Ginger and digestive health

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While ginger is commonly used as a seasoning in cooking, it is also widely used in traditional systems of medicine for its therapeutic properties, particularly in the area of digestive health; in Western herbal medicine ginger is used for its carminative and stomachic properties and may:

  • Aid digestion
  • Assist in the management of indigestion
  • Help relieve flatulence
  • Act as a mild anti‐emetic, helping to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness
  • Help relieve nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (morning sickness)

What does the science say?

According to various studies, ginger appears to exert several effects on the digestive system. It stimulates the flow of saliva in the first stage of the digestive process, it increases bile and gastric secretions, and it helps to increase the motility of the digestive system without increasing the amount of times you need to visit the bathroom.1 The exact mechanism of its antiemetic activity is still unclear, but it appears that several key constituents of ginger and several different mechanisms are involved.1

Who may benefit from taking a ginger supplement?

A ginger supplement may be beneficial for anyone wanting to support their digestive function and anyone experiencing indigestion which may be accompanied by symptoms such as stomach discomfort, nausea and bloating or excessive flatulence. Ginger may also be beneficial for those suffering symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. In supplements, ginger is often found in combination with plant‐based digestive enzymes to assist digestive processes and relieve some of the associated symptoms of poor digestion.

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Published May 28, 2014
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