Alternative medicine practitioners use ginger root to treat digestive disorders, arthritis and heart conditions. The use of ginger root in Asian, Arabic and Indian cultures for medicinal purposes has been in practice for thousands of years, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Ginger root provides benefits for some physical ailments, but users must consider the side effects as well.
One of the most common uses for ginger root is as an anti-nausea treatment. Ginger root is available in a capsule or can be steeped in a tea for an effective anti-nausea treatment. The herbal remedy is safe for use by pregnant women to combat morning sickness and can also treat post-surgery nausea, according to the University of Michigan Health System.
Health care professionals treat inflammation in conditions such as arthritis with ginger root, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. While there have been studies that show improvement in arthritis patients taking ginger root, the benefits may be no better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
Ginger root may be able to help lower cholesterol and treat heart disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Early studies have shown that ginger root also helps prevent blood clotting. Lowering cholesterol and preventing blood clots helps patients avoid heart attacks and stroke.
Side effects from ginger root are rare, but they can occur in some patients. Patients using ginger root may experience heartburn, diarrhea and mouth irritation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Patients with gallstones should consult with their doctor before using ginger root, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Most of the side effects from ginger root occur when patient use large doses. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests using ginger root capsules to avoid stomach irritation.
Herbal treatments may adversely affect medications and drugs used to treat other conditions. Ginger root may cause excessive bleeding in patients using a blood thinning medication, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Patients can avoid dangerous drug interactions by consulting with a doctor or pharmacist before using ginger root.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Maryland Medical Center: Ginger
University of Michigan Health System: Ginger