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Ginger ˈjin-jər

by Ara DerMarderosian, PhD

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.

Medicinal Claims

Many people take ginger to relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Scientific studies suggest ginger is effective for this purpose, but results are mixed on whether ginger is effective for nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, or surgery. 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. Therefore, people who take ginger and drugs that prevent blood clots may need to be monitored.