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11 health benefits of ginger and the worst time to eat it

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Public Health Writer | Medical Researcher | Lifestyle blogger
Health benefits of ginnger 2023

Key Points of this article:

  • Ginger has numerous medicinal properties that aid in improving the body’s immunity and fighting against infections.
  • Ginger does not contain bad cholesterol, so it can help in weight loss.
  • Ginger has a protective barrier against diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Taking ginger for the first three days of your menstrual cycle can help reduce the pain and bloating that are associated with menstruation.
  • The gingerol contained in ginger serves as a natural pain reliever.
  • Ginger helps to manage and reduce chronic indigestion.

Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger

It is interesting how, in recent years through research and technology, the essence of food and herbs and how they are associated with reducing chronic illnesses and improving longevity have become widely known to the general public.

Among these herbs that you have in your kitchen that have numerous health benefits is none other than ginger.

Right from ginger lemon tea to preparing savory dishes, it has been shown that the health benefits of ginger encompass potent activation of your body’s defense mechanisms against disease and medicinal effects for fighting against already existing illnesses.

For thousands of years, ginger has been part of traditional culture (Mediterranean culture and Asian culture) in building the body’s immune system and fighting diseases such as colds, stomach upsets, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

There is no other time than now to pay attention to this rhizome, especially in this era where science, through research, endeavours to establish how food and herbs can be used as treatments in conjunction with the prescribed drug to increase the efficiencies of the drug in our body. In other words, when you are taking a certain medication, the food or herb you eat determines how effectively the medicine will perform what it is intended to do.

This article elaborates on the health benefits of ginger and the worst time to eat ginger.

What is Ginger?

Before diving into the health benefits of ginger, let’s understand what ginger is.

Ginger, with the Latin name Zingiber officinale, comes from a yellowish-green flowering plant in the Zingiberaceae family, as with turmeric and cardamom.

The ginger rhizome grows underground like a root at about 4 feet high above the ground, and its stem has nodes where the leaves and roots grow.

health benefits of ginger
Credit: Thinkstockphotos

The spicy rhizome contains tons of beneficial compounds, such as shogaols, gingerols, paradols, and zingiberene. The health benefits of ginger are enormous, and these benefits prompted its use in cosmetics. In the beauty industry, ginger is seen as one of the potent herbs in combination with other herbs or essential oils that is more effective than Botox treatments. Ginger benefits also extend to the food industry to add flavour to meals and in home remedies as well.

The health benefits of ginger come from the bioactive substances that benefit your body and brain. Ginger is safe for your consumption even during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but should be used in moderation. However, when consumed in large quantities, it may affect you with symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal irritation

Ginger does not contain bad cholesterol or fat but contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and selenium which are essential for your body.

If you want to prevent cardiovascular diseases, improve your digestive functions, lose some body weight, and manage osteoarthritis, then include ginger in your diet plans and feel the amazing wonders of ginger. The health benefits of ginger are as follows:

11 Surprising health benefits of ginger

Gingerol in ginger has powerful medicinal attributes

The health benefits of ginger lie in its anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungi attributes known as gingerol, found in raw ginger root. In Far East traditional medicine, ginger is regarded as Jiang, meaning defend, while in Indian Ayurveda healing, ginger is known as Vishwabhesaj, meaning common medicine.

Gingerol is the substance in ginger’s natural oil, and that gives ginger its flavour and aroma. The above-mentioned properties of ginger aid in improving your immunity and fighting against infections, abating fevers, and alleviating headaches, and some symptoms that are related to the flu and cold.

Ginger can help keep some viruses and bacteria away, and this corresponds with an article that highlighted that ginger has a protective barrier against diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus (a bacteria found on human skin, armpits, noses, groins, and other areas of your body), Escherichia coli AKA E. coli (a bacteria present in the lower part of the warm-blooded human intestine), and Candida albicans (a yeast found among the gut flora).

Alleviate osteoarthritis

The gingerol contained in ginger serves as a natural pain reliever. Osteoarthritis causes bodily discomfort, such as joint stiffness and pain. However, ginger has an anti-inflammatory property that helps reduce arthritis pain in your body and raises mobility in your joints. This health benefit of ginger replaces the anti-inflammatory medication that is usually prescribed for arthritis as a natural option. Ginger can help reduce migraines.

Lowers cholesterol levels

Your health can benefit from ginger consumption when trying to lower your cholesterol level. High levels of bad cholesterol are related to cardiovascular problems, and ginger has been shown to aid in reducing bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and, in turn, increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL).


health benefits of ginger in 2024
Credit: ALR

May reduce menstrual pain

Ginger aids in reducing menstrual pain, also known as dysmenorrhea, during a woman’s monthly cycle. Taking ginger for the first three days of your menstrual cycle can help reduce the pain and bloating that are associated with your monthly cycle. Among the over-the-counter medications for relieving menstrual pain, ginger is considered the best remedy for reducing menstrual pain.

