Benefits of ginger are well established but harms should also be considered.

Benefits of ginger: how and why? should we play a doctor at home?

I heard from my grandmother about the importance of ginger, did you!!
Ginger is globally famous for home remedies for cough, cold, flu, nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset. It’s a globally used spice and an active ingredient in cosmetics. Here we discuss the potential benefits of ginger and related harmful effects.

Ginger is a flowering plant of the Zingiberaceae family and is native to southeastern Asia. It grows worldwide nowadays for its roots or rhizome due to its taste, nutritional value, and medicinal importance. There are different varieties of ginger, for example, Crepe Ginger, Kahili Ginger, Pineapple Ginger, Torch Ginger, and White Ginger. These varieties differ in rhizome size, taste, aroma, and medicinally active ingredients.

The ginger rhizome comprises various essential components. It contains approximately 60-70% carbohydrates, 3-8% crude fiber, 9% protein, 8% ash, 3-6% fatty oil, 2-3% volatile oil, phenolic compounds, and terpenes. It consists of volatile compounds responsible for fresh aroma, and nonvolatile fractions contributing to pungent taste.

10 Benefits of ginger

Benefits of ginger and risks
  1. Gastrointestinal Health: Ginger has been traditionally used to prevent nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, dyspepsia, heartburn, and loss of appetite.
  2. Blood Sugar Regulation: Ginger aids in improving blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, potentially reducing the risk of diabetes.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Fresh ginger juice possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Pain Relief: It improves osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cramps, and skin burns.
  5. Cardiovascular Health: Ginger prevents cardiovascular diseases and associated risk factors such as obesity and diabetes.
  6. Relief in respiratory issues: Ginger’s warming effect acts as an antiviral agent and can be beneficial in treating flu, strep throat, sinusitis, cough, cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis symptoms.
  7. Cognitive Health: Ginger’s bioactive compounds and antioxidants inhibit inflammatory responses in the brain, potentially aiding in cognitive decline and management of Alzheimer’s disease.
  8. Pharmacological Activities: Ginger exhibits various pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, antibacterial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-aggregation, and analgesic properties.
  9. Chemo-preventive Effects: Ginger extracts have shown potential chemo-preventive properties against different types of cancer by regulating cellular processes involved in tumor growth.
  10. Neuroprotective Effects: Ginger has potential benefits for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and depression. 

Benefits of ginger after food processing

Food processing significantly influences the composition and bioavailability of active compounds in ginger. Thermal processing methods, such as boiling, blanching, steam drying, and freeze drying, alter the secondary metabolites found in ginger rhizomes. However, food processing procedures often result in the degradation or reduction of phytochemical content, diminishing their activity. While some processing methods degrade phytochemicals, others can enhance the absorption and release of active compounds during digestion. The right balance in processing techniques is crucial to preserve the quality and beneficial properties of ginger-based food products.

Benefits of ginger may be converted into risks if handled wrongly.

10 Harmful Effects

  1. Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Potential for gastrointestinal disturbances, including reflux, heartburn, and diarrhea. Exacerbation of symptoms is reported with ingestion of higher doses (above 6 grams).
  2. Allergic Reactions: Possibility of allergic reactions, although rare.
  3. Prolonged Pre-existing Bleeding: Risk of prolonged bleeding in individuals with pre-existing bleeding conditions. Interaction with aspirin or warfarin, which can potentiate its anticoagulant properties.
  4. Central Nervous System Depression: Potential for central nervous system depression, although uncommon.
  5. Arrhythmia: Occurrence of arrhythmia in some cases especially in individuals with existing heart conditions.
  6. Lowered Blood Pressure: Reduction in blood pressure observed in some individuals. Monitoring is recommended, particularly for those with low blood pressure.
  7. Aggravation of Gallstone Formation: Increase in bile acid secretion, potentially exacerbating gallstone formation.
  8. Effects on Health: The effects of toxic substances such as heavy metals from environmental pollution can be severe and detrimental. They can cause acute hepatic and renal failure, exacerbation of pre-existing conditions and diseases, and even result in death.
  9. Augmentation with Medications: An additional concern is the practice of combining traditional herbal preparations with prescription medications. This is done to enhance the apparent effectiveness of the preparation. Such interactions can be unpredictable and may lead to adverse reactions or unintended consequences.
  10. Adverse Effects on Pregnancy: The consumption of certain herbal preparations during pregnancy can have serious consequences. It may lead to complications such as miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, or developmental abnormalities in the baby.


In conclusion, you should use ginger as a spice or a home remedy for conditions like flu or sore throat. The benefits of ginger are unignorable but care is a must if you have some medical conditions or taking medications, especially during pregnancy. It’s crucial to ensure the purity and quality of ginger products before consumption. If you’re using ginger for therapeutic purposes, seek strict medical observation. By being mindful of these considerations, you can enjoy the potential benefits of ginger while prioritizing your health and well-being.

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