Ginger for Arthritis: Does It Work? (2024)

Does ginger really have medicinal properties?

Ginger is a flowering plant. Its root is often used for cooking. Its sharp, distinct flavor is unmistakable, and many people appreciate its aromatic taste.

In addition to its culinary uses, ginger has served as a folk medicine for centuries.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. Because of this, it’s thought to boost your overall immunity.

For people with arthritis, its anti-inflammatory properties are of particular benefit. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that function in the same way as COX-2 inhibitors. COX-2 inhibitors are drugs used to treat pain and inflammation.

Keep reading to learn more about how ginger is used for arthritis, its other benefits, and potential side effects.

To date, studies exploring ginger’s potential as an effective treatment for arthritis have had mixed outcomes. More specific research involving ginger as a medicine for humans is needed.

One 2000 study found that ginger extract was as effective as ibuprofen in the first treatment period of a cross-over study. Researchers in a 2016 study found that ginger and echinacea supplements effectively reduced inflammation and pain after knee surgery.

Researchers in one 2001 study found that highly concentrated doses of ginger extract were effective in treating people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Before beginning the study, the participants experienced moderate-to-severe knee pain. Taking ginger extract helped to reduce knee pain upon standing and after walking. Overall, reported side effects were primarily limited to mild abdominal discomfort.

The results of one 2002 animal study using rats suggest that ginger can help to relieve joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger was shown to reduce inflammation when taken in high doses for four weeks.

Researchers in one 2010 study found that ginger was an effective pain reliever for human muscle pain resulting from an exercise-induced injury. Participants who ingested two grams of either raw ginger or heated ginger experienced reduced pain and inflammation. Heat-treated ginger was thought to have a stronger effect, but both types of ginger were found to be equally helpful.

Applying a cream or gel containing ginger directly onto the affected area may also be beneficial. According to the results of one 2015 study, ginger extract is able to improve osteoarthritis in knees when applied topically. Participants applied ginger extract three times per day for 12 weeks. During this time, they experienced reduced levels of pain and other symptoms.

Ginger has numerous other benefits that can help to improve other aspects of your health as well.

For example, drinking ginger tea may help fight off a cold. Researchers in one 2016 animal study gave fish a daily ginger supplement for 60 days. They found that the fish were able to better fight certain infections. The fish also experienced a boost in overall immunity and growth rates.

Ginger may also help with nausea, vomiting, and other abdominal issues. Researchers in one 2017 study found that ginger was effective in lessening the frequency and severity of vomiting after cataract surgery. Ginger worked best when it was taken in two separate 500 milligram doses before the surgery.

Overall, a 2014 review of studies shows the therapeutic potential of ginger to be very promising.

The research presented shows that ginger may help prevent, fight, or treat:

  • cancer
  • tumors
  • bacterial infection
  • migraines
  • diabetes
  • ulcers

More research is needed to determine its efficacy in humans for certain symptoms or conditions.

Check out: Natural home remedies for osteoarthritis »

Depending on your individual needs, ginger can be used as a:

  • topical cream, gel, or essential oil
  • capsule
  • tincture
  • tea

Concentrated forms generally provide the best benefit.

Whatever form you choose, take care to select a high-quality supplement that uses organic ginger. If possible, look for a brand that uses supercritical fluid extraction. You should also try to avoid products that contain additives.

If you opt for supplements, be sure to take them with food. If you ingest concentrated ginger without food, it can cause an upset stomach. You may also drink it as a tea or add it to various dishes to slightly boost your intake.

Learn more: 9 herbs to fight arthritis pain »

Although ginger is generally safe to consume, some people may experience mild side effects.

This includes:

  • gas
  • bloating
  • heartburn
  • nausea

Your risk for side effects increases if you ingest more than the recommended dose.

Talk to you doctor before ingesting ginger if you:

  • have diabetes
  • take blood thinners or blood pressure drugs
  • have a blood disorder
  • are pregnant
  • are underweight
  • have gallstones

If you opt to apply a ginger cream or gel, do an allergy test. Apply a dime-sized amount to your forearm. If you don’t experience any irritation or inflammation in about 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.

If you’re using an essential oil, be sure to mix it with a carrier oil before applying directly to skin. You should also do an allergy test before doing a full application.

Read the packaging for information about potential side effects for ready-to-use products.

Check out: Best natural remedies for psoriatic arthritis »

For many people, ginger is an excellent addition to an arthritis treatment plan. In addition to relieving your arthritis symptoms, it can boost your overall immunity.

Be sure to check with your doctor before adding a ginger supplement or other ingested form to your regimen. They can confirm that ginger is safe for you to ingest and whether it will interact with any other medications you may be taking.

After you add ginger to your regimen, pay attention to how your body responds. You may even want to take a few simple notes each day once you begin to use it. This can help you assess whether you’re experiencing any positive changes or new side effects.

If you begin experiencing any adverse side effects, discontinue use and see your doctor.

