Skip to Content

Ginger

By

Laura Shane-McWhorter

, PharmD, University of Utah College of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020

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

(See also Overview of Dietary Supplements.)

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 nausea and postoperative nausea and vomiting, but not for nausea caused by chemotherapy. Ginger powder may help relieve painful menstrual periods not caused by another disorder (primary dysmenorrhea). Ginger may have moderate benefit for osteoarthritis. Some people take ginger to help manage type 2 diabetes.

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.

More Information

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: General information on the use of ginger as a dietary supplement

Copyright © 2021 Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside of the US, Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. All rights reserved. Merck Manual Disclaimer