No dish is tasty without the right spices. Ginger, for example, has a unique flavor, and it’s an excellent choice if you want to do some experiments in the kitchen.

However, ginger is not only perfect for spicing up your food, but it also has fantastic health benefits for the human body.

You might have heard that ginger is among the healthiest spices in the world, but you don’t know why everybody is crazy about ginger.

Well, today we’re going to talk about 9 health benefits of ginger that will blow your mind.

Keep on reading!

Ginger Fact Fast

Let’s start by learning something new about ginger. I’m sure that you’ve seen ginger in your local superstore, but you probably don’t know anything about it besides how it tastes. So, here are 10 facts about ginger:

  • Ginger might look like a root to you, but it’s not. It’s a rhizome – the underground part of the stem. 
  • Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. Other members of this family are turmeric and cardamom. 
  • The ginger plant is perennial reed-like, and it’s about a meter in height. 
  • Ginger originates from southern Asia and the Indian subcontinent, which are the biggest producers of ginger in the world.
  • You can grow ginger at home. Just take the rhizome and plant it close to the surface.
  • Everybody knows about ginger tea, but what about ginger wine? Yes, this type of wine is made of grounded ginger roots and raisings. Some counties also use ginger to make beer. 
  • Ayurvedic medicine has relied on ginger for the last three thousand years.
  • Mature ginger rhizomes are dry, while fresh ones are juicy and fleshy.
  • The properties of ginger essential oil increases in time. So, specialists recommend that you don’t extract the essential oil out of fresh ginger. Instead, you have to wait at least 9 months after harvesting the rhizome.
  • Japanese eat slices of ginger between courses in order to clear the palate.

Ginger Nutrition Value

One of the reasons why ginger has so many health benefits is that it’s full of essential vitamins and minerals. So, let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of ginger to get a better understanding of its qualities.

100 grams of ginger contains:

  • 79 calories
  • Total fat content of 0.8 g
  • 18 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1,7 grams of sugar
  • 1,8 grams of protein
  • 0 gr. cholesterol
  • 13mg sodium

In addition to this, ginger contains nutrients and minerals necessary for the proper function of the human organism:

  • Calcium – 16 mg
  • Vitamin C – 5 mg
  • Iron – 0,6 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0,2 mg
  • Magnesium – 43 mg
  • Potassium 415mg

As you can see, 100 grams of ginger contain a minimal amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sugar. So, you can add ginger to your dishes without worrying about gaining weight or raising your blood sugar levels.

What’s more, ginger is rich in magnesium, and a lot of people suffer from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it. Eating ginger regularly might improve your magnesium levels, and it will also give you a boost of vitamin C and B6.

9 Health Benefits of Ginger

Health Benefits of Ginger

Eastern medicine has used ginger for many ailments and illnesses. And there is a very good reason for that. Ginger contains gingerol, which is known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. That’s why ginger is beneficial for a lot of conditions where inflammation and stress play a part.

But let’s see these benefits in details.

# 1 Say goodbye to nausea

Being sick is awful, especially when you’re so sick to the stomach that you can’t keep anything in. However, you don’t have to suffer through nausea and vomiting when you get ill. And there is no need to rely on modern pills to ease your symptoms.

Ginger has been used to treat nausea and vomiting for centuries. Studies have proven numerous times it efficacy and agree that it’s safe to use in most cases. You can use ginger to treat:

  • Motion sickness
  • Chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting
  • Migraine
  • Post-surgical nausea and vomiting.

One study concluded that ginger alleviates nausea and vomiting as effectively as vitamin B6. Researchers also stated that ginger is better than placebo when it comes to nausea and vomiting after surgery.

In addition to this, you can use ginger during pregnancy to reduce morning sickness.

In studies focused on the effect of ginger on morning sickness, scientists discovered that 1.1 – 1.5 grams of ginger could relieve nausea with no side effects. However, the dose didn’t have a large impact on reducing vomiting and researchers pointed out that more tests are needed.

As a precaution, do not take ginger for morning sickness without speaking with your doctor about the correct dose. Some concerns exist that ginger in large doses might lead to miscarriage. Better safe than sorry.

#2 Ginger soothes aching muscles

Pain during trainning

Who doesn’t know how painful aching muscles can be? Well, now you can deal with exercise-related muscle pain quickly and easily thanks to ginger.

Two separate studies have looked at the efficacy of ginger in reducing muscle pain. Participants had to exercise regularly for a period of 11 days while taking either ginger supplement or a placebo pill.

The results showed that raw and heat-treated ginger had the potential to affect muscle pain beneficially. That’s because ginger has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which ease the soreness left after rigorous exercises.

As the tests proved, there was little difference in the efficacy of raw and heat-treated ginger, so both of them can be used to treat muscle pain. In addition to this, ginger has pain reliever properties, but ginger doesn’t have an immediate effect.

# 3 Ginger might be beneficial for osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints. It’s a form of arthritis, and millions of people in the world have to deal with it as they age.

Osteoarthritis is when the cartilages in your joints deteriorate. These cartilages have the important function of providing smooth joint motion. So, if the cartilages deteriorate, bones grate on bones. If you haven’t suffered from it, you probably can’t imagine the pain.

Fortunately, ginger can come to your rescue in dealing with the pain of osteoarthritis thanks to some positive tests.

A study involving more than 200 people suffering from osteoarthritis were given a highly purified extract of ginger. The results showed that ginger has a moderate effect on pain and that it had almost no undesired side effects.

