Native to Southeast Asia, ginger is common in food and medicine around the world. The ginger plant is rich in natural chemicals that can promote your health and wellness.
Ginger water, also known as ginger tea, is one way to enjoy the benefits of ginger. Read on to learn more about ginger water benefits, uses, and side effects.
As with a lot of herbal medicine, more research is needed to better understand and prove uses for ginger and ginger water. There are many anecdotes about uses for ginger water that can’t be guaranteed healthy or effective. However, there are several potential benefits backed by limited research.
Inflammation is one of your body’s natural self-preservation functions. Germs, chemicals, and poor diet can cause too much inflammation and harm your body.
Inflammation has become a very common experience for a lot of people. Diet and lifestyle changes may be necessary to fight chronic inflammation.
Consuming ginger may help prevent and heal inflammation. One studyTrusted Source found that ginger could reduce allergic reactions, in which inflammation can play a role.
A small studyTrusted Source also showed that people who took daily ginger supplements had less muscle pain after working out. Muscle pain can be caused by inflammation.
The antioxidant properties of ginger may help to prevent:
- heart disease
- neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s
- symptoms of aging
Antioxidants fight reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause oxidative stress and damage your cells. Your body naturally makes ROS, but some lifestyle choices, like drinking large quantities of alcohol, smoking, or experiencing chronic stress can make you produce too much ROS. Consuming foods and drinks with antioxidants, like ginger water, can help prevent and fight the negative side effects of ROS.
One studyTrusted Source found that that ginger could prevent or slow down kidney failure. Ginger may also slow the growth of tumors, and one studyTrusted Source found evidence that ginger may help control some types of cancer.
3. Antinausea and digestion aid
Cultures around the world regularly take ginger to help ease indigestion, vomiting, and nausea. Studies are inconclusive as to how effective this is.
4. Balance blood sugar
One studyTrusted Source found that ginger improved fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes. These and other findings show promise that ginger can help treat health concerns caused by chronic diabetes.
A recent studyTrusted Source showed that ginger reduced heart disease markers like arginase activity, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides in rats give a high-fat diet.
6. Weight loss
Ginger water may help promote weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. One studyTrusted Source showed that ginger suppressed obesity in rats on high-fat diets. And another studyTrusted Source found that men who drank a hot ginger beverage after eating felt more full for longer. Balanced blood sugar can also prevent you from overeating.
This benefit is mostly because you’re taking your ginger in water. Staying hydrated is very important for supporting every aspect of your health. Many of us simply don’t drink enough water each day. Starting your day with a glass of ginger water, or finding another regular time to drink one each day, will help you hydrate.
As with any herb or supplement, ginger may interact poorly with other medication you take. Side effects from ginger are rare but can include the following if ginger is consumed in excess:
- burning in the mouth
Don’t consume more than 4 grams of ginger in any given day in any form.
People with heart conditions, diabetes, and gallstones should especially talk with their doctor before taking ginger as a supplement. You should also talk to your doctor about the safety of taking ginger if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or about to have surgery.
Researchers have looked at the role ginger may play in helping treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. One studyTrusted Source noted that the evidence supports the efficacy of ginger for the treatment of pregnancy nausea, but that there may be safety risks for some women. A systematic review of studiesTrusted Source, however, found no adverse effects caused by ginger consumption in pregnant women.
Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or herbs during pregnancy. In some cases, diet and lifestyle changes may help reduce nausea in pregnancy:
- eat regular, small meals
- avoid greasy or spicy foods, since those may upset your stomach
- sleep at least seven hours each night
- stay hydrated
Detox rituals aim to slowly rid your body of toxins over time. Some people use ginger water mixed with lemon juice as a detox. There is only anecdotal evidence to support this use.
Since ginger may fight germs, illness, inflammation, and cancer-causing molecules, taking a little bit every day can support your overall health. Ginger is a natural root, so drinking it will also give you added nutrients.