Ginger's Nutritional Profile
This data provides basic information about the herbal plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties. The profile includes information from the flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots of ginger.
Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called a rhizome). It is commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes.
What Ginger Is Used For
- Ginger is used in Asian medicine to treat stomach aches, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Many digestive, antinausea, and cold and flu dietary supplements sold in the United States contain ginger extract as an ingredient.
- Ginger is used to alleviate postsurgery nausea as well as nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, and pregnancy.
- Ginger has been used for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint and muscle pain.
How Ginger is Used
The underground stems of the ginger plant are used in cooking, baking, and for health purposes. Common forms of ginger include:
What Science Says About Ginger
Studies suggest that the short term use of ginger can safely relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Studies are mixed on whether ginger is effective for nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, or surgery.
It is unclear to what extent ginger is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle pain.
NCCAM-funded investigators are studying:
- Whether ginger interacts with drugs, such as those used to suppress the immune system.
- Ginger's effect on reducing nausea in patients on chemotherapy.
- The general safety and effectiveness of ginger's use for health purposes, as well as its active components and effects on inflammation.
Side Effects and Cautions for Ginger
- Few side effects are linked to ginger when it is taken in small doses.
- Side effects most often reported are gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea. These effects are most often associated with powdered ginger.
- Tell your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.
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