Herbalists often recommend ginger (Zingiber officinale) for a variety of physical complaints. According to Holistic Online, ginger is indigenous to southeastern Asia. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), writes, “Few side effects are linked to ginger when it is taken in small doses.” The few risks ginger root presents include, but are not limited to, prolonged sleeping, certain pregnancy issues, caution for surgical patients and other discomfort.


Sleep Risks

Ginger root may cause sleep problems for some people. According to Holistic Online, ginger may cause prolonged sleep if the sleep is barbiturate-induced. If you take over-the-counter or prescription sleep medications, consult with your physician before taking ginger root in any form.


Pregnancy

Ginger may ease morning sickness if used only short-term. Holistic Online warns that ginger for morning sickness is not indicated and is not recommended in the long-term when you are pregnant.


Medications and Surgery

Meet with your doctor before taking ginger root in any form if you take certain blood-thinning medications. According to Holistic Online, such medications include, but are not limited to, aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix) and ticlopidine (Ticlid). Ginger may make such medications stronger and increase the risk of unexpected bleeding.

Other Risks

Ginger root may cause other health problems in some people. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, some of powdered ginger’s side-effects include gas, heartburn and bloating. Holistic Online cautions that your doctor must determine whether you should take ginger if you have gallstones. If taken regularly, ginger can inhibit iron and fat-soluble vitamins.