Can help treat chronic indigestion

The health benefits of ginger extend to your small and large intestines. Ginger helps to manage and reduce chronic indigestion by making food movement and absorption in the stomach easier. Ginger also reduces the abdominal pain, belching, and bloating that you experience with chronic indigestion. A study advised that taking ginger before meals can ameliorate food indigestion symptoms, help digest food quickly, and promote healthy intestinal tract enzymes.

Helps with weight loss

You can also get the benefit of ginger when you want to lose weight. Inculcating ginger in your weight loss plan may help with your weight loss, as ginger perfectly promotes your body’s metabolism and controls your body’s insulin level. It makes you feel full, and this helps prevent you from eating more than you should.

Soothes morning sickness and other forms of nausea

health benefits of ginger 2024
Credit: Canva

The health benefits of ginger can be witnessed in its ability to ease the nausea and morning sickness that pregnant women experience. Ginger might help to reduce chemotherapy-related nausea, and vomiting, nausea associated with some surgery procedures.

Ginger may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant, and in your third trimester, especially if you have vaginal bleeding, it will be best to consult your healthcare professionals in this regard.

Improves brain function

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances in ginger benefit the brain through the removal of free radicals and a reduction in inflammation. The brain can decline over time with the presence of chronic inflammation; inflammation generally has adverse effects on your mental health, and chronic inflammation can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Ginger’s healthful substances increase the release of dopamine and serotonin, according to a study that aids with depression and anxiety. The anti-oxidants in ginger aid in cognitive performance and memory conditions by increasing the neuron’s ability to transmit information in the brain.

Prevent cardiovascular disease

The health benefits of ginger can be found in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Ginger contains a substance that thins blood, reducing the risk of blood clots and thereby abating your risk of experiencing strokes or heart attacks. Ginger also benefits your health by improving blood circulation and lowering your blood sugar levels, which aids your heart to optimally function at its best.

The benefits of ginger in your body can be ascertained by lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. An increase in cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease by clogging the arteries.

Younger and healthier skin

Healthy and younger skin is the benefit of consuming ginger. Ginger, with its anti-oxidant and anti-septic components, improves your skin by increasing your blood circulation. Anti-oxidants protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun, help to heal any irritated skin, reduce the rate at which your collagen breaks down in your body, and thus leave your skin looking younger.

The anti-septic compound contained in ginger also helps with acne and acne scars on your skin. The anti-septic properties of ginger can be vital with raw ginger.

May help fight cancer 

A study looked into the opportunity of intercepting cancer before it becomes a clinical problem. This is to show that there must be some certain lifestyle one must adhere to in order, to prevent cancer, and there is no doubt that adding a potent herb like ginger to your daily consumption is out of the question. Now we know that there are plenty of herbs and spices, like ginger, that are associated with reducing cancer.

Numerous medicinal attributes in ginger may help fight cancer cell growth in the body as well as help reduce side effects of chemotherapy, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of ginger help to fight and reduce any kind of cancer risk.

The worst time to eat ginger

Generally, there are no risks to consuming ginger unless you are allergic to it. It is also safe to consume ginger in any form you desire but in moderation. However, it is advised to speak with your doctor if you are having any of the conditions listed below:

  • Ginger is a very powerful herb and has anti-platelet properties; therefore, if you are on blood-thinning medication or are due to have a surgical procedure, you will need to alert your doctor.
  • Blood pressure: Some blood pressure medications are mix-and-match, some are calcium channel blockers; some are beta-blockers; and some take both types of these medications at the same time. So monitor your blood pressure if you are on any of these blood pressure medications because ginger will lower it, which is good, but you would not want it too low. Check with your doctor to adjust the prescribed medication to ensure your blood pressure stays in right the range.
  • Consuming ginger can help improve the function of the liver and gall bladder, but eating ginger on an empty stomach can stimulate the secretion of bile from the gallbladder to aid the digestion of food, and this mechanism may upset your stomach. I suggest you consume your ginger with food to avoid any form of digestive distress when your stomach is empty.
  • Ginger can be used for digestive problems but can cause excessive gas in some people, so if you are having a lot of ginger and experiencing lots of gas, just like garlic, then you must cut back on ginger.
  • It is known that lowering blood sugar levels is one of the health benefits of ginger. Therefore, if you are a diabetic patient and you are taking medication along with an excessive amount of ginger, that can cause some imbalances and may lower your blood sugar level, resulting in hypoglycemia, where your blood sugar is too low. Please monitor your blood sugar and consult your doctor.
  • The health benefits of ginger extend to the proper functioning of your heart; however, if you have an irregular heartbeat condition known as arrhythmia, taking excessive ginger can at times make the condition worse. So endeavour to speak with your cardiologist.
  • The health benefits of ginger are wide-ranging, but if you have chronic heartburn or acid reflux, ginger can exacerbate the condition; however, the use of capsules should be considered.