Another study also concluded that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, sesame oil, and mastic is very useful as a pain reliever for osteoarthritis patients with knee problems when applied topically. They compared the effect to that of a Salicylate ointment.

#4 Ginger might help you lower your blood sugar levels

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes raises every year thanks to the unhealthy way of life, stress, and obesity. Diabetes can damage all your organs and affect your vision, so it’s essential to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

However, people often struggle with this task because it’s not as simple as it sounds, even when you’re eating healthily.

The good news is that ginger might help you achieve better control over your blood sugar. Studies on the subject reviled that patients taking two grams of ginger every day had lower fasting blood sugar than before.

More importantly, a study also showed that ginger affects HbA1c by reducing it by 10%. The HbA1c is an excellent marker of how well you’re controlling your blood sugar. It gives you an average value of your blood sugar for the last three months.

So, ginger in combination with your regular blood sugar medicine might help you get your levels in check quickly and prevent secondary complications. However, more tests are needed to determine further the efficacy of ginger on diabetes on a large scale.

#5 Ginger helps with indigestion


Besides nausea and vomiting, ginger is an excellent way to deal with indigestion. As it happens, ginger can reduce excess stomach acid, which is one of the reasons for indigestion.

What’s more, ginger stimulates the digestive tract, which means that it helps food move quickly through the intestine. As a result, you’ll deal with less pain, bloating, and cramps.

A study proved the ability of ginger to accelerate the emptying from the stomach. That’s why ginger might be beneficial for those suffering from chronic indigestion.

In addition to this, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which affects the gastrointestinal tract positively and reduce irritation. So, ginger might also come in handy for dealing with acid reflux, which irritates the esophagus. However, there is not enough data on the matter.

As a warning, be careful not to consume too much ginger because it can have the opposite effect and lead to gas and heartburn. 3-4 grams a day are enough.

#6 Ginger fights bacteria

ginger tea

Ginger contains some compounds that have proven useful for fighting germs and fungus. For example, ginger spots the growth of bacteria like E.Coli, as proven by experiments.

In addition to this, drinking ginger tea will help you keep bacteria out of your mouth thanks to the potent antibacterial properties of this kitchen spice. Not to mention that it also has powerful anti-fungal effects and will keep fungus infects at bay.

Some studies also hint that ginger might be beneficial for jock itch and athlete’s foot – common yeast infections. So, you can use ginger topically to treat common skin conditions caused by fungus.

#7 Ginger might have anticancer properties


Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world, and scientists have been struggling to find a cure.

It might be surprising for some, but ginger might be one of the clues to solve that problem. At clinical trials, ginger has shown some potential at stopping cancer cells’ growth. That’s why it has been tested as an alternative treatment for some cancer types.

The results of one of the studies suggested that ginger affects the growth of cancerous cells due to the presence of 6-gingerol. After taking two grams of ginger, the colon cancer patients showed a reduction in the inflammatory molecules.

However, more tests are in order to determine how effective ginger could be in the fight against cancer. And the antitumor mechanism of 6-ginger is still unclear.

#8 Ginger eases menstrual cramps

Credit: The Sentinel

Most women know the pain of menstrual cramps and how it can make you curl in the bed without ever wanting to get up. While it’s possible to relieve the pain with over-the-counter medicine, ginger might also come in handy during these hard couples of days.

One test confirmed that women who took 1.5 grams of ginger every day during the first three days of their period felt better than those who didn’t. It even suggests that ginger has the same effect as ibuprofen.

So, next time you start to feel the usual cramps, don’t hesitate to spice your food with some ginger or drink ginger tea.

However, remember that ginger is effective as a painkiller for menstrual cramps if taken at the beginning of the period. Also, ginger has some blood-thinning properties, so you should talk with your doctor before using it for menstrual pain.

# 9 Lower your cholesterol with ginger

ginger juice

Usually, doctors divide cholesterol into “bad” and “good” cholesterol. Most of you probably don’t understand this division.

Your body needs some cholesterol, but too much of it is not good news for your overall health. Moreover, the higher the rate of your “bad” LDL cholesterol, the greater the risk for future heart problems. It builds on the walls of the blood vessels and might clog them.

Research into the cholesterol-lowering abilities of ginger discovered that the spice had a positive effect on the LDL cholesterol. There are some indications that it could also lower your triglyceride levels and the total cholesterol count. However, more tests are needed on the matter. 

What are the side effects of ginger?

Ginger is relatively safe as long as you don’t take too much every day. Doses higher than five grams a day might lead to some undesirable side effects:

  • Skin rashes if you apply ginger topically
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Mouth irritation
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Upset stomach
  • Ginger might affect your blood pressure and lower it too much

As I already mentioned, you have to talk to your doctor about taking ginger if you’re pregnant. The risk of miscarriage might increase if you take high doses of ginger. What’s more, ginger might interact with certain medication, especially blood thinners due to the risk of heavy bleeding.

In addition to this, you might want to keep a close eye on your blood sugar and blood pressure in case they drop too low while you’re taking ginger supplements.

The bottom line is that ginger has a fantastic effect on the human body and you don’t need a very large dose to reap the benefits – a gram or two is enough.

What’s more, you don’t lose anything if you start spicing up your dishes with ginger. You can only reap the benefits of ginger.

What do you think about these health benefits of ginger? Do you use ginger while cooking? Share your opinion in the comment section.

(Last Updated On: December 5, 2022)

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email: [email protected]

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