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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Ginger
an herbal product - treats Motion sickness / seasickness, Rheumatoid arthritis, Shortening labor, Osteoarthritis, Migraine, Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, Nausea and vomiting, Urinary disorders, Weight loss, Nausea, and Anti-platelet agent

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DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Ginger supplements should be avoided by individuals with a known allergy to ginger, its components, or other members of the Zingiberaceae family, including Alpinia formosana, Alpinia purpurata (red ginger), Alpinia zerumbet (shell ginger), Costus barbatus, Costus malortieanus, Costus pictus, Costus productus, Dimerocostus strobilaceus, or Elettaria cardamomum (green cardamom). Allergic contact rashes have been reported, and these rashes may be more likely in people who work with ginger, who apply ginger to the skin, or who have a positive allergy test for Balsam of Peru. An allergic eye reaction has also been reported.

Side Effects and Warnings

Few side effects have been associated with ginger at low doses. There is a lack of available studies that confirm the long- term, safe use of ginger supplements. The most commonly reported side effects of ginger involve the stomach and intestines. Irritation or bad taste in the mouth, heartburn, belching, bloating, gas, and nausea have been reported, especially with powdered forms of ginger. There are several reports that fresh ginger that is swallowed without enough chewing can result in blockage of the intestines. Individuals who have had ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or blocked intestines should use ginger supplements cautiously and should avoid large amounts of freshly cut ginger. People with gallstones should use ginger with caution.

In theory, ginger can cause abnormal heart rhythms, although reports in humans are lacking. Some publications suggest that ginger may raise or lower blood pressure, although limited scientific information is available.

In addition, ginger may theoretically prevent blood clotting by preventing the clumping of platelets. In one study, gingerol compounds and their derivatives were shown to be more potent anti- platelet agents than aspirin. This raises a concern that individuals who are treated with medications that slow blood clotting or who undergo surgery may have a high risk of excessive bleeding if they take ginger supplements. Ginger is traditionally said to reduce blood sugar levels at high doses, but there is a lack of scientific evidence available. In one study, two of eight participants reported an intense urge to urinate 30 minutes after ingesting ginger. Ginger has also been associated with pinkeye (conjunctivitis), but this was considered a rare occurrence.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Some authors suggest that pregnant women should not take ginger in amounts greater than found in food (or more than 1 gram dry weight per day). There are reports that ginger can increase discharge from the uterus in menstruating women, and possibly lead to abortion, mutations of the fetus, or increased risk of bleeding. However, other reports state that there is a lack of scientific evidence that ginger endangers pregnancy. Little scientific study is available in this area to support either perspective, although ginger has been studied in a small number of pregnant women (to assess effects on nausea), without reports of adverse pregnancy outcomes. There is controversy in this area. The use of ginger in pregnancy is cautioned against in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, higher doses of ginger are generally used in Chinese medicine.

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