Fresh ginger with leaves.
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Ginger is an herb with a multitude of beneficial health properties. Its active compounds--known as gingerols--have proven anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties, and may be helpful for treating poor circulation and high cholesterol. Ginger is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and may be effective in alleviating symptoms of conditions such as arthritis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Cardiovascular Effects

Ginger capsules may be beneficial for people with certain cardiovascular conditions. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger may help prevent blood clot formation and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which can help guard against blood vessel damage caused by atherosclerosis. Its warming and blood thinning effects help blood circulate more freely, resulting in improved circulation throughout the body. Conditions such as Raynaud’s Phenomenon and other circulatory disorders may also be improved by taking high-quality ginger supplements.

Ginger should not be taken with blood thinners like coumadin or aspirin, as it can increase the risk for bleeding.

Digestive Benefits

Ginger capsules are a quick and effective remedy for many types of nausea. According to MSNBC Health, patients who took ginger capsules prior to receiving cancer chemotherapy experienced fewer and less severe attacks of nausea than those taking placebo.

Ginger root is as effective as the motion sickness drug dimenhydrinate for relieving motion sickness and morning sickness, according to the National Institutes of Health. What’s more, ginger capsules may be less likely to cause unwanted side effects than prescription anti-nausea drugs like aprepitant, which are commonly used by cancer patients and have been associated with serious health problems like heart attack and diabetes.

Ginger capsules may cause mild gastrointestinal side effects like indigestion and belching. Using enteric-coated ginger capsules or taking an antacid prior to dosing may help prevent side effects.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger capsules may help fight the pain caused by conditions like arthritis and menstrual cramps. Ginger works by preventing COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes from producing prostaglandins--chemicals that trigger pain and inflammation in the body. It may be effective for treating the inflammation caused by both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, according to Arthritis Today.

Because it can thin the blood, ginger should not be taken with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen or celecoxib. The recommended dose of ginger in capsule form for treating inflammation is 2 g daily in three divided doses.