7 Contraindications of Ginger - Step To Health
 

7 Contraindications of Ginger

Ginger is native to Indomalaya and people have cultivated it since ancient times to strengthen the body's defenses. Let's discover the properties, benefits and contraindications of ginger.
7 Contraindications of Ginger

Last update: 19 November, 2021

If you consume ginger on a regular basis, you’ll probably know about its properties and benefits but have you ever wondered what the contraindications of ginger may be?

Ginger, like other roots, is a beneficial plant for the body. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2000 years for the treatment of colic, diarrhea, nausea, migraine, and even arthritis. In addition, it can be consumed dried, fresh, in tea, or simply as an extract.

Properties and benefits of ginger

Ginger contains a wide variety of health-promoting nutrients, essential oils, and antioxidants. In fact, it has been labeled as a “superfood” due to its excellent properties.

One of its active compounds, gingerol, is responsible for giving it many of its health benefits. To go into detail, here are its properties:

  • It contains expectorant, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
  • Its thermogenic properties improve metabolism, so it accelerates digestion and reduces inflammation in the intestines.
  • Reduces nausea because it’s a natural antiemetic.
  • It regulates blood circulation due to its high content of magnesium and zinc.
  • It reduces stress levels, as it contains cineol which produces a relaxing effect.
  • Improves the absorption of nutrients because it increases the stimulation in the stomach and the function of enzymes.
  • Combats migraine because it blocks the production of prostaglandins, a substance that inflames blood vessels.

However, sometimes its consumption can be counterproductive, creating some side effects. If people have an inappropriate intake of ginger, some diseases can even be exacerbated. It is, therefore, advisable not to consume it in case of:

  • Gastritis
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Irritable colon
  • Colitis

The reason? This rhizome inflames the mucous membranes causing abdominal pain and cramps. Here’s a more comprehensive look at conditions where it may be best to refrain from consuming ginger.

Contraindications of ginger

1. When taking anticoagulants

Ginger drink.

Generally, anticoagulants are prescribed to prevent thrombi that form in the blood, for example warfarin, heparin, and rivaroxaban.

If you take any of these anticoagulants on medical advice, it isn’t advisable to consume ginger because the plant has the same effects as these drugs, i.e. it also slows down the blood clotting process.

A recent study published in Current Drug Metabolism showed that ginger inhibits platelet aggregation. This effect explains the root’s interaction with warfarin and other blood-thinning drugs. So, if you combine ginger with these drugs, you increase the chance of bruising or bleeding.

2. During pregnancy

There are conflicting opinions regarding the intake of ginger during pregnancy. Some studies claim that ginger could cause hormonal disruptions and even cause premature contractions.

That, without taking into account the anticoagulant effects mentioned above, would increase the possibility of bleeding.

On the other hand, other studies claim that ginger would help alleviate the annoying morning sickness that many pregnant women suffer from during the first months of pregnancy.

Therefore, it’s essential to seek the opinion of a specialist before starting to ingest it on a regular basis in order to avoid the contraindications of ginger.

3. Hypertension problems

Taking blood pressure.

Ginger alone has the ability to lower blood pressure, as it blocks calcium channels. When this mineral isn’t able to enter the blood vessels, vasodilation occurs, lowering the pressure.

In fact, a published study Phytotherapy Research states that ginger is able to reduce systolic blood pressure by up to 6 millimeters of mercury. And, as if that weren’t enough, it can also reduce by diastolic pressure by up to 2 millimeters of mercury, having a greater effect in people under 50 years.

Some antihypertensives also act on the calcium channels in vascular smooth muscle. Thus, the simultaneous use of both compounds may potentiate the effect and reduce blood pressure more than desired. For this reason, it isn’t a good idea to consume ginger if you’re under treatment for hypertension.

4. Diabetes

Actually, ginger isn’t the problem here, as it has a low glycemic index and, for that reason, doesn’t alter the blood sugar levels. However, if the patient is under treatment such as insulin injections, it should be avoided.

In this case, it’s advisable to consult with a specialist to moderate the amount of medication and thus be able to enjoy the benefits of ginger.

5. Underweight people

A person on a scale.

Undoubtedly, one of the most recognized benefits of ginger is its slimming effect. It works as an appetite suppressant, accelerating the digestive process and eliminating excess fat. Therefore it isn’t good to consume if you’re underweight or want to increase muscle mass.

6. Hemophilia

People who suffer from hemophilia, tend to bleed for prolonged periods, as they don’t have a clotting factor that controls the bleeding. By stimulating blood circulation, ginger may cause shock in hemophilia patients.

7. Heart problems

A man with a heart problem.

Ginger helps to unblock blood vessels, as long as the dosage consumed is the recommended one.

However, consuming ginger excessively may cause the opposite effect. It’s suggested to take it for periods of no more than 4 days and then rest for a week. Of course, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting regular intake.

Another great article for you about ginger: 6 Ginger Remedies for Your Skin Health

Recommendations for consuming ginger

To avoid causing any of the problems mentioned above regarding the contraindications of ginger, it’s essential that you use it in small portions to flavor dishes or as an ingredient in salads.

It’s best to buy it fresh because it contains more gingerols. When buying it in powdered form it is important to verify that it is of organic origin in order to avoid consuming pesticides.

On the other hand, it can be stored unpeeled for up to 6 months, as long as it’s kept refrigerated, preferably in glass containers and away from sunlight.

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    cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/ginger
  • Ginger. (n.d.)
    nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger
  • Torabil M, et al. (2016). 133: The effect of zingiber officinale (ginger) on hypertension; A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. DOI:
    10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015415.133