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Ginger

By Melissa G. Marko, PhD, Senior Clinical Scientist, Nestle Nutrition ; Ara DerMarderosian, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biology and Pharmacognosy, University of the Sciences

Like garlic, ginger has long been used in cooking and in medicine. The stem of this herb contains substances called gingerols, which give ginger its flavor and odor. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, or as a juice or oil.

Medicinal claims

Many people take ginger to relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting or motion sickness. Scientific studies suggest ginger is effective for pregnancy-related and postoperative nausea and vomiting, but not for nausea caused by chemotherapy. It is unclear whether ginger is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle pain.

Possible side effects

Ginger is usually not harmful, although some people experience a burning sensation when they eat it. It may also cause digestive discomfort and cause a disagreeable taste in the mouth. Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding.

Possible drug interactions

People who take ginger and drugs that prevent blood clots may need to be monitored.

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