginger may specifically help reduce dysmenorrhea — pain right before or during a period. However, the authors acknowledge that the studies they had reviewed were often small or of poor quality.
Fully exploring a connection between ginger consumption and pain relief will require more research.
Supporting cardiovascular health
There is some evidence that ginger extract may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Determining whether ginger may support treatment for those with cardiovascular disease will require further research.
Meanwhile, a small
Lowering cancer risk
Ginger does not provide protein or other nutrients, but it is an excellent source of antioxidants.
Oxidative stress can happen when
When they build up in the body, free radicals can cause cellular damage, which can lead to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart attack, chronic inflammation, and cancer. Dietary antioxidants can help the body get rid of free radicals.
The review concludes that ginger may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in certain types of cancer or contribute to the death of cancer cells in other types.
As the Department of Agriculture notes, 2 teaspoons of ginger provide only
Most of the research on ginger has looked at dosages of between 250 milligrams (mg) and 1 g, taken between one and four times each day.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers ginger root to be generally safe with an approved daily intake recommendation of up to
The FDA considers ginger to be safe in the diet, but it does not guarantee or regulate its use as a medicine or supplement.
Before adding more ginger to the diet or taking a ginger supplement, consult a healthcare professional. Some supplements can interact with medications or cause other health complications.
Some research indicates that ginger may improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, among other benefits.
However, studies often test very high dosages of extracts. A person may not experience positive health effects from simply adding more ginger to their diet.
Also, studies investigating the health benefits of ginger have often been small or inconclusive. Fully understanding the effects and safety of ginger supplements will require more research.
Is ginger safe to take during pregnancy?
Aim to take less than 1,500 mg of ginger extract per day. Ginger is also available as a tea or as chewy or hard candies.
Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.