Health Encyclopedia > Medications

ginger

Pronunciation: JIN jer

What is the most important information I should know about ginger?

Ginger is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Ginger is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of ginger as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of ginger may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Multum donot

Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you

  • have gallstones or any other disease of the gallbladder;
  • have diabetes or if you are taking a medicine to control your blood sugar levels;
  • have any heart problems or take any heart medicines;
  • have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder or are taking a medicine to increase or decrease the clotting of your blood such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or heparin; or
  • take other herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may affect blood thinning).

You may not be able to take ginger, or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions or are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Ginger has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of ginger may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What is ginger?

The use of ginger in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Ginger is also known as zingiber.

Ginger is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Ginger is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of ginger as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of ginger may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Ginger has been used in the treatment and prevention of motion sickness, to increase appetite, and to reduce stomach acidity. Ginger has also been used under medical supervision by some women to reduce severe nausea in pregnancy.

Ginger has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of ginger may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Ginger may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

Who should not take ginger?

Multum donot

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:

  • gallstones or any other disease of the gallbladder;
  • diabetes or if you are taking a medicine to control your blood sugar levels;
  • any heart problems or take any heart medicines;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder or are taking a medicine to increase or decrease the clotting of your blood such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or heparin; or
  • if you take other herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may affect blood thinning).

Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Ginger may not be recommended in some other situations.

Multum nopreg

It is not known whether ginger will harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this product.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether ginger passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without telling your healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

How should I take ginger?

The use of ginger in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take ginger, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Multum donot

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, topical formulations, teas, tinctures, and others) of ginger at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of ginger.

Store ginger as directed on the package. In general, ginger should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra ginger to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of a ginger overdose may include sleepiness, confusion, dizziness, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking ginger?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of ginger?

Multum emt

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to ginger have been reported. Stop taking ginger and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ginger?

Multum donot

Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • any heart medicine;
  • insulin or oral diabetes medications such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Glynase, Diabeta, Micronase), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolbutamide (Orinase), tolazamide (Tolinase), troglitazone (Rezulin), rosiglitazone (Avandia), repaglinide (Prandin), metformin (Glucophage), and others;
  • warfarin (Coumadin);
  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others;
  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis), indomethacin (Indocin), etodolac (Lodine), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), tolmetin (Tolectin), and others;
  • ardeparin (Normiflo);
  • dalteparin (Fragmin);
  • danaparoid (Orgaran);
  • enoxaparin (Lovenox);
  • heparin; or
  • other herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may affect blood thinning).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with ginger. Tell your healthcare provider about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare provider.

Where can I get more information?

Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision date: 1/12/2011.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.