Ginger is a flowering plant, which holds a special place in many traditional Indian and Chinese medicines for its disease-preventing and health-promoting properties.

It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and it’s closely related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.

The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It’s often called ginger root or, simply, ginger.

Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or juiced. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.

In this article, we will be looking at two aspects of Ginger, its health benefits and the side effects.

Ginger Bioactive Composition:

There are at least 115 constituents in fresh and dried ginger varieties have been identified by a variety of analytical processes.

Gingerols are the major constituents of fresh ginger and are found slightly reduced in dry ginger, whereas the concentrations of shogaols, which are the major gingerol dehydration products, are more abundant in dry ginger than in fresh ginger.

At least 31 gingerol-related compounds have been identified from the methanolic crude extracts of fresh ginger rhizome.{1}{2}

Ginger has been fractionated into at least 14 bioactive compounds, including [4]-gingerol, [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol, [6]-paradol, [14]-shogaol, [6]-shogaol, 1-dehydro-[10]-gingerdione, [10]-gingerdione, hexahydrocurcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, gingerenone A, 1,7-bis-(4′ hydroxyl-3′ methoxyphenyl)-5-methoxyhepthan-3-one, and methoxy-[10]-gingerol.{3}

The proportion of each individual component in a sample of ginger depends on the country of origin, commercial processor, and whether the ginger is fresh, dried, or processed. {4}

#1… Ginger Side Effects:

Although ginger is generally considered to be safe, the lack of a complete understanding of its mechanisms of action suggests caution in its therapeutic use. {5}

Previous reviews{6}{7} have emphasized the importance of careful scientific research in establishing the safety and efficacy of potential therapeutic plant remedies and in defining the risks and benefits of herbal medicine, including ginger.

Ginger Side Effect On The Heart:

Heart experts recommend that those taking blood pressure medications should avoid ginger intake. It is believed that a high dose of ginger aggravates heart conditions and can lead to irregularities in the heartbeat.

Ginger Stomach Side Effects:

Ginger is a strong ingredient when consumed on an empty stomach may lead to gastric stimulation that leads to digestive distress and can upset the stomach too.

Gallstone And Ginger:

Some experts recommend that people with gallstone disease use caution with ginger as it may increase bile flow.

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Pregnancy and Ginger Intake:

According to gynaecologists, consuming ginger beyond the prescribed limit of 1500 mg per day may increase the risk of miscarriage. To be on the safer side, it is suggested to avoid too much ginger during pregnancy.

However, talk with your healthcare provider before embarking on any medication.

Blood-Clotting And Ginger:

Ginger can slow blood-clotting and may interfere with anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin, heparin, Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel), Fragmin (dalteparin), and Lovenox (enoxaparin).

Now you have known some side effects of ginger, but it’s heart-warming to note that some of these side effects occurs with excessive intake of ginger. 

#2… Ginger Health Benefits:

Ginger health benefits

It is important to note that Ginger Apart from its aromatic, pungent and hot taste, Ginger is a good source of many nutrients, vitamins and minerals and all these are well added to its health benefits.

Here are the lists of the amazing ginger health benefits;

Muscle Pain:

Exercise-induced muscle pain can easily be cured with the regular use of ginger.

Research suggests that consuming 2 grams of ginger per day will expressively reduce muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises.

However, ginger does not have an instant effect but may be effective at decreasing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. These effects are supposed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties it possesses.

Ginger Can Treat Cold and Flu:

This is traditionally used in many Asian countries against cold and flu. A study published{8} in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that fresh ginger shows antiviral properties against respiratory tract infections. It can be used in the form of tea for providing relief to sore throat and coughing.

Ginger Can Prevent Ulcer Occurrence:

Ginger prevents the occurrence of ulcers, which are generally characterized by bleeding and acute gastric irritability. According to a study published in 2016 in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, it is very effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which is ulcerogenic, thus keeping your stomach healthy.

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Reduces Arthritis Pain:

Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve{9} joint pain associated with arthritis. It contains gingerol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can improve movement in osteoarthritis, knee inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis, as cited in a study{10} published in Arthritis & Rheumatism journal.

Along with that, it also suppresses the inflammatory compounds like cytokines and chemokines at the source before they begin to affect the body.

Helps Against Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is one of the common medical condition in which the bones become stiff and fragile from loss of tissue, normally as a result of hormonal changes, or lack of calcium or vitamin D.

Research carried out on people with osteoarthritis of the knee suggest that frequent intake of ginger extract significantly reduce the pain compared to those who do not take them frequently.

Help To Manage Menstrual Cramp:

Ginger helps reduce the levels of prostaglandins in the body, hence it aids in relieving cramps and other forms of discomfort and pain during menstruation.

Scientists believe that high levels of prostaglandins contribute to increased menstrual cramps. These hormones function as chemical messengers are the key activators of symptoms such as cramps, pains, and fevers. According to a report published{11} in ISRN Obstetrics and Gynaecology, it can also help to reduce the severity of mood and behaviour during PMS.

Ginger Promotes Dental Health:

Ginger is known to inhibit bacterial, viral, and fungal infection, owing to the presence of gingerol in it. It also helps in maintaining{12} oral health by killing the pathogens in the mouth and keeping the teeth and gums intact.

Its antibacterial properties help ward off pathogenic bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (UTI), bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Helps Against Alzheimer Diseases:

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can speed up the ageing process. They are believed to be one of the important reasons for Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

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Certain research suggests that the antioxidants, as well as bioactive compounds present in ginger, can help to prevent inflammatory responses which occur in the brain.

However, there is some proof that proves ginger can enhance brain function effectively.

In research of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to increase reaction time and working memory. There are several types of research showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function.

Ginger Promotes Stronger Erection:

A known aphrodisiac, ginger was used in many cultures to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity. The book Ginger: A Versatile Healing Herb mentions the use in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac.

Its scent has a unique allure that helps in increasing fertility and establishing a sexual connection. This root also helps increase blood circulation.

Relieves Asthma:

Ginger has been used traditionally as a medicine to treat respiratory disorders. Recent studies{13} have also seconded its anti-inflammatory property. Zerumbone, an active compound, helps relieve asthma. Research{14} shows that the allergic airway inflammation is majorly caused by Th2 dominance and the spicy root is successfully able to suppress it.

Controls Diabetes:

Ginger helps regulate the blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Glycaemic and lipid abnormalities lead to long-term complications in diabetics, as per a research study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism in 2017.

Therefore, to improve your insulin resistance and control diabetes, consider adding this herb to your diet. Another study published in the journal{15} Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2014 demonstrated “daily consumption of 3 one-gram capsules of ginger powder for 8 weeks is useful for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Summary On The Ginger Health Benefits And Side Effects…

Just like any other medicinal herbs, please do consult your health officer before embarking on any herbal treatment. Furthermore, I urge you to visit your doctor if you feel unwell at any point.

I would like to hear from you, you can share your thoughts with us via the comments box or through feedbacks.

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