Consuming ginger daily is a good idea since ginger has so many benefits but you should exercise caution as too much ginger can be harmful.
Do not exceed 4 grams of ginger a day. And, women should avoid ginger during pregnancy and lactation.
Beyond 4 grams you are likely to feel unwanted side effects. In fact, excessive ginger intake can do more harm than good!
Side Effects of Taking Ginger Daily
Taking ginger on a daily basis or having too much could have side effects. The side effects range from mild ones to more serious ones. Here is a list of side effects you are likely to experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Mouth or throat burning/irritation
- Increased tendency to bleed
- Dermatitis (when used as a cream or oil)
These symptoms might subside after making your ginger intake a routine. However, if symptoms continue, then this may signify that you are sensitive to ginger. In this case, you should either stop using ginger or consult a doctor.
You Should Avoid Ginger if…
For regular healthy people, ginger poses no threat as such. But ginger tends to be not suitable in some situations.
1) Consuming Ginger During Pregnancy
Although ginger can be used to treat nausea, pregnant women may not want to use it for morning sickness. Various effects that ginger may cause include:
- Premature Birth
Since these are serious side effects, you may want to consult a doctor about taking ginger during pregnancy.
2) Pending Surgery
Ginger acts as a natural blood thinner which is good for people who have cholesterol. But in case you are about to have surgery, this is dangerous.
Experts say that you should not consume ginger 2 weeks before your scheduled date of surgery.
Another reason for this precaution is that ginger increases the tendency to bleed. Not something a surgeon would want to encounter during surgery.
Just to be safe you should stop taking ginger and resume after you have recovered from surgery.
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If you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, or blood disease inform your doctor before taking ginger. If your doctor gives you the nod, do not skip, start, stop, or change your medication/ginger dosage.
The reason is that ginger interacts with some medications and can cause health issues. It can make your medicine less or more effective.
Ginger interacts with the following medications:
Blood Clotting Medications
Using medicines that increase blood clotting could be inhibited by ginger. On the other hand, using medicines that slow blood clotting with ginger can cause blood to not clot in time.
Examples include: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Heparin, Warfarin
Both ginger and diabetes medication could work together to lower blood sugar in the blood. This poses a great threat since blood sugar levels could become too low.
Imminently, you will have to stop eating ginger or change your diabetes medicine dosage.
Examples include: Insulin, Glipizide, Tolbutamide
Blood Pressure Medications
You can use ginger to lower blood pressure. A combination of ginger and blood pressure-lowering medications can cause very low blood pressure. In turn, very low blood pressure can cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
4) Children Below 2 Years
Doctors urge you not to give ginger to babies and children below the age of 2 years. You can start them on ginger as they get older.
Ginger Health Benefits- Reasons to Take Ginger Daily
There are several valid reasons for consuming ginger on a daily basis. For example, it can help reduce side effects or improve overall health.
Conditions that ginger can help with include:
People undergoing chemotherapy have been told that ginger can help. Ginger reduces nausea but cannot stop it altogether.
Consuming 1 to 4 grams of ginger can help with nausea caused by chemotherapy. Do not exceed 4 grams, start off at a low dose. While treating nausea with ginger is a case of trial and error. Do not start with the highest dosage.
HIV/AIDS treatment can also be accompanied by the side effect of nausea. But using ginger can also decrease nausea during treatment.
Ginger exhibits high anti-inflammatory properties. Taking ginger orally can reduce pain in the knees caused by arthritis. Arthritis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the joints.
Studies show that a combination of ginger and Echinacea (coneflower) was successful in reducing inflammation in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
When it comes to using ginger for osteoarthritis pain, in particular, you can opt for one of the two dosages:
- Take 170 mg three times a day (ginger extract)
- Take 250 mg four times a day (ginger extract)
As you can see the doses are low as ginger extracts tend to be stronger and more concentrated than their fresh counterparts.
High ginger chemical concentrations are more effective against inflammation. This is because of high antioxidant amounts.
3) Digestive Aid
Although there is no scientific proof for this, many cultures suggest ginger aids digestion. Other studies mention that ginger helps to empty the stomach. This does not necessarily mean it will break down your food faster!
We would recommend Ginger as a digestive aid be consumed in its fresh form. Ginger in food or as a “herbal Ginger and lemon tea” is most ideal. Pre-packed ginger tea bags are also available in supermarkets.
4) Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger can help to stabilize blood sugar levels for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. However, this makes it even more important to keep an eye on sugar levels for diabetes patients.
Mild increases in sugar can be managed without medication if you use ginger in adequate amounts.
Ginger water acts as an add-on medication for migraines. Using painkillers and drinking ginger water together helps reduce pain caused by migraines.
You can use 500 mg of ginger every 4 hours (more than 2 grams a day should not be needed).
This helps if you do not want to be taking too many painkillers every day!
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Types of Ginger Forms
The most recognizable form of ginger is natural ginger rhizomes. Apart from this fresh appearance, ginger has many forms. These various forms make it easier for you to pick and choose how to consume ginger.
Here are some common ginger forms:
- Ginger tea
- Ginger tablets or capsules
- Creams or oils
- Ginger powder
- Ginger water
If taking ginger capsules, you will need to take it in a lower quantity. This is simply because ginger extracts are highly concentrated with ginger chemicals.
Of the above-listed forms, ginger tea is the most pleasant since you can easily add lemon or honey to improve the taste!
Adding fresh ginger to your lifestyle has many benefits that can contribute to a longer healthier life.
Can I be Sensitive to Ginger?
Yes, you can be sensitive to ginger. It is rare but not impossible.
Many people could be intolerant to raw ginger as it tends to be stronger in its raw form. One should not be forced to consume it as there are other ways to eat ginger besides chewing raw peeled ginger.
Ginger water, ginger in warm milk, or ginger tea are some pleasant ways to eat ginger. If one way doesn’t suit you, try another way. You can even incorporate it into your diet using a specially self-designed method.
Natural Ginger or Ginger Extract?
When possible, natural fresh ginger is always the best option for daily consumption. Fresh roots bear high concentrations of effective chemicals.
It is relatively easy to grow ginger indoors in pots. This will assure fresh healthy fresh ginger for daily consumption.
Ginger extract is suitable if you cannot get fresh ginger. If you are unable to stomach fresh ginger, it is easier to get it in a tablet form as well.
Ginger can be useful as a herbal supplement or natural remedy for a range of health issues.
It also has deterrent effects that can reduce the chances of cancer, tumors, infections, ulcers, and inflammation. This increases the need to add ginger to our daily diet.
But for people who have ongoing medications, are pending surgeries, or are pregnant, ginger is not the best treatment. It is best that you seek advice from a doctor.