Ginger root is one of nature’s healing plants and has been used for its taste and health potential for thousands of years. However, ginger is a plant whose powers should be wielded with caution, as it isn’t appropriate for all people. Are you one of the people who should avoid or restrict consuming ginger? Read on to find out.
Ginger’s health-promoting qualities have been touted for generations by a wide-reaching group of people, from the ancient peoples of Asia to modern health gurus. From calming an upset stomach and aiding in digestion to relieving pain and killing off cancer cells, ginger’s beneficial properties run the gamut.
Many people can experience improvements in health by using ground ginger in food or as a dietary supplement, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Let’s discuss some situations where ginger should be avoided or used sparingly.
When You Should Avoid Ginger (Or Reduce Its Consumption)
According to WebMd ginger can interact poorly with certain kinds of medicines prescribed for health conditions. Diabetic people, people with hypertension and people with clotting disorders may need to use caution when considering use of ginger as a treatment for other ailments.
People who take clotting medications
Ginger can thin the blood, meaning it may be inappropriate for people who take blood clotting medications or have bleeding disorders. Talk about your desire to take ginger with your doctor before using it if you are on medications for blood clotting or blood thinning in order to determine if ginger is the right choice for you.
However, people taking medication (such as Metformin or similar drugs, or using insulin injections to control blood sugar) for their diabetes need to be aware of ginger’s effect on blood sugar and discuss ginger usage with their prescribing physicians before continued use to avoid getting their blood sugar too low.
People using high blood pressure medications
Some medicines used to control hypertension, such as calcium channel blockers (i.e., Norvasc, Cardizem, etc.) can interact with ginger, causing the blood pressure and/or heart rate to drop to unhealthy levels, leading to irregular heartbeat or other complications.
Discuss your use of ginger and the potential for a dosage adjustment with your doctor if you are taking any medications to treat high blood pressure.
Ginger and Gallstones
People with gallstones may find their condition exacerbated by using ginger.
The gallbladder is a small sac-like structure which lies beneath your liver and connected to it by the bile duct. The gallbladder serves as a storage facility for bile which breaks down fat in the intestines.
The gallbladder stores bile until the presence of fat in the digestive system calls for it. Gallstones often form in the gallbladder, where they typically cause few problems. If they migrate into the bile duct and get stuck there, however, they can block bile flow, causing bile to back up in the liver.
When ginger is taken in large quantities, bile production may increase, and the higher level of gallbladder contractions may agitate gallstones and cause them to lodge in bile ducts. A stone stuck in the bile duct can cause serious illness that may require emergency surgery.
It should be noted that not all medical practitioners agree that ginger is harmful if you have gallbladder disease and some Chinese medicine practitioners recommend ginger root as a treatment for gallstones because of its bile-stimulating properties. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for taking ginger if you have gallbladder disease.