Ginger has been revered as a culinary and medicinal spice in many traditional cultures. It is also a very powerful herb with numerous proven health benefits. Read this post to learn more about ginger and how to make the best use of ginger for your health.
Ginger is a spice originated from the rhizomes of the plant Zingiber officinale. It is commonly used in cooking in many Asian, Ayurvedic, and middle eastern cuisines.
Ginger is a relative of curcumin.
It is most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues.
Ginger may also be used as a pain-reliever and may be used as a treatment for degenerative health disorders.
Ginger has shown to display antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Active Ingredients In Ginger
All of these compounds have antioxidant activities, while some of them have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antimicrobial, and liver-protecting activities (R).
Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger
1-Dehydro-(10)-gingerdione, an active ingredient in ginger, can regulate inflammatory genes by inhibiting NF-κB pathway (R).
Ginger inhibits release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from macrophage in cell studies (R).
Ginger reduces serum CRP in human subjects (R).
In addition, ginger has been clinically proven to have many anti-inflammatory benefits, including:
1) Ginger is an Effective Painkiller
Ginger effectively reduces subjective pain reports (R).
2 grams day of ginger may modestly reduce muscle pain from resistance exercise and prolonged running, particularly if taken for a minimum of 5 days (R).
Ginger is as effective as diclofenac (an NSAID pain medication) for pain management, without leading to digestive discomfort (R).
2) Ginger Helps with Menstrual Cramps
3) Ginger Helps with Osteoarthritis
Some research shows that ginger improves the effect of osteoarthritis, while other studies show that ginger is only effective during the first treatment so it more research is necessary to determine the true effectivity (R).
4) Ginger Helps with Allergy and Asthma
Ginger is better for people with Th2 dominance.
5) Ginger Helps with Eczema
Eczema is Th2 dominant condition, so it make sense that ginger helps.
Ginger Aids Digestion
6) Ginger Promotes Gut Integrity
Ginger increased prostaglandins in the stomach lining (while NSAIDs decrease) in osteoarthritis patients who develop stomach problems from long term NSAID use (R).
Animal studies confirm that ginger reduces stomach lesions, possibly by inhibiting growth of Helicobacter pylori and through reducing stomach acid secretion (R).
7) Ginger Helps with Nausea and Vomiting
8) Ginger Can Reduce Stomach Discomfort
Ginger stimulates gut flow (peristalsis). However, the exact effects of ginger vary depending on different species of mammals (R).
Ginger accelerates stomach emptying into the small intestines in healthy people, so it can help in the case of overeating or indigestion (R).
A small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial shows that ginger can help with digestive symptoms in people who frequently have upset stomach (functional dyspepsia) (R).
Ginger does not affect gallbladder movements (R).
Ginger can regulate bowel transit in rats with irritable bowel syndrome (R).
Ginger Helps with Liver Detoxification
9) Ginger Protects the Liver
Supplementation with ginger, together with alpha-lipoic acid, help slow down age-related structural changes in old rats (R).
Ginger can help protect tuberculosis patients from liver toxicity due to antituberculosis drugs (R).
Ginger protects the kidney and liver against cadmium toxicity in rabbits poisoned with cadmium (R).
Ginger protects against aluminum toxicity in rats (R).
10) Ginger Protects Against Oxidative Stress
Ginger is an effective antioxidant as part of an anti-tuberculosis therapy (R).
Ginger Has Anti-Cancer Effects
Several active compounds in ginger are potent against the hallmarks of cancer.
11) Ginger Can Induce Cancer Cells Death by Apoptosis
Ginger terpenoids can induce apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells through p53 activation (R).
Zerumbone, an ingredient in ginger, can induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells through the p53 signal pathway (R).
12) Ginger Can Sensitize Cancer Cells to Radiation
Zerumbone can sensitize colorectal cancer cells to radiation, making radiation therapy more effective (R).
