People can make ginger tea using fresh ginger or a store-bought tea bag. Although ginger is generally safe, some people may experience mild side effects — such as heartburn, diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain — after consuming it.
This article will discuss the potential side effects of ginger tea, alongside some possible benefits.
It will also look at the safety of consuming ginger tea during pregnancy.
According to one 2019 systematic review, ginger can cause mild side effects. However, this is rare.
The sections below will look at these potential side effects in more detail.
Heartburn occurs due to acid reflux causing a burning sensation in the lower chest.
In one 2020 systematic review, 16 out of the 109 studies and reviews the researchers examined reported heartburn as an adverse side effect.
However, a 2014 article notes that consuming 1 g to 1.5 g of dried ginger per day can actually help treat heartburn.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) note that ginger may cause:
- abdominal pain, or stomachache
- gas and bloating
However, according to one 2016 article, ginger can increase gastric emptying. This, in turn, can help relieve the symptoms of abdominal pain.
Also, a 2019 article states that ginger can decrease the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which can work to reduce gas and bloating.
Ginger may encourage bleeding. This is because it inhibits platelet thromboxane. This is a substance that platelets make that causes the blood to clot and constricts the blood vessels.
There are also concerns that ginger may interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, according to the NCCIH.
For this reason, people should avoid consuming ginger before undergoing surgery. Those with bleeding disorders should also talk with a doctor before consuming any form of ginger.
Although ginger tea can cause some side effects, it also has some potential health benefits.
The sections below will look at these in more detail.
Reduced nausea and vomiting
Gingerols and shogaols, which are active compounds in ginger, may help relieve nausea and vomiting.
A 2016 article suggests that using ginger may be an inexpensive, effective, and safe way to help relieve nausea and vomiting in those who are pregnant or undergoing chemotherapy.
Ginger may also help relieve pain and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
A 2020 systematic review suggests that ginger may also be able to relieve menstrual pain, as well as pain that occurs due to osteoarthritis.
Ginger may also help relieve muscle pain. A small study involving 49 participants found that ginger decreased muscle soreness in athletes.
Ginger tea may help a person lose weight. For example, one 2018 review suggests that ginger may aid weight loss by:
- suppressing lipogenesis, which is the metabolic process that contributes to the storage of fat
- inhibiting intestinal fat absorption
- controlling appetite
Better blood sugar control
Ginger tea may also help people with type 2 diabetes achieve better blood sugar control.
Researchers saw that consuming 2 g of ginger per day reduced fasting blood sugar and other vital indicators of diabetes.
For this reason, ginger may have a role in helping control blood sugar levels.
Improved heart health
Ginger tea may help improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
Some research suggests that a daily intake of ginger may help lower the risk of chronic heart conditions by:
Ginger tea is safe to drink. However, people should avoid consuming more than 5 g of it per day.
One study examined 1,020 people who used ginger during pregnancy. The researchers conclude that using ginger during pregnancy did not increase the chance of:
- a low birth weight
- preterm birth
- a low Apgar score, which is a test to check the newborn’s heart rate, muscle tone, and other signs
However, pregnant people should still consult a healthcare provider before consuming ginger.
A person can make ginger tea using store-bought tea bags. However, if they want to make their own ginger tea, they can do so using:
- Fresh ginger: Boil thinly sliced pieces of ginger for a few minutes.
- Dried ginger: Pour boiling water over the dried ginger and let the tea steep.
- Powdered ginger: Stir a small amount of powdered ginger into some boiling water.
The side effects of ginger tea may vary from person to person. It may cause heartburn, stomach upset, diarrhea, and bloating.
Although ginger tea comes with several side effects, it may also offer a wide range of benefits, including:
- pain relief
- better blood sugar control
- reduced nausea from morning sickness and chemotherapy
- improved heart health
- reduced hypertension
However, pregnant people and those with gallstone disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure should talk with their healthcare provider before incorporating ginger tea into their wellness regimen.
Other than warfarin and some other blood-thinning drugs, can ginger tea interact with any medications?
Ginger tea is generally safe when a person consumes it in moderation, but people should consult their healthcare provider before adding it to their diet if they have any medical condition or take any prescription or over-the-counter blood-thinning medication, any diabetes medication, any blood pressure medication, or metronidazole (Flagyl).Katherine Marengo, LDN, RDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.