Whenever I have tummy troubles, ginger is my go-to natural remedy. My local vitamin store sells ginger capsules for easy relief, and they also have chews to quell nausea (which can be handy if you tend to get carsick). Recently though, I was alarmed to learn that taking ginger supplements can cause some unpleasant side effects. If ginger is your natural remedy of choice as well, you’ll want to take note, so you can get the benefits without experiencing any of the negatives.
Is ginger safe to take as a supplement?
Ginger has long been known to relieve digestive troubles. Its use as a tummy-tamer dates back roughly 2,500 years, to when it was first relied upon in Chinese, Indian, and Japanese medicine to relieve nausea and vomiting. Fast forward to today, and you can find ginger in many forms, including fresh, powdered, dried, gummy, and more.
Ginger is also available as an herbal supplement, which not only nixes stomach upsets, but can relieve a bevy of other complaints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory infections, morning sickness, and migraines.
The benefits of ginger are amazing, and you definitely don’t need to miss out on them for fear of side effects. But it’s worth noting that with ginger, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Taking too many ginger supplements could have the following side effects:
- Increased bleeding
- Abdominal discomfort
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Central nervous system depression
- Dermatitis (when applied to skin)
- Mouth or throat irritation
Knowing how much ginger to take, and how often, is the key to avoiding these unpleasant symptoms.
How often can you take ginger root capsules?
The health professionals at Mount Sinai recommend taking no more than four grams of ginger daily. Clinical trials have used capsules that contain between 170 mg. and one gram of ginger, which are taken three to four times a day. Ginger essential oil can also be used topically to reduce roughness and swelling of the skin — just make sure to dilute it first with a carrier oil. (Almond and coconut are nice ones to try!)
If you’re worried, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor to help you figure out the right dosage of ginger supplements to take. That way, you can get all the benefits without any of the negative side effects!