Ginger is known to be one of the healthiest spices on the planet. Ginger root is a plant, originally from China, that is widely used as a form of plant medicine. It is loaded with bioactive compounds that hold strong benefits for both your body and brain. Ginger root belongs to the ‘Zingiberaceae’ which is closely related to the popular spice, turmeric. When harvested, the underground part of the stem (rhizome) is the part of the ginger plant that is most commonly used as a spice. This is why it is often referred to as ginger root.
Ginger root can be used in various ways to tackle bad digestion or to fight nausea or the flu/cold. Ginger root can be ingested fresh, dried, in powder form, as a juice or oil, etc. Ginger root is becoming a very common ingredient in recipes. Anyone that has tried a piece of ginger root will tell you that it has an incredibly sharp and distinctive flavor that is often explained as a lingering spiciness/burning sensation. It seems, you either love it or, you hate it and there seems to be no real in between.
With the growing knowledge on why incorporating ginger into your diet is beneficial, the ways one can introduce ginger into their diet also grows. If you find it hard to include ginger root into your diet for any reason, there is a solution for this. With the world of supplements rapidly expanding, you can get an abundance of nutrients available in the form of a supplement. This way, one can include a large number of important nutrients into their diet via a pill/capsules. In this case, you can find ginger root supplements on the market as well. Taking a ginger root supplement once a day or during more required times can hold great benefits.
In this article, we will briefly go over why you may want to introduce a ginger root supplement into your diet and how it can help you in various aspects.
Are ginger root supplements effective for menstrual cramps, nausea, arthritis, etc?
If you have experienced menstrual cramps/pains, you know they are no joke. Some women are lucky enough to only experience very mild menstrual cramps when on their periods, whilst other women are not quite as lucky. Severe menstrual cramping is often treated with very high doses of pain medication. Some menstrual cramps can be so severe that the pain can surprisingly send painful vibrations throughout the body, leaving ones legs/back/arms/etc in a lot of pain as well. Unfortunately, nausea is common a symptom of menstrual cramps. Experiencing nausea is often linked to dysmenorrhea/cramping. However, did you know that you can treat menstrual cramping/nausea with ginger root supplements?
Overall studies support the effectiveness of ginger when it comes to treating the pain of menstrual cramps and general dysmenorrhea. A meta-analysis found that ingesting 750-2000 mg of ginger root supplement and/or ginger powder during the first 3-4 days of the menstrual cycle is the most effective dose for severe dysmenorrhea. A separate meta-analysis compared ginger to placebo, which determined that ginger is more effective than placebo.
Research has shown that ginger root supplement compounds may increase digestive responsiveness and speed stomach emptying, which can result in reduced nausea. Ginger root supplement has anti-inflammatory properties and may support the release of blood-pressure-regulating hormones to calm your body and reduce nausea overall. Ginger root supplement may be as effective as some anti-nausea medications whilst holding fewer side effects. This suggests that it is maybe worthwhile trying to swap your normal pain/anti-nausea medications for ginger root the next you feel nauseous or the next time your menstrual cycle begins.
Let’s move on and take a brief look into osteoarthritis and how ginger root supplements can be used as an aid. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Millions of individuals suffer from osteoarthritis around the globe. Osteoarthritis occurs from the unfortunate case of the protective cartilage that cushions the end of one’s bones wears down over time, leaving no protection from 2 bones grinding against one another. As you can imagine, this is extremely painful and can lead to a long list of issues. Although this can happen all over the body, it is most common to occur in the hands, hips, knees and spine.
When it comes to osteoarthritis, there may be some seriously surprising benefits when applying gel/cream that contains ginger to affected areas. According to one study conducted in 2015, ginger extract can improve osteoarthritis in knees when applied. The participants in this study applied ginger extracts three times each day for a length of 12 weeks. During these 12 weeks. They experienced reduced levels of pain and other symptoms linked to their osteoarthritis. If there is hope for ginger root supplements to help treat such pains, is it not worth the medical world to take it into more serious consideration?
What are the main side effects of taking ginger root supplement?
When considering the side effects when taking ginger root supplements, it is very important to take the dosage into account. Most things have the ability to be toxic/dangerous to us when taken in unnecessarily large dosages. For example, we know that garlic is very healthy in moderate dosages, however, a larger dosage of garlic extracts can be dangerous – this also goes for ginger root.
If one were to ingest a large amount of ginger root extract (more than 5g each day), there are some things to look out for. Consumption of large amounts of ginger extracts each day may result in gas, heartburn and mouth irritation. The average dose when taking ginger root supplements is 500mg amounts once or twice each day, this means a total of roughly 1g per day. Of course, small symptoms can occur when taking a recommended dosage of ginger root supplement, however, it is best to stay away from larger amounts and only take what is necessary.
Ginger root interactions with other substances:
The best way to know if you are in any danger when it comes to the side effects of the ginger root supplement, please make sure to consult your doctor for professional advice on what the correct dosage is for your lifestyle, body/diet/ and any other medications you are already taking. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions in regards to any restrictions on food/beverages or activities. Ask your doctor if there are any other blood-clotting supplements that you are already taking and if you should avoid taking ginger root supplement alongside it/them. The same goes for supplements that can lower your blood sugar just as ginger root supplement does.
More effective alternative and ‘natural’ remedies are surfacing in the medical community. Perhaps, ginger root supplements will hold a more important place in treatments one day. The more we can treat medical complications with alternative substances with fewer side effects, the better.