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Ask Dr. Nandi: Did you know ginger can fight pain?

Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 27, 2017

Ginger is a popular spice used to flavor foods and drinks, but did you know it may also help ease pain in the body?

Research supports the use of ginger for alleviating certain pains. 

A University of Georgia study found consuming 2 grams of ginger supplementation for 11 days reduced muscle pain from exercise by 25 percent. 

Another study found ginger capsules lowered severe pain many women experience during their monthly menstrual cycle. In fact, researchers found it was just as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. 

It can help with the degenerative type of arthritis called Osteoarthritis. A study with almost 250 people found ginger extract not only lessened knee pain, but many of the participants were able to reduce pain medication. 

If you’d like to add ginger to your diet, here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX

1. You can eat ginger raw or dried. It’s also available as an extract, oil, and capsule form.

2. If you buy ginger fresh, make sure the root has smooth skin, no wrinkles and a spicy smell. Store it in tightly wrapped in the fridge or freezer.

3. The dosing amounts for ginger supplementation vary depending on the ailment and the product so you’ll need to do your research. Generally, it’s advised not to take more than 4 grams of dried ginger a day and this includes food sources. 

4. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking ginger. It may help relieve nausea, but you’ll want to discuss the dosage and confirm it’s safe for you. 

In most cases, ginger is likely safe. But you can have mild side effects like stomach discomfort or diarrhea, especially if you take it in high doses. 

If you’re diabetic and on medication, talk to your doctor first as it may affect your insulin and blood sugar levels. And don’t use ginger supplements if you’re on blood-thinning medications.

My advice is to eat fresh ginger by adding it to beverages and meals. It tastes great on seafood, pork, chicken, melon, pumpkin and apples.