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What is ginger and where is it found?

Ginger is an herb with numerous therapeutic qualities including the ability to decrease inflammation. It has antioxidant properties and has been shown to be effective in alleviating gastrointestinal distress. The stem (rhizome) can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as a juice or oil. Not only is ginger used as a medicine, but ginger is also used as a spice and as a flavoring agent in the food and drink industry. Additionally, ginger is often an ingredient in fragrances and cosmetics.

What are the benefits?

Ginger is used to treat morning sickness, motion sickness, dizziness, osteoarthritis, and nausea and vomiting after surgery and from cancer treatment. Ginger is also utilized for decreased appetite, stomach upset, colic, flatulence, and the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Some people take ginger to treat chest and back pain, menstrual pain, muscle soreness, and migraine headaches. Topically, the juice can be used to treat thermal burns while the oil is used as an analgesic.

Are there interactions with food, medications or herbal supplement?

Caution should be taken with medications that slow blood clotting, like warfarin. Additionally, there may be minor interactions with antidiabetes drugs and medications for high blood pressure. Consult with a doctor before starting ginger.

Are there side effects?

Side effects are rare but may include abdominal discomfort, heartburn, diarrhea, mouth irritation, and drowsiness.

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