13) Ginger Can Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth
14) Ginger Stops New Blood Vessels that Allows Cancer Cells to Grow
Cancer cells develop the ability to grow new blood vessels called angiogenesis. Ginger inhibits angiogenesis in skin cancer (R).
Administration of 6-gingerol to mice injected with melanoma cells inhibits pathways necessary for angiogenesis, including VEGF and bFGF (R).
15) Ginger Protects DNA
Ginger can help protect sperm DNA against oxidative stress, suggesting that it can help improve fertility in men (R).
16) Ginger Inhibits Cancer Cell Migration
6-Gingerol inhibits metastasis (cell migration) of breast cancer cells in a cell study (R).
Ginger Helps with Cardiovascular Risks
17) Ginger Improves Blood Cholesterol/Triglyceride Profile
Ginger improves blood CRP, blood sugar markers, and cholesterol/triglyceride profiles in human subjects (R).
18) Ginger May Prevent Hardening of the Arteries
6-Gingerol can protect cells that line the blood vessels from oxidative stress, suggesting that it might help prevent hardening of the arteries (R).
Ginger Helps with Metabolic Health
19) Ginger Improves Blood Sugar Levels
20) Ginger Helps with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
12 weeks of supplementation with two grams of ginger daily significantly reduced several liver enzymes, inflammatory cytokines, and insulin resistance index compared to placebo (R).
Ginger essential oil protects the liver against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and related metabolic diseases induced by high-fat diet in obese mice (R).
Treatment with ginger helps reduce fructose-induced fatty liver and high triglyceride levels in rats by acting through the liver’s carbohydrate sensor (R).
21) Ginger Can Mitigate Obesity from a Poor Diet
Ginger is an Antimicrobial
Ginger is an effective antiviral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. However, most of the studies are done in cell-based studies. Additional clinical studies may be necessary to confirm the safety and effectiveness of ginger for the treatment of infectious diseases.
22) Fresh Ginger Inhibits Cold Viruses
23) Ginger Kills Bad Bacteria
- Staphylococcus aureas
- Staphylococcus pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Pseudomonas aeroginosa
- Salmonella typhimurum
- Escherichia coli
Methanol extracts of ginger effectively inhibits the growth of 19 strains of Helicobacter pylori, including drug-resistant strains, in a cell study (R).
24) Ginger is an Effective Antifungal
Ginger is an effective antifungal at concentrations below 1 mg/ml (R).
Use and Dosage of Ginger
1 capsule (1.2 g) of ginger is generally effective as a digestive aid.
2 g/day is a well-researched dose for anti-inflammatory effect.
Ginger tea or water extract of ginger can help with cold and digestive symptoms.
Ginger juice (fresh squeezed) is the only effective form of ginger to ward off cold viruses before symptoms worsen (R).
At a high dose, ginger may cause acid reflux and stomach upset. While ginger is generally safe up to 10 grams, the risk of adverse effects is individual.
Ginger Risks, Side Effects
- Ginger seems to have little, or no side-effects but may aggravate acid reflux in some individuals (R).
- Ginger may affect blood clots, so it should not be taken at the same time as blood thinner medications (R).
- The effects of long-term supplementation of ginger remain to be determined.
- Ginger contains actives that suppress human cytochrome P450 activity, so it may interact with drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes (R).
- Ginger lowers blood pressure by blocking voltage-dependent calcium channels (R).
- Ginger helps with allergies and inflammation, and protects against oxidative stress by activating the Nrf2 pathway (R, R2, R3).
- Ginger suppresses Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway (R).
- Ginger inhibits NF-κB signaling (R, R2).
- 6-Shogaol inhibits growth and apoptosis, and induces autophagy of non-small cell lung cancer by directly regulating Akt1/2 and mTOR pathways (R, R2).
- Ethanol extract of ginger activates AMPK and inhibits mTOR in pancreatic cancer cells, and stimulates autophagy (R).
- Ginger activates the PPARδ pathway (R).
This post has been cowritten and reviewed by a PhD in Genetics.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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