How safe is it to take ginger?

Taking ginger is said to reduce blood pressure in several ways.


Ginger has recently, in the wake of Covid-19, become a popular plant because of its boosting immunity immune boosting properties (combined with certain herbs and fruits).

It has also been commonly known for reducing nausea, fighting the flu and common cold among other remedies.

Ginger is a flowering plant that is mainly known for harvesting its roots. The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is used as spices (dried or fresh or even powdered).

It also made it to the immunity boosting concoction ingredient list made by Dr Kizza Besigye in a bid to fight Covid-19.

There is much more than just meets the eye when it comes to ginger.

Hypertension

Ginger is incredibly versatile and a staple in alternative medicine.

According to healthline, people have used ginger for centuries to improve many aspects of heart health, including circulation, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Human and animal studies, healthline says,  have shown that taking ginger reduces blood pressure in several ways. It acts as a natural calcium channel blocker and natural ACE inhibitor.

“A study in more than 4,000 people found that those who consumed the most ginger 2–4 grams per day had the lowest risk of developing high blood pressure,” it shows.

However, in a study found in PMC, according to animal studies, ginger has the potential to offer a natural alternative dietary supplementation to conventional anti-hypertensive agents, but still there is not enough evidence supporting this claim and current limited evidence is controversial. More human trials studying the effect of ginger on hypertensive patients using different dosage of a standardized extract are needed.

Weight loss

Ginger may be helpful in one’s bid to curb weight gain.

In MedicalNewsToday,  researchers divided 10 men into two groups. One group drank hot ginger water after eating breakfast. The other group did not. The men who drank the ginger water reported greater feelings of fullness.

The fuller one feels for a longer time, the longer it takes for one to keep snacking on different foods, thus maintaining weight control.

“Although the study was small and additional studies are necessary, it suggests that ginger water might have a role in weight management,” it says.

When is it safe

According to Dr. Robert Balikudembe, a researcher at Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute (NCRI), ginger can work as a spice, tea and can be consumed in any way. This, however, is beneficial for people without health complications.

“If you are healthy, it is a spice you enjoy and do not get problems such as intestinal or peptic ulcers,” he said.

He added that if one is in a condition where one should add medications, it is important to have knowledge of the drugs one is taking and the knowledge about ginger and how interacts with the medicine one is on.                                                                

What to note

According to Dr Balikudembe, some of the common herbs have vital chemicals that enhance metabolic enzymes which handle other drugs as well. 

If one takes both at the same time (the herb and the conventional drug), the herb can either potentiate or inactivate the effect of the drug.

“It may interfere with the normal balance of the conventional medicine if they are taken together, without clarification from a health practitioner. That is why we always ask people to be careful while taking these herbs especially the common used ones like ginger among others,” he said.

It is good to reveal to the doctor what you are taking to be able to know in which amounts you should or should not be taking ginger.

If they lower, it means if you take that herb, and you are taking other drugs which are handled by the same enzyme, they will lead to toxicity because they will not be broken down as quickly as they ought to be thus becoming too much for the body, leading to overdoses.

Whereas different home remedies improve one’s health, people who are conscious about their health will have better health results than those who do not.     

Ginger can also greatly help in reducing menstrual pain, help in nausea among other health benefits.

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