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Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD

Scientific Name:

Zingiber officinale.

Other Common Name:

Jengibre, Ancoas.

Parts of the plant used:

The rhizomes (underground stems).

How is it used?

Ginger root can be used as a tea, in capsules, or extracts. Some nutritional supplements may also contain Ginger as a digestive aid or flavoring.

What is it used for?

Against nausea and vomiting during motion sickness and seasickness. To treat “morning sickness” during early pregnancy. To prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting after surgery. Ginger is sometimes used as an alternative to some antihistamines. To reduce vomiting in patients treated with chemotherapy. As an appetite stimulant and to promote digestion. Ginger is also used to reduce bloating. For temporary relief and protection against gastrointestinal ulcers. To improve blood circulation. To lower blood sugar in the treatment of diabetes. To lower blood pressure. Ginger is also used as an anti-inflammatory against rheumatic pain and arthritis. Ginger’s active principles have antiseptic action when applied to the skin for minor cuts and scratches. For the treatment of migraine headache. Against sore throat and minor respiratory ailments. The content of the active principles of this plant is not uniform and can vary significantly between plant varieties and regions in which ginger is grown. Some commercial ginger preparations lack any medicinal activity, as the plant’s essential components have been extracted before packaging.


Safety / Precautions


  • Ginger is usually regarded as safe in small amounts (up to 4 grams per day), especially as a condiment or flavoring.
  • Even though ginger is used to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy (“morning sickness”), caution should be exercised in taking large amounts (more than 4 grams per day).
  • Ask for professional advice before Ginger preparations during pregnancy, unless prescribed by a health professional, as the possible effects on the developing fetus have not yet been studied in depth. Only one clinical study in humans has shown no undesirable effects.
  • The properties and effects of fresh and dry ginger root may not the same. Avoid ingesting dry ginger root during pregnancy.
  • Do not use in large doses in patients with gallstones, as ginger’s effects may stimulate the gall bladder, worsening symptoms and causing unnecessary pain.
  • Ginger’s components may interfere with normal blood clotting. As a precaution, suspend the use of this herb at least one week before surgery.
  • Large doses of ginger may cause cardiac effects, depression of the central nervous system and heartburn.
  • Do not use concurrently with other plants or herbal products that may interfere with normal blood clotting, such as garlic, ginseng or ginkgo, for example.
  • Do not use concurrently with drugs that interfere with blood clotting, such as aspirin, heparin or warfarin (coumadin).
  • If used to treat motion sickness, do not combine ginger with other medications for the same purpose, such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) for example, since their possible interactions are currently unknown.
  • Avoid taking concurrently with medication to lower blood sugar, as Ginger could theoretically increase their effects and cause an undesirably low level of glucose in the blood.

Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication: Always be on the safe side!