Some evidence suggests that ginger may help with weight loss. People can include it in drinks and recipes or take it as a supplement. However, more research into ginger for weight loss is necessary.

This article discusses the evidence, ways to use ginger for weight loss, precautions, and potential side effects. It also gives other tips for weight loss.

Person grating ginger for weight loss over a bowl.Share on Pinterest
Westend61/Getty Images

Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. People have been using the plant’s edible root for hundreds of years as a culinary spice and an herbal remedy.

People can use the raw fresh root or dried powder.

Some evidence suggests the compounds in ginger may have medicinal properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These may benefit the body in numerous ways.

Some people believe ginger can be helpful for weight loss.

According to a 2017 review, compounds called zingerone and shogaols in ginger may help with weight loss. These compounds may be beneficial in the complex bodily processes that burn and store fat.

A 2015 study had women with obesity take two 1-gram (g) tablets of powdered ginger per day for 12 weeks. This group experienced significantly decreased appetite and body measurements compared with those who took a placebo.

The effect was more pronounced in people who had a particular set of genes. This may be a clue that ginger may work better for weight loss in some people than in others. However, scientists need to do more research to investigate this.

A connected study found that taking ginger had a small beneficial effect compared with a placebo, decreasing body mass index (BMI) and increasing markers of blood sugar control in women with obesity.

Another small study had 10 men take 2 g of ginger powder in a hot drink at breakfast. The participants experienced reduced feelings of hunger and enhanced thermogenesis, or heat production from calorie burning.

The study highlighted the potential role of ginger in weight management.

A 2018 review assessed the evidence for ginger’s effects on weight loss and other markers associated with obesity. The authors included 14 high quality studies in the systematic analysis.

Overall, it found ginger intake reduced the participants’ body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and some markers that reflected blood glucose metabolism. Ginger did not affect other markers, such as BMI and total cholesterol.

The current evidence for the effects of ginger on certain weight loss markers is promising but mixed. Scientists need to do more research on these topics before they can draw firm conclusions.

Even though the scientific evidence supporting the effects of ginger on weight loss is weak and mixed, authorities generally consider ginger safe to include in the diet.

People can add fresh root ginger to their recipes or use it to make tea.

Simple ginger tea

Here is how to make a simple ginger tea.

  1. Chop up a piece of ginger the size of a person’s little finger.
  2. Place chopped ginger in 150 milliliters of boiling water.
  3. Simmer for 5–10 minutes, then strain before drinking.

Grocery stores also sell ginger tea in tea bags.

According to some scientific research and anecdotal reports, other remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, green tea, and lemon, may help with weight loss.

It is important to note that there is not much evidence backing the weight loss effects of these foods, depending on the food. As with ginger, scientists need to carry out more research to further investigate their effects.

People can try combining ginger and lemon with green tea or making a spicy dressing with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and grated fresh ginger.

It is also worth noting that the amount of ginger present in ginger tea is likely to be a lot less than the quantities used in the studies cited here.

It is not advisable to drink ginger beer or ginger ale for weight loss. These drinks usually contain high amounts of added sugar.

However, drinking or making ginger kombucha or kefir without added sugar may be beneficial. These drinks contain natural probiotic bacteria.

Probiotics may be helpful for weight loss, according to some research.

People that prefer the convenience of supplements or do not like the taste of ginger can also take ginger supplements in capsule form.

Adverse effects of ginger are rare with doses of 500–1,000 milligrams per day, according to a 2017 review. The main side effect seems to be gastrointestinal discomfort.

The daily dose of ginger should not be higher than 1 g for pregnant people and 4 g for the general public.

Taking ginger as a powder may give some people heartburn. In these cases, people may prefer to take encapsulated ginger tablets.

Ginger may also increase the risk of bleeding, so people should stop taking ginger 1–2 weeks before they have any planned surgical procedures.

People taking medications that thin the blood, such as warfarin or aspirin, should speak with their doctor before taking ginger.

Limited evidence suggests that ginger may interfere with some medications by increasing stomach acid production. People taking antacids, H2 antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors should consult their doctor before taking ginger.

Some people have an allergy or sensitivity to plants in the Zingiberaceae family, to which ginger belongs. These individuals may experience symptoms such as dermatitis when using ginger.

A person can lose weight using many different methods. Here are a few basic, science-backed tips a person can follow to achieve healthful weight loss:

  • Set small, specific, realistic goals about how much weight to lose.
  • Eat a whole foods diet and limit processed foods.
  • Do some physical activity or some exercise daily.
  • Practice mindful eating.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Keep a food diary.
  • Find support from a weight loss buddy or group.

Some studies suggest that ginger may be beneficial for weight loss. Compounds in ginger have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They may help a person burn fat and regulate their blood sugar.

However, the research support for ginger’s weight loss effect is limited, and therefore more research into its properties is needed.

Ginger is easy to include in the diet as a tea or in recipes. A person may also opt to take ginger as a capsule. This may help protect against its potential gastrointestinal side effects, such as heartburn.

If a person is taking medication for a health condition or is planning for surgery, they should consult their doctor before taking ginger.