Keep reading: Exercise and other natural remedies for arthritis »

Ginger for Arthritis: Does It Work? (2024)


Ginger for Arthritis: Does It Work? ›

63% of the participants who were treated with ginger had significant reduction in knee pain compared to 50% of the placebo group. The severity of pain and overall improvement of osteoarthritis-related symptoms were also significantly reduced in the group taking ginger compared to the placebo group.

Can ginger fight arthritis? ›

Ginger may help prevent and manage arthritis due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are more than 1,300 types of ginger plant, and they contain a wide range of nutrients, including: vitamin C. vitamin B6.

How quickly does ginger reduce inflammation? ›

Ginger was shown to reduce inflammation when taken in high doses for four weeks.

How long does it take for ginger to work in your body? ›

Studies show that ginger was found to reduce intense muscle pain and soreness that come after a good workout. But, it's important to remember that the effects of ginger won't be immediate; it takes about 2 grams of ginger each day for a minimum of 11 days before effects are felt.

Is ginger or turmeric better for arthritis? ›

Ginger came out better in a 2020 trial that pitted the commercial pain reliever naproxen against a combination of ginger, black pepper and curcumin (the anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric). Black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin, and the researchers thought adding ginger might help even more.

Who cannot take ginger? ›

Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with heart conditions, and people with diabetes should not take ginger without talking to their doctors. DO NOT take ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin.

What is the strongest natural anti-inflammatory? ›

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids , which are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, are among the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements. ...
  2. Curcumin. ...
  3. S-adenosylmethionine. ...
  4. Zinc. ...
  5. Green tea. ...
  6. Frankincense. ...
  7. Capsaicin. ...
  8. Cat's claw.

Can ginger rebuild cartilage? ›

Ginger can also benefit osteoarthritis patients, as it may help reduce cartilage deterioration and improve joint function. Studies have shown that ginger extract can help protect cartilage cells and inhibit the breakdown of collagen, which is essential for maintaining healthy joints.

What is the healthiest way to consume ginger? ›

Ginger tea is a healthier alternative to ginger ale, ginger beer and other commercial canned or bottled ginger beverages. These drinks provide ginger's benefits, but many contain a lot of sugar. It may be better to limit these to occasional treats or choose sugar-free options.

Is ginger as good as ibuprofen? ›

found that ibuprofen was significantly more effective than ginger and ginger was significantly more effective than placebo in relieving chronic pain and the same trend was found for acetaminophen consumption.

Should I drink ginger at night or morning? ›

Ginger tea can be consumed at any time of day. It works well as a pick-me-up first thing in the morning, but you may also find it helps after a meal to ease digestion. You can add fresh lemon or honey, or buy different flavoured tea bags, such as lemon and ginger or ginger green tea.

Is ginger as good as aspirin? ›

Like aspirin, ginger works as a blood thinner which can prevent the formation of clots that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Ginger also reduces inflammation in the same way as aspirin by blocking COX-2 — the enzyme that promotes inflammation.

How do you flush out arthritis? ›

Keeping your body hydrated is vital for flushing out toxins, thereby helping fight inflammation. Drinking enough water can keep your joints lubricated and help prevent gout attacks. Start your day with a glass of water, and drink at least eight glasses per day as the recommended daily amount.

What not to drink with arthritis? ›

Habit #1: Avoid soda, diet sodas, sweet tea, and artificial sweeteners. Drink only water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee.

How can I get immediate relief from arthritis? ›

What to do. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren't used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory herb? ›

Ginger is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory herbs used for centuries in traditional medicine. This herb contains several bioactive compounds, including gingerols, shogaols, and zingerone, which have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

What is the fastest way to treat arthritis? ›

In many cases, arthritis symptoms can be reduced with the following measures:
  1. Weight loss. Excess weight puts extra stress on weight-bearing joints. ...
  2. Exercise. Regular exercise can help keep joints flexible. ...
  3. Heat and cold. Heating pads or ice packs may help relieve arthritis pain.
  4. Assistive devices.
Aug 29, 2023

Is apple cider vinegar and ginger good for arthritis? ›

While ACV may seem like the latest cure-all, it's important to know that there is little research to support its use for arthritis. Some people have tried it out for dog joint pain, but there is no evidence supporting ACV for this use in humans or dogs.

Can you eat raw ginger for inflammation? ›

It is possible. Ginger contains over 400 natural compounds, and some of these are anti-inflammatory. More studies will help us determine if eating ginger has any impact on conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or respiratory inflammation.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Stevie Stamm

Last Updated:

Views: 5952

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Stevie Stamm

Birthday: 1996-06-22

Address: Apt. 419 4200 Sipes Estate, East Delmerview, WY 05617

Phone: +342332224300

Job: Future Advertising Analyst

Hobby: Leather crafting, Puzzles, Leather crafting, scrapbook, Urban exploration, Cabaret, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is Stevie Stamm, I am a colorful, sparkling, splendid, vast, open, hilarious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.