What is Ginger Root for?
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 treating upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis.
Fresh ginger is used for treating acute bacterial dysentery, baldness, malaria, poisonous snake bites, rheumatism, migraine headache, and toothaches.
Dried ginger is 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.
What is Ginger Root Possibly Effective for?
• Nausea and vomiting following surgery. Taking 1 gram of ginger one hour before surgery seems to reduce nausea and vomiting during the first 24 hours after surgery. One study found ginger reduced nausea and vomiting by 38%.
• Dizziness. Taking ginger seems to reduce the symptoms of dizziness, including nausea.
• Preventing morning sickness (discuss the possible risks with your healthcare provider). Ginger seems to reduce nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women. But taking any herb or medication during pregnancy is a big decision. Before taking ginger, be sure to discuss the possible risks with your healthcare provider.
• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There is some preliminary evidence that ginger might be helpful for decreasing joint pain in people with RA.
• Osteoarthritis. There is some evidence that ginger might reduce osteoarthritis pain. But different studies have shown different degrees of benefit, possibly because ginger seems to take many months to start working. Some studies may have been stopped too early.
• Nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy. There is contradictory evidence about the effectiveness of ginger for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy for cancer.
• Loss of appetite.
• Migraine headache.
• Preventing nausea caused by chemotherapy.