Ginger can be consumed raw, cooked, or as a dietary supplement, and it can be used in the preparation of many dishes ranging from savoury to sweet. Ginger is safe to apply to your skin, especially when it is used to soothe aching muscles.

To take advantage of the health benefits of ginger, you can add:

  • To tea by grating ginger into your tea.
  • With a fresh lemon squeeze, make ginger lemonade.
  • In your candy recipe, use ginger candy.
  • In soda water and lime as ginger ale.
  • In your main dish, as a food spice
  • In your vegetable salads.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where did ginger originate from?

It is not well documented where the ginger plant was first discovered, but some say it may have originated from the Pacific Islands. Notwithstanding, ginger is cultivated in some countries in Africa, South America, and most parts of tropical and sub-tropical Asia. There are some differences in taste, spiciness, and colour between gingers grown in all these places. Jamaican ginger is known for its burst of distinctive aroma, while Nigerian ginger gives a very sharp, spicy feeling when used. Irrespective of the region it is grown, the health benefits of ginger are still intact.

2. How much ginger should you take?

Ginger contains essential oils, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for body function. If you are about to take a ginger capsule for its benefits, ensure you look for a brand with good quality extraction that preserves the main ingredients for the most benefits. It is recommended to start off with a smaller dose, about 200 mg per day, and then increase the dose gradually as time goes on, but never consume more than 4 g per day.

3. How can one use ginger to fight a cold?

Ginger is one of the natural herbs that contains vitamin C and is safe to use in many forms to achieve greater results. The health benefits of ginger are enormous and can be used internally and externally as well. Internally, ginger is mostly known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. Every car-sickness or sea-sickness tablet sold in pharmacy shops is made with compressed ginger. If you are down with a cold and need to warm yourself up, all you need to do is grate ginger in about a tablespoon measurement, put it in a little teapot, add boiling water, and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, and then drink it.

4. How can I use ginger to alleviate joint pain?

The easiest way to use ginger to combat externally inflamed joint pain such as arthritis, gout, an inflamed back, or a sprain, is to make a ginger poultice by grating ginger in a clean cloth or towel that can be easily applied to the affected area of the body and bandaging it for about 4 hours. The heat from ginger relaxes the muscles and pulls the inflammation out of the affected area; however, the skin around the area where ginger poultice is applied might get hot. This is because the inflammation has been pulled out.

5. How can you preserve ginger at home?

Preservation of ginger at home is not difficult, but make sure that you purchase fresh, smooth, and firm ginger bulbs. Ginger is best stored fresh and unpeeled, wrapped in a towel, and placed in an airtight container. At home, ginger can be frozen and stored for up to three months, that way the health benefits of ginger are also preserved.

How Telemedicine Can Help

Health benefits of ginger in 2024
11 health benefits of ginger and the worst time to eat it 6

When consumed properly, ginger provides numerous health benefits. However, knowing the right timing and amounts can be a little tricky. You can’t be driving back and forth to the hospital for consultations and you also cannot substitute the information on articles for medical advice.

This is where telemedicine comes in.

Telemedicine services allow people to remotely consult with nutritionists and healthcare professionals who can provide personalized guidance on incorporating ginger into their diet for maximum efficacy.

With telemedicine platforms like KompleteCare, you can conveniently access medical doctors who will offer personalized guidance on utilizing ginger’s health benefits. These professionals will assess your health profile and recommend ginger consumption patterns based on specific health goals.

Additionally, you will get clarification on the potential interactions of ginger with medications or advice on managing specific conditions.


Ellis, R. R. (2022). Health benefits of ginger.

Eman, A. M. (2014). Medicinal herbs and therapeutic drugs.

Gonzalez, G. (2022). 10 health benefits of ginger.

Kim, S., Kwag, E., Yang, M., & Yoo, H. Efficacy and safety of ginger on the side effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Rath, L. (2023). Does ginger help with arthritis.

Richter, A., & Leech, J. (2023). 11 proven health benefits of ginger.

Umenze, C. (2023). 11 health benefits of ginger in 2023.

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Catherine Umenze

Catherine Umenze is a South Africa-based freelance health writer and researcher with an exemplary skill in content editing. Her passion lies in making complex health information easier to understand. Catherine's areas of expertise include psychology, fitness, nutrition and sexual health.

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