Ginger may have numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and other properties. It may help you lose weight, manage arthritis, reduce menstrual symptoms, and more.
Ginger comes from a flowering plant originating in Southeast Asia. It adds flavor to sweet and savory foods and has a range of health benefits. 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.
You can use ginger fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It features in many recipes as well as processed foods, home remedies, and cosmetics.
Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.
1. Contains gingerol, which has potent medicinal properties
Ginger has a long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few of its purposes.
The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. It’s responsible for many of ginger’s medicinal properties.
Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to
Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
2. Can treat morning sickness and other forms of nausea
Ginger may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery, and it may also help reduce chemotherapy-related nausea.
While generally safe, it’s best to talk with a doctor before taking large amounts if you’re pregnant.
Taking ginger every day may help prevent morning sickness and other types of nausea.
3. May help with weight loss
Ginger may play a role in weight loss, according to studies in humans and animals.
Ginger’s ability to influence weight loss may be due to certain mechanisms, such as its potential to reduce inflammation.
According to studies in animals and humans, ginger may help improve weight-related measurements. These include body weight and the waist-hip ratio.
4. Can help with osteoarthritis
One review concluded that ginger may help reduce pain and disability.The participants took 0.5–1 gram of ginger per day for 3–12 weeks, depending on the study. Most had a diagnosis of OA of the knee.
However, many discontinued treatment as they did not like the taste of ginger or because it upset their stomach.
Some studies suggest ginger can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially osteoarthritis of the knee.
5. May lower blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors
Some research suggests ginger may have anti-diabetic properties.
The review looked at results from 10 trials, in which participants took 1,200–3,000 milligrams (mg) per day for 8–13 weeks.
The results did not suggest that ginger supplements affected the lipid profile.
After 12 weeks:
- their fasting blood sugar was 12% lower
- their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were 10% lower
- their apolipoprotein B/ apolipoprotein A-I ratio was 28% lower
- their malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were 23% lower
A high apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratio and high levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) can result from oxidative stress, a byproduct of oxidative stress. They are both risk factors for heart disease.
However, this was one small study, and more research is needed to confirm these results.
A 2019 review also found evidence that ginger can reduce HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes, but the authors did not conclude that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels.
Ginger may lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes.
6. Can help treat chronic indigestion
Ginger may help manage indigestion by speeding up the passage of food through the stomach.
Functional dyspepsia is when a person has indigestion — with symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, feeling too full, belching, and nausea — for no clear reason. It often occurs with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In one study,
Ginger appears to speed up the emptying of the stomach, which can benefit people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.
7. May reduce menstrual pain
Ginger may help relieve dysmenorrhea, also known as menstrual pain.
Some research has suggested that ginger is more effective than acetaminophen/caffeine/ibuprofen (Novafen) in relieving menstrual pain.
However, more studies are needed.
Ginger may be as effective as some medications against menstrual pain.
8. May help lower cholesterol levels
However, it may be hard to include such high doses of ginger in your diet, particularly if you don’t like the taste of ginger.
There’s some evidence that ginger can significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
9. May help reduce cancer risk
Ginger may have anticancer properties due to gingerol and various other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
However, most studies relating to ginger and cancer risk have not involved humans.
Ginger contains gingerol, which appears to have protective effects against cancer. However, more studies are needed.
10. May improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease
Animal studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain.
11. Can help fight infections
Ginger’s antimicrobial properties could make it useful for fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
Laboratory studies have found it may be effective against:
- Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which is responsible for a range of diseases
- Escherichia coli (E. coli), a cause of intestinal infections
- Candida albicans (C. albicans), which causes fungal infections in the mouth, vagina, and so on
However, more studies are needed.
Ginger may help fight harmful bacteria and fungi, which could reduce your risk for infections.
If you want to add ginger to your diet, you can do so through what you eat and drink. Here are a few recipes to try:
Ginger is safe for most people to consume in moderation.
In large doses, however, it
- abdominal discomfort
- mouth and throat irritation
It is likely safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it is best to speak with a healthcare professional first.
What are five health benefits of ginger?
Ginger has many possible health benefits. For instance, it may help reduce nausea, manage weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, protect nerve function, and reduce the risk of cancer.
What vitamin does ginger contain?
One teaspoon of raw ginger contains
Who should avoid ginger?
Ginger is likely safe for most people to use in moderation. There is no evidence that it is unsafe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, but it is best to check first with a health professional.
Ginger contains nutrients and bioactive compounds that may have a range of benefits for your body and brain.
It may help manage nausea, prevent infections, reduce the risk of cancer, and more.
However, more research is needed to confirm that ginger has these benefits.