The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Medicinal Herb Monographs


Botanical Name 
Zingiber officinale

The information on this page compiled by
Beth Burch N.D.
(click on the keywords)


Ginger has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to treat stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea. Ayurvedic medicine utilizes it for the treatment of arthritis. Other traditional uses of ginger include colic, colds, fever, menstrual cramps and appetite stimulant. Research studies have shown its value for morning sickness of pregnancy, motion sickness, as an anti-inflammatory and to prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Ginger supplements are widely available and include liquid extract, syrup, tea and capsules.

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  • Anti-inflammatory (2, 3)
  • Anti-coagulant
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride lowering (5)
  • Anti-nausea (6)
  • Cholegogue (increases bile flow) (4)

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Conditions used for

  • Arthritis (1, 2)
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels (5)
  • Prevention of blood clots (7)
  • Menstrual cramps (8)
  • Morning sickness of pregnancy(6, 9)
  • Motion sickness (6)

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  • Dry- 250 mg up to four times a day.
  • Liquid extract- 1/2 teaspoon four times a day
  • Tea- 2 teaspoons to 1 cup boiling water, steep and strain. Drink up to four times a day

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Side Effects

  • Heartburn
  • Gastrointestinal upset

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  • Gallstones
  • Ginger supplements should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to surgery or dental extractions to prevent excessive bleeding

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Interactions with medications

  • Use caution when combining with other anticoagulant herbs and medications including ginkgo, garlic, aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDS
  • Do not combine ginger with prescription anticoagulants like warfarin (10)

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Use in pregnancy & lactation

  • Safe for short term use in pregnancy, donít exceed 1 gram of dry root per day.
  • Safe for use in lactation.

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1. Sharma JN et al, Suppressive effects of eugenol and ginger oil on arthritic rats, Pharmacology 1994;49(5):314-8
2. Srivastava KC et al, Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders, Med Hypotheses 1992;39(4):342-8
3. Kiuchi F et al, Inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis by gingerols and diarylheptanoids, Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1992;40(2):387-91
4. Yamahara J et al, Cholagogic effect of ginger and its active constituents, J Ethnopharmacol 1985;13(2):217-25
5. Bhandari U, The protective action of ethanolic ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract in cholesterol fed rabbits, J Ethnopharmacol 1998;61(2):167-71
6. Langner E, Ginger: history and use, Adv Ther 1998;15(1):25-44
7. Bordia A et al, Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease, Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1997;56(5):379-84
8. Backon J, Mechanism of analgesic effect of clonidine in the treatment of dysmenorrhea, Med Hypotheses 1991;36(3):223-4
9. Fischer-Rasmussen W et al, Ginger treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1991;38(1):19-24
10. Miller LG, Herbal medicinals: selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions, Arch Intern Med 1998;158(20):2200-11

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* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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