10 Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. It’s among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.

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 as an oil or juice. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.

Here are 10 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.

  1. Fights Germs

    Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger help your body ward off germs. They’re especially good at halting the growth of bacteria like E.coli and shigella, and they may also keep viruses like RSV at bay.

  2. Keeps Your Mouth Healthy

    Ginger’s antibacterial power may also brighten your smile. Active compounds in ginger called gingerols keep oral bacteria from growing. These bacteria are the same ones that can cause periodontal disease, a serious gum infection.

  3. Calms Nausea

    The old wives’ tale may be true: Ginger helps if you’re trying to ease a queasy stomach, especially during pregnancy. It may work by breaking up and getting rid of built-up gas in your intestines. It might also help settle seasickness or nausea caused by chemotherapy.

  4. Soothes Sore Muscles

    Ginger won’t whisk away muscle pain on the spot, but it may tame soreness over time. In some studies, people with muscle aches from exercise who took ginger had less pain the next day than those who didn’t.

  5. Eases Arthritis Symptoms

    Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which means it reduces swelling. That may be especially helpful for treating symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. You might get relief from pain and swelling either by taking ginger by mouth or by using a ginger compress or patch on your skin.

  6. Curbs Cancer Growth

    Additionally, certain studies show that bioactive molecules in ginger may slow down the growth of some cancers like colorectal, gastric, ovarian, liver, skin, breast, and prostate cancer.

  7. Lowers Blood Sugar

    One recent small study suggested that ginger may help your body use insulin better.

  8. Eases Period Pains

    Got menstrual cramps? The ginger powder may help. In studies, women who took 1,500 milligrams of ginger powder once a day for 3 days during their cycle felt less pain than women who didn’t.

  9. Lowers Cholesterol

    A daily dose of ginger may also help you battle your “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels. In a recent study, taking 5 grams of ginger a day for 3 months lowered people’s LDL cholesterol by an average of 30 points.

  10. Relieves Indigestion

    If you live with chronic indigestion, also called dyspepsia, ginger could bring some relief. Ginger before meals may make your system empty faster, leaving less time for food to sit and causing problems.

Although regarded as safe for a broad range of complaints, ginger is a potent herb that acts pharmacologically, so it may be unsuitable for some people, including:

  • People with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones
  • Those who frequently experience heartburn or acid reflux
  • Those with low blood pressure or on blood pressure medications. These individuals should consume ginger in moderation because of its potential blood-pressure-lowering effects

If you’re unsure or concerned whether it is safe for you to consume ginger, consult your GP for guidance.