The Common Reasons Why You May Want To Avoid Consuming Ginger (2024)

Maybe you know and love eating raw ginger for its ability to amp up the flavor to your spicy tuna sushi roll or perhaps you enjoy the zing of a fresh-squeezed shot of ginger to get you going in the morning. Aside from the taste—the health benefits of ginger include improving digestion, boosting immunity, and fighting inflammation, especially when you learn how to make ginger oil. But before you start adding it to your morning smoothie, there are a few situations where incorporating the root into your wellness routine isn't advised, which is why it's important to know when not to take ginger.

Experts In This Article

First, why you may want more ginger in your diet

Ginger comes in many forms, but the ginger plant’s roots are what is commonly used as both a spice or ingredient in cooking and for medicinal purposes as a supplement. “Ginger is excellent for promoting health longevity because it contains compounds known as gingerols and shogaols, which create an antioxidant effect that reduces free radical damage in the body,” Trista Best, MS, RD, previously told Well+Good.

You can slice or grate fresh ginger to add to soups or sauces, use powdered forms as a seasoning on veggies, top a mocktail with candied ginger for flare, use pickled variations in poke bowls, drink it in the form of ginger tea, or take it as a supplement.

The root is known to “support digestive health by improving gastric motility and by helping to relieve bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort by reducing gas production,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help support heart health and relieve symptoms of arthritis,” says Taub-Dix, adding that the root can help quell nausea and stabilize blood sugar levels.

When can ginger be bad for you?

While ginger is generally considered safe to ingest and despite all the its advantages, there are instances where someone may want to limit their intake or avoid it entirely, says Kyle Staller, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and spokesperson for the American Gastroenterological Association. (Whether you just simply keep an eye on your daily intake or decide to cut it out of your diet altogether is a conversation you should have with a healthcare provider, as the individual risks and dosage varies widely, according to Dr. Staller.)

The most noteworthy concern is for those with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia, where the blood doesn’t clot properly, says Dr. Staller. “Ginger has mild anticoagulant, or blood-thinning, properties, which means it may increase the risk of bleeding,” he says.

What medication does ginger interfere with?

Because of its anticoagulant nature, anyone taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or aspirin, or antiplatelet medications for heart health, such as clopidogrel, will also want to exercise caution. “Combining ginger with these medications can potentially amplify the effects and may lead to excessive bleeding or bruising,” explains Dr. Staller.

What’s more, “ginger may lower blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels closely if consuming large amountsor taking ginger supplements,” says Dr. Staller. While it’s recommended to consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen—whether you have potential contraindications or not—those currently taking diabetes medication, such as insulin or oral antidiabetic drugs, who are also taking ginger, should talk to their provider about whether the dosage of their diabetes medicine should be adjusted.

It can also potentially cause complications during pregnancy

Studies also indicate that while ginger is effective at quelling nausea in pregnant women, you will want to limit the amount of ginger you eat while pregnant as the anticoagulant effects can put the mother at greater risk for miscarriage. It’s best to consult a doctor about your options, ginger included, if you are experiencing morning sickness while expecting.

Anyone with GI issues should also consume ginger with caution

Those with a history of GERD or acid reflux should keep an eye on their ginger intake, as ginger can cause heartburn and worsen gastric reflux, says Reuben Chen, MD, sports medicine physician and international chief medical advisor at Sunrider.

People with high blood pressure should also beware...but not for the reason you may think.

If you've been wondering: Does ginger raise blood pressure? You're not alone—it's a frequently asked questions in terms of when not to take ginger. But the answer is now. In fact, some studies, such as 2019 research published in Phytotherapy Research, have indicated that ginger may lower blood pressure, which in itself is not a concern. However, “if you are taking medications to control high blood pressure, combining them with ginger could further decrease blood pressure levels, potentially causing excessive lowering of blood pressure,” says Dr. Staller, though more research is needed.

How much ginger is too much?

