Ginger is an herbal supplement reported to have many uses as an herbal supplement. It is also used as a spice in baking and cooking.


First grown in South Asia, ginger root is the source of the herb. From there, its use spread worldwide. It is aromatic, making it a favorite spice for food. For cooking purposes or as a supplement, grind it into a fine powder. It can be brewed into a tea.

Ginger Medical Uses

As a supplement and folk medicine, it is has been used to treat nausea, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, colic, heart condition, cancer, muscle and joint pain, osteoarthritis, flu and cold symptoms. It is used for headaches, toothaches, and chills. Ginger might help respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. The herb helps nausea produced by pregnancy, surgery, chemotherapy and travel.

For joint and arthritis pain, it’s common to rub ginger oil on the painful area. It is also used as a compress for joint pain. The effectiveness for ginger in these applications haven’t been proven by medical tests and the results are indeterminate.


Maximum daily dosage for an adult is 4 grams per day. Children under two shouldn’t take ginger, and those over two should have the dose adjusted to accommodate their size and age.

Side Effects

If ginger is taken in small amounts there are little side effects. Gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea have been associated with powdered ginger. An allergic reaction to ginger is possible producing hives, itching, and rash. It can make the chest tight, and difficult to breathe. Drowsiness is another side effect.

Ginger is a central nervous system depressant and may have an  influence on psychoactive medication. It can lower blood pressure to a hazardous level. It can produce cardiac arrhythmia, or making the heartbeat irregular. It can lower blood sugar to a hypoglycemic level.

When using ginger or any other herbal supplement with prescribed medication, the patient should notify his or her physician. Herbal supplements could interact with prescribed medication in a negative manner. This is especially true with blood thinners as ginger is an anticoagulant.

Check with physician before taking ginger if taking aspirin, or a blood thinning prescription medicine. It is one of many herbal supplements that are blood thinners and can be dangerous if the blood is thinned too much.

Ginger as an herbal supplement can be useful. However, one should be aware of possible negatives. If a doctor prescribes any medication, the patient should inform him of any herbal supplements he or she is taking. Research medications and herbal supplements for side effects and interaction with each other.