Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil.
Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.
Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain.
In foods and beverages, ginger is used as a flavoring agent.
In manufacturing, ginger is used as for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
One of the chemicals in ginger is also used as an ingredient in laxative, anti-gas, and antacid medications.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for GINGER are as follows:
More evidence is needed to rate ginger for these uses.
Ginger is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Some people can have mild side effects including heartburn, diarrhea, and general stomach discomfort. Some women have reported extra menstrual bleeding while taking ginger.
When ginger is applied to the skin, it may cause irritation.
Pregnancy: Using ginger during pregnancy is controversial. There is some
concern that ginger might affect fetal sex hormones. There is also a report of
miscarriage during week 12 of pregnancy in a woman who used ginger for morning
sickness. However, studies in pregnant women suggest that ginger can be used
safely for morning sickness without harm to the baby. The risk for major
malformations in infants of women taking ginger does not appear to be higher
than the usual rate of 1% to 3%. Also there doesn’t appear to be an increased
risk of early labor or low birth weight. There is some concern that ginger
might increase the risk of bleeding, so some experts advise againsting using it
close to your delivery date. As with any medication given during pregnancy,
it’s important to weigh the benefit against the risk. Before using ginger
during pregnancy, talk it over with your healthcare provider.
Breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using ginger
during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don’t use it.
Bleeding disorders: Taking ginger might increase your risk of bleeding.
Diabetes: Ginger might lower your blood sugar. As a result, your
diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Heart conditions: High doses of ginger might worsen some heart
Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Ginger might increase how much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) the body absorbs. Taking ginger along with cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) might increase the side effects of cyclosporine.
Ginger might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking ginger along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, metformin (Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.
Ginger might reduce blood pressure in a way that is similar to some medications for blood pressure and heart disease. Taking ginger along with these medications might cause your blood pressure to drop too low or cause an irregular heartbeat.
Some medications for high blood pressure and heart disease include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Ginger might slow blood clotting. Taking ginger along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Ginger can increase how much metronidazole (Flagyl) the body absorbs. Taking ginger along with metronidazole (Flagyl) might increase the side effects of metronidazole.
Interaction Rating = Major Do not take this combination.
Taking ginger along with nifedipne might slow blood clotting and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Phenprocoumon is used in Europe to slow blood clotting. Ginger can also slow blood clotting. Taking ginger along with phenprocoumon might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your phenprocoumon might need to be changed.
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Ginger can also slow blood clotting. Taking ginger along with warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Ginger might lower blood sugar. Using ginger along with other herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar might lower blood sugar too much. Herbs that might lower blood sugar include devil's claw, fenugreek, guar gum, Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and others.
Using ginger along with herbs that might slow blood clotting could increase the risk of bleeding in some people. These herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, turmeric, and others.
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