Despite being one of the most health beneficial roots on the planet, ginger can also trigger a number of side effects, especially if consumed in abundance. According to herbalists, consumption of more than 4gr of ginger in one day can lead to heartburn, gas, bloating, nausea or stomach distress. What’s more, certain groups of people including pregnant women, diabetics, people with ulcers, inflammation, gallstones and bleeding disorders, are strongly advised not to consume ginger. This spice also interferes with the effects of blood-thinning medications, such as warfin and aspirin.
Side Effects of Ginger
Owing to its powerful medicinal properties, ginger has been part of Asian culinary tradition and natural healing practices for over 5,000 years. It is also one of the most widely used herbs in the world today. Ginger has been known as Vishava-bheshaj (the universal medicine) and Maha-aushadhi (wide-spectrum medicine) in ayurvedic tradition, whose basic concepts revolve around proper digestion. In other words, when food is properly processed and digested, it doesn’t create toxins in the body. Even if toxins are created in the body, they can be effectively removed with ginger. In Chinese medicine, for instance, ginger is used as an antidote for food or drug poisoning, which only confirms its detoxifying properties.
It may come as a surprise that such a health-beneficial herb can actually pose a health threat too. The thing is if consumed in higher amounts, ginger reinforces warfarin action by heterogeneous mechanisms thus causing heartburn, gas, bloating, nausea or stomach distress. And that’s not all. It also increases the risk of bleeding or possibly interferes with the effects of warfarin therapy, especially when consumed as a powder.
Who Should Not Consume Ginger?
1. People With Ulcers or IBD
Fresh ginger has been linked to intestinal blockage, so people suffering from ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease or blocked intestines are strongly advised to avoid it.
2. People With Bleeding Disorders
Ginger prevents blood clotting, but it increases circulation and blood flow. This increases the risk of bleeding, especially in people with a bleeding disorder or those on medications that slow blood clotting.
3. People With Gallstones
Ginger stimulates bile production so it’s not recommended to people suffering from gallstones.
4. Pregnant Women
A number of studies have linked ginger to lower absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins in pregnant women. Ginger may also cause uterine contractions. If you’re pregnant, consulting a health expert or a licensed herbalist before introducing ginger into your diet is strongly advised. Also, avoid drinking ginger tea, especially in the last trimester because there’s an increased risk of bleeding.
5. People Scheduled for Surgery
A 2007 study found that consuming ginger before surgery also increases the risk of internal bleeding. Health experts advise avoiding ginger tea consumption two weeks before surgery.
6. People on Certain Medications
As mentioned above, ginger interacts with certain medications including anticoagulants, barbiturates, beta-blockers, insulin medications or the anti-platelet therapy. As reported by MedlinePlus, a medical service of the National Institutes on Health, ginger also interferes with the effects of several other drugs including antacids, because it stimulates acid production in the stomach. People taking medications for the heart, antihistamines, cancer treatments and weight loss drugs should also avoid this herb.
7. People with Diabetes and/or Hypertension
Ginger possibly lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, so people taking medications for diabetes or hypertension must consult a health expert before taking ginger in any form. Ginger tea should also be avoided with blood-thinning medications, such as warfin and aspirin.
8. Ginger Suppresses Appetite
According to a study published in “Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental” in 2012, ginger reduces appetite while providing a feeling of satiety. The study researchers explain that ginger affects serotonin levels in the blood, hence the curbing effect on appetite. This means that ginger should be avoided by people trying to put on weight.
9. Ginger Interacts with Some Herbs
Except for medications, ginger also interferes with herbs that stimulate blood flow and slow blood clotting. These include clove, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, turmeric, angelica. Taking ginger with these herbs puts you at a higher risk of bleeding.