Ginger is a common herb that is most often used for flavoring and preserving food. However, ginger health benefits have been well-documented for more than 2,000 years. Perhaps the most well-known ginger properties are its antispasmodic and anti-emetic actions, meaning it can be used to soothe nausea, motion sickness, and gastrointestinal issues such as an upset stomach. If you're feeling queasy, ginger is certainly a good natural remedy to consider.
Upset Stomach - Causes & Triggers
An upset stomach is an ailment that has many triggers and can drastically range in severity, from mild discomfort to extreme nausea and vomiting. Causes of upset stomach include food allergies, medications, migraine headaches, motion sickness, food poisoning, infection, and morning sickness during pregnancy. Many healthcare professionals will recommend taking ginger for upset stomach and motion sickness, as well as for treating pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, though the medicinal uses of ginger also also include reducing the severity of chemotherapy nausea or prevent nausea and vomiting following surgery.
Ginger Preparations for Upset Stomach
There are many ways to take ginger to ease an upset stomach. However, in order to avoid ginger side effects it is recommended that you don't consume more than four grams of ginger a day, in any form. Below are some recommended dosages, but be sure to consult your doctor regarding the amount of ginger you should take.
Fresh, raw ginger. Eating fresh, raw ginger, due to its high levels of gingerol and vitamin C, is an ideal way of dealing with gastrointestinal issues, such as upset stomach and nausea.
Cooked ginger. When cooked, ginger increases its levels of zingerones, which can be used to treat headaches and nausea.
Dried ginger. As a result of its high shogaol levels, this is one of the best ways to consume this root. Dried ginger can be taken to ease gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea. A daily dose of two to four grams is recommended.
Ginger extract. Along with ginger juice, as well as tinctures and syrups, ginger extract concentrates the active compounds of the root. No more than 15 drops should be consumed at once, diluted in warm water.
- Ginger supplements. There are many ginger supplements available, but ginger root capsules and ginger tablets are widely preferred to ease nausea and arthritis pain.
Ginger vs. Other Herbs for Upset Stomach
Ginger is one of the most commonly-recommended herbs for treating upset stomach, especially in cases of seasickness, and it can even be taken as a preventative. Studies have found that the effects of ginger against motion sickness are greater than dimenhydrinate or placebo. However, other herbs may be used as helpful natural remedies, notably chamomile and peppermint.
Chamomile. When treating gastritis, diarrhea, and upset stomach, this herb can be used in combination with other herbs as an infusion. The recommended dose is one or two teaspoons taken by infusion.
- Peppermint. This herb is commonly used to treat digestive disorders, specifically spastic complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome. The leaves can be used to make tea, or the oil can be taken orally in a daily dose of 6 - 12 drops.
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- Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Chapter 7 The Amazing and Mighty Ginger