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11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger may have numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and other properties. It may help you lose weight, manage arthritis, reduce menstrual symptoms, and more.

Ginger comes from a flowering plant originating in Southeast Asia. It adds flavor to sweet and savory foods and has a range of health benefits. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and it’s closely related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.

The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It’s often called ginger root or, simply, ginger.

You can use ginger fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It features in many recipes as well as processed foods, home remedies, and cosmetics.

What are 11 health benefits of ginger?

Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.

woman chopping raw ginger root on a wooden cutting board
Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images

1. Contains gingerol, which has potent medicinal properties

Ginger has a long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few of its purposes.

The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.

Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. It’s responsible for many of ginger’s medicinal properties.

Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to researchTrusted Source. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which results from having too many free radicals in the body.

What is ginger oil and does it have health benefits?


Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

2. Can treat morning sickness and other forms of nausea

Ginger may be effectiveTrusted Source against nausea, including pregnancy-related nausea, commonly known as morning sickness.

Ginger may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery, and it may also help reduce chemotherapy-related nausea.

While generally safe, it’s best to talk with a doctor before taking large amounts if you’re pregnant.

Ginger may not be suitableTrusted Source during pregnancy for people who are close to labor and those with a history of pregnancy loss or vaginal bleeding. It may also be unsuitable for those with clotting disorders.

Learn more about using ginger for nausea.


Taking ginger every day may help prevent morning sickness and other types of nausea.

3. May help with weight loss

Ginger may play a role in weight loss, according to studies in humans and animals.

One 2019 reviewTrusted Source concluded that ginger supplementation significantly reduced body weight, the waist-hip ratio, and the hip ratio in people with overweight or obesity.

Ginger’s ability to influence weight loss may be due to certain mechanisms, such as its potential to reduce inflammation.

Get some tips on using ginger for weight loss.


According to studies in animals and humans, ginger may help improve weight-related measurements. These include body weight and the waist-hip ratio.

4. Can help with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) involves degeneration of the joints, leading to symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.

One review concluded that ginger may help reduce pain and disability.The participants took 0.5–1 gram of ginger per day for 3–12 weeks, depending on the study. Most had a diagnosis of OA of the knee.

However, other researchTrusted Source has not found evidence of the same effects.

However, many discontinued treatment as they did not like the taste of ginger or because it upset their stomach.

Does ginger work for arthritis?


Some studies suggest ginger can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially osteoarthritis of the knee.

5. May lower blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors

Some research suggests ginger may have anti-diabetic properties.

In a 2015 studyTrusted Source, 41 people with type 2 diabetes took 2 grams of ginger powder per day.

2022 reviewTrusted Source found a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar and HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes after taking ginger supplements.

The review looked at results from 10 trials, in which participants took 1,200–3,000 milligrams (mg) per day for 8–13 weeks.

The results did not suggest that ginger supplements affected the lipid profile.

After 12 weeks:

  • their fasting blood sugar was 12% lower
  • their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were 10% lower
  • their apolipoprotein B/ apolipoprotein A-I ratio was 28% lower
  • their malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were 23% lower

A high apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratio and high levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) can result from oxidative stress, a byproduct of oxidative stress. They are both risk factors for heart disease.

However, this was one small study, and more research is needed to confirm these results.

2019 review also found evidence that ginger can reduce HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes, but the authors did not conclude that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels.

Is ginger good for people with diabetes?


Ginger may lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes.

6. Can help treat chronic indigestion

Ginger may help manage indigestion by speeding up the passage of food through the stomach.

Functional dyspepsia is when a person has indigestion — with symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, feeling too full, belching, and nausea — for no clear reason. It often occurs with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In one study, scientistsTrusted Source found that consuming a ginger and artichoke preparation before eating a main meal significantly improved the symptoms of indigestion in people with functional dyspepsia, compared with taking a placebo.

What are the uses of ginger tea?


Ginger appears to speed up the emptying of the stomach, which can benefit people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.

7. May reduce menstrual pain

Ginger may help relieve dysmenorrhea, also known as menstrual pain.

Some research has suggested that ginger is more effective than acetaminophen/caffeine/ibuprofen (Novafen) in relieving menstrual pain.

However, more studies are needed.

How can ginger and other natural remedies help with menstrual pain?


Ginger may be as effective as some medications against menstrual pain.

8. May help lower cholesterol levels

High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol are linked toTrusted Source an increased risk of heart disease.

In a 2022 reviewTrusted Source of 26 trials, researchers found that ginger consumption significantly reduced triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol. Even doses less than 1,500 mg per day were effective.

However, it may be hard to include such high doses of ginger in your diet, particularly if you don’t like the taste of ginger.

What is ginger water, and is it useful?


There’s some evidence that ginger can significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

9. May help reduce cancer risk

Ginger may have anticancer properties due to gingerol and various other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

There is some evidenceTrusted Source that these compounds may help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancers, such asTrusted Source colorectal, pancreatic, and liver cancer.

In one studyTrusted Source, 20 people with a high risk of colorectal cancer took 2 g of ginger daily for 28 days. At the end of the study, the lining of the participant’s intestines showed fewer cancer-like changes than expected.

However, most studies relating to ginger and cancer risk have not involved humans.

Learn about ginger and other anticancer supplements.


Ginger contains gingerol, which appears to have protective effects against cancer. However, more studies are needed.

10. May improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease

Some researchTrusted Source suggests that 6-shogaol and 6-gingerol — compounds in ginger — may help prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation may be key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

Some animal studiesTrusted Source suggest the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain. This may help prevent cognitive decline.


Animal studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain.

11. Can help fight infections

Ginger’s antimicrobial properties could make it useful for fighting bacterial and fungal infections.

Laboratory studies have found it may be effective against:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which is responsible for a range of diseases
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli), a cause of intestinal infections
  • Candida albicans (C. albicans), which causes fungal infections in the mouth, vagina, and so on

However, more studies are needed.

How can ginger help with a sore throat?


Ginger may help fight harmful bacteria and fungi, which could reduce your risk for infections.

Adding ginger to your diet

If you want to add ginger to your diet, you can do so through what you eat and drink. Here are a few recipes to try:

Risks and side effects

Ginger is safe for most people to consume in moderation.

In large doses, however, it can causeTrusted Source the following symptoms in some people:

  • abdominal discomfort
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • mouth and throat irritation

It is likely safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it is best to speak with a healthcare professional first.