Ginger is a main ingredient in the soft drink, ginger ale. For thousands of years in cultures throughout the world, people used ginger in various forms as a natural remedy for stomach-related illnesses, according to A-Healthy-Foods.com. Doctors frequently recommend to patients drinking ginger ale as a cure for nausea, motion sickness and other ailments that cause an upset stomach. While ginger ale is mostly known for its positive healing properties, it can produce some negative side effects.
Ginger ale can cause some people to experience a mild case of heartburn if consumed in large quantities. If heartburn persists, it’s typically suggested that people seek treatment with an over-the-counter antacid.
Bloating & Gas
Some people who consume large amounts of ginger ale report experiencing bloating and gas. However, these side effects are more commonly felt by people who consume ginger in a powder form than as an ingredient in a soft drink. Bloating and gas caused by ginger ale is more likely to come from carbonation than ginger.
A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center found patients given ginger following surgery to relieve nausea and vomiting had increased vomiting episodes. However, other studies by the same medical center show ginger is an effective stomach settler for people post surgery, thus the research is varied.
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Intestinal Diseases & Gallstones
It’s recommended that people with intestinal diseases and gallstones consult their doctor before consuming ginger ale and other products with ginger, as ginger can irritate and worsen these conditions.
Doctors warn that ginger ale, when it contains real ginger root and not ginger flavoring, can prevent blood from clotting in patients who undergo surgery. As a result, it can cause excess bleeding and lead to prolonged recovery. For this reason, some doctor’s don’t recommend patients consuming ginger in any form post surgery.
Christie Gross has been writing since 1998. Her work writing public policy platforms for elected officials nationwide has been featured in national and local newspapers under various client pen names. Gross has a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware.