Ginger root is a time-honored alternative medicine that has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions. Even today it is useful in some medical applications, such as the use of ginger to subdue nausea. The use of herbal supplements can be risky because of the potential interactions with medications and unwanted side effects occurring in the body, but no research suggests ginger puts your kidneys at risk.
Ginger Root Uses
Ginger can ease nausea due to motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy treatments. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it also helps treat inflammation in the body. Although more research is needed, it is also possible that ginger can help individuals with heart disease by lowering cholesterol and limiting blood clotting. Ginger may also have anti-cancer applications.
As a general rule, ginger root consumption should never exceed 4 grams per day, regardless of the food source. Up to 2,000 milligrams can be taken at a time with food. Treating nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy can use up to 250 milligrams of ginger root taken four times throughout the day. You can also make a ginger juice or tea by soaking 2-4 grams of ginger in water.
Side Effects and Risks
Ginger does not react well with blood-thinning medications -- individuals taking these should avoid use of this herb. Additionally, ginger could interact poorly with various prescription medications in ways that may indirectly affect the kidneys, causing damage in varying amounts. To avoid this, ask your doctor about the possible interactions of certain medications before you start taking them in conjunction with ginger.
If you develop symptoms of kidney damage or kidney pain, it is unlikely that ginger root is the culprit, since no relationship between your kidneys and ginger has yet been identified. Kidney damage is a serious development and should be handled with caution. Consult your doctor if you are concerned you have developed pain or damage in your kidneys. Report the use of all medications and supplements, including ginger root, to help your doctor determine the cause.
Hannah Rose is a professional writer who is also preparing a doctoral dissertation focusing on program development. She received her Master of Arts in psychology in May 2011 and is pursuing her Doctor of Psychology at George Fox University with a focus on clinical psychology. She also works as a primary care therapist for a family medical clinic.