Keys to Recognizing a Ginger Allergy

A ginger allergy occurs due to a reaction to the ingestion of this spice. Its symptoms can be gastrointestinal or cutaneous. In this article, we'll be giving you the keys to identify it.
Keys to Recognizing a Ginger Allergy
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Spice allergies are quite rare. However, some individuals have been shown to have a ginger allergy. In fact, many people also develop allergies to other related condiments, such as turmeric.

Most of these types of reactions trigger adverse skin or gastrointestinal processes. Nonetheless, when the case is more severe, a state of inflammation can develop.

Now, an article published in the Pediatrics and International Child Health journal states that the usual thing when developing allergies is to become hypersensitive to a protein.

In particular, cow’s milk and gluten cause these reactions pretty frequently, but spices can also be triggers in some cases. Let’s expand a bit more on this.

Keys to recognizing a ginger allergy

Most of the time, a process of intolerance is often called an “allergy”. Despite this, a ginger allergy is characterized by manifesting itself, above all, at the intestinal level. Consuming this food can cause the appearance of gas, colic, and diarrhea.

Moreover, according to a case report published in The Journal of Dermatology, in very extreme cases, this condition can trigger anaphylaxis. However, such serious reactions aren’t usually frequent in regards to spice consumption.

Similarly, it’s possible that this type of allergy triggers a series of reactions at the skin level, such as irritation, redness, and hives. In fact, even the mouth could become itchy.

A woman suffering from a stomachache due to a ginger allergy.

Preventing an allergy

Food allergy is a type of pathology that, although it can be treated, is chronic. Still, there’s a series of measures individuals can implement in order to prevent its appearance.

For example, breastfeeding a child up to their first year of age, as well as including complementary feeding from 6 months, can reduce the risk of this type of autoimmune pathologies. Excessively cleaning a specific part of the body can cause the area to be hypersensitive to foreign substances (even if they aren’t harmful).

In addition, experts recommend following a varied diet so that the digestive system finds itself with different nutrients and gets used to its metabolism. Withdrawing certain foods from the diet may not produce an allergy; however, it’ll bring an intolerance process.

What to do in case of a ginger allergy

If you think you may have an allergy, the most important thing is to go to a specialist (allergist) to receive a clinical diagnosis. They’ll be the ones to tell you what your level of sensibility is and if it’s necessary to withdraw the product from your diet or only reduce its consumption.

From there, it’s necessary to assess the risk of whether anaphylaxis may occur if you come into contact with the allergen in question. However, as we said previously, this is an extreme and rare situation, especially in the case of a ginger allergy.

Moreover, it may be advisable to avoid some culinary spices if you suffer from this condition. In this way, you’ll prevent gastric and intestinal problems.

Ginger powder.

Ginger allergy, a rare thing to occur

Although it’s possible to develop an allergy to almost any substance, culinary spices don’t usually cause this type of pathology. Despite this, ginger is capable of producing hypersensitization in certain people. An early diagnosis is important to avoid complications in this regard.

It’s vital to keep in mind that the habits you follow can favor the development of these situations. The absence of breastfeeding or an unbalanced intestinal flora can bring allergies and intolerances in the medium and long term.

Now, since this is quite a chronic problem, the best solution will be to reduce or restrict the consumption of the food in question. You may even need to avoid consuming other spices, such as turmeric.

Basically, the best thing to do is to adopt a complete diet from the nutritional point of view. In fact, in order to improve symptoms, health professionals advise trying probiotic supplementation. Of course, and as we always say, you must consult with your doctor first to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your personal case.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Manuyakorn W., Tanpowpong P., Cow milk protein allergy and other common food allergies and intolerances. Paediatr Int Child Health, 2019. 39 (1): 32.40.
  • Hayashi E., Sowa Osako J., Fukai K., Natsumi A., et al., Case of anaphylaxis caused by black ginger in a dietary supplement. J Dermatol, 2019. 46 (2): 56-57.
  • Kawamoto Y, Ueno Y, Nakahashi E, et al. Prevention of allergic rhinitis by ginger and the molecular basis of immunosuppression by 6-gingerol through T cell inactivation. J Nutr Biochem. 2016;27:112-122. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.08.025
  • Bloomfield SF, Stanwell-Smith R, Crevel RW, Pickup J. Too clean, or not too clean: the hygiene hypothesis and home hygiene. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006;36(4):402-425. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02463.x
  • Gehlhaar P, González-de-Olano D, Madrigal-Burgaleta R, Bartolomé B, Pastor-Vargas C. Allergy to ginger with cysteine proteinase GP-I as the relevant allergen. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018;121(5):624-625. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2018.07.013

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.