Ginger isn’t bad for you per say, but be careful with it if you’re pregnant, a hemophiliac, diabetic, or have gallstones.
Ginger has long been used to help curb nausea. According to the University of Maryland, some studies have shown that it works better than a placebo in alleviating motion sickness - it reduced cold sweats and vomiting, although it may not reduce nausea. The evidence is mixed; studies that used conventional motion sickness medication like scopolamine as a placebo showed ginger to be less effective in reducing symptoms. Scopolamine, however, has some side effects that ginger does not, including drowsiness and dry mouth.
Pregnant women may want to take ginger to deal with the effects of morning sickness. So far, research has not shown that ginger will do harm to your fetus. It does have anticoagulant properties, however; you should avoid taking ginger to deal with nausea if you have an upcoming due date - it could cause you to bleed uncontrollably. Pregnant women should also check with their medical provider before using ginger to control nausea during pregnancy, as there is still some controversy over whether it's entirely safe.
As mentioned above, ginger is an anticoagulant. You should not mix it with other medications that have anticoagulant properties - either prescription strength drugs or over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin. Hemophiliacs should similarly be careful with ginger. So should anyone taking medication to deal with different conditions affecting the circulatory system, like hypertension or high blood pressure.
Ginger can lower your blood sugar. If you're diabetic or have metabolic syndrome, be careful - large doses of ginger may induce hypoglycemia. Ginger can increase bile production, too. If you suffer from gallstones, you may want to be careful with dosing.
If you're not pregnant, diabetic, afflicted with gallstones, or dealing with high blood pressure, are you in the clear to eat as much ginger as your heart desires? The University of Maryland reports that ginger superdoses might induce heartburn, mild stomach upset, or diarrhea. Be careful with ginger and exercise moderation, as you should with most things.
Possible short-term side effects
- ginger is an anticoagulant - be careful if you’re pregnant and close to term or a hemophiliac
- lower blood sugar
- upset stomach
- affects bile production - be careful if you have gallstones
- may help treat nausea / morning sickness
- may help reduce cold sweats
- may help reduce muscle pain / soreness
- may help reduce risk of heart disease
- anti-inflammatory properties
- antioxidant properties