Most people can safely eat ginger daily without overdoing it, but those at risk for excessive bleeding will want to cap their intake to no more than four grams a day, says Dr. Staller. Those with acid reflux concerns should divide these doses as to reduce the gastric side effects of ginger, adds Dr. Chen. Again anyone with diabetes, bleeding disorders, are on blood thinners should exercise caution and speak with their doctor before adding ginger to their diet. Meanwhile, pregnant women should limit their ginger to no more than one gram a day, says Dr. Staller.

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The Common Reasons Why You May Want To Avoid Consuming Ginger (2024)


The Common Reasons Why You May Want To Avoid Consuming Ginger? ›

Bleeding disorders: Taking ginger might increase your risk of bleeding. Heart conditions: High doses of ginger might worsen some heart conditions.

Why avoid ginger? ›

It is rare to have side effects from ginger. In high doses it may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea, and irritation of the mouth. You may be able to avoid some of the mild stomach side effects, such as belching, heartburn, or stomach upset, by taking ginger supplements in capsules or taking ginger with meals.

What does ginger to prevent? ›

Consuming ginger may help prevent and heal inflammation. One study found that ginger could reduce allergic reactions, in which inflammation can play a role. A small study also showed that people who took daily ginger supplements had less muscle pain after working out. Muscle pain can be caused by inflammation.

Can too much ginger cause dehydration? ›

A small piece of fresh ginger or a small spoonful of ginger powder per day is really enough to reap the health benefits. Excessive consumption can cause problems with your stomach and/or intestines. It can cause dehydration symptoms and if you consume too much ginger, you may even become drowsy, dizzy or confused.

What are the bad effects of eating ginger? ›

It can cause mild side effects including heartburn, diarrhea, burping, and general stomach discomfort. Taking higher doses of 5 grams daily increases the risk for side effects. When applied to the skin: Ginger is possibly safe when used short-term.

Is ginger harmful to the kidneys? ›

Studies confirm ginger's kidney-healing properties. One of them concludes that “ginger provides evidence for kidney protection and reduces severity of damage” caused to kidneys.

Who should avoid ginger? ›

However, people should avoid consuming more than 5 g of it per day. The NCCIH suggest that those with gallstone disease should be cautious when using ginger. This is because it may increase the flow of bile.

Can ginger burn your throat? ›

Burning feeling in mouth/throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or heartburn may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Why does ginger hurt my stomach? ›

For most people with stomach pain, ginger has a good effect, but in some cases, ginger damages the stomach and absolutely should not be used: People with stomach ulcers - duodenum when eating ginger will irritate the lining of the stomach, causing the lining to erode or the ulcer to become worse.

What are the pros and cons of taking ginger? ›

Ginger seems to aid digestion and saliva flow. Studies found that taking ginger could ease nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women. But pregnant women should be careful with ginger. Some experts worry that it could raise the risk of miscarriage, especially in high doses.

Does ginger destroy bacteria? ›

In addition to adding an extra layer of flavor, ginger helps prevent infections and fight germs! The chemical compounds that ginger is composed of can kill off harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli and Shigella. They can also kill viruses, such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Can ginger stop you from getting sick? ›

There is no conclusive evidence to prove that ginger can stop or get rid of colds, but research suggests that it may help prevent them. Ginger can also help improve the symptoms of a cold.

Is ginger bad for high blood pressure? ›

Human studies have shown that taking ginger supplements may reduce blood pressure. One 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. Ginger is flavorful and easy to incorporate into your diet with meals.

Is too much ginger bad for the liver? ›

Fortunately, ginger is a food that has all the elements needed to prevent and treat liver problems. Experts suggest that ginger supplementation represents a new treatment strategy for NAFLD by improving the body's antioxidant activity, reducing inflammation and insulin resistance.

Can eating too much ginger cause high blood pressure? ›

Several studies in both humans and animals have shown that ginger consumption can lower blood pressure levels in certain ways. Ginger acts as a natural calcium channel blocker and ACE inhibitor. Meanwhile, calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors are both medications used to treat high blood pressure.

Does ginger cause inflammation in the body? ›

In this sense, ginger is a very good candidate, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, since ancient times, ginger has been used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory.

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