Ginger root is a useful natural remedy. But as with any supplement, too much of it can cause problems. Here are some of the health problems associated with too much ginger root.
Ginger is an ingredient often used in natural health remedies. It is said to help with various health problems such as:
- Settling an upset stomach and reducing nausea
- Helps digest proteins and break down fats
- Eases excess gas
- Reducing inflammation in conditions such as ulcerative colitis and arthritis.
- Fighting a fever
- Lowering LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol
The recommended daily intake is 1 of dried ginger or two cups of ginger tea. Ginger is most often used as a flavoring but can also be used as a tea or a supplement in pill form. However, like any food, ginger root also has its risks. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, taking too much ginger root can result in excess gas and stomach acid and can also cause a bad taste in the mouth.
Here are some of the other risks of eating too much ginger root:
Eating too much ginger can cause itchiness in the bladder opening which may cause soreness and a feeling of needing to frequently pass urine.
Although this risk of ginger root is most common if the root is applied to the skin, eating excess ginger can cause skin rashes and itching.
Abnormal heart rhythms
Ginger is a stimulant and a warming spice. For that reason, excessive consumption can cause the heart rhythm to become irregular. This is particularly a problem in people who already have an existing heart condition.
Ginger root is tough to digest. Directly chewing too much of it can block the intestines, resulting in severe discomfort and possibly a surgical procedure to remove the blockage.
Low Blood Sugar and Reduced Clotting
Ginger root has an effect on insulin levels so excess ginger can lower the blood sugar, resulting in nausea and dizziness. By preventing platelets clumping together in the blood, it can lead to excess bleeding.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant women should only take as much ginger as is in their normal food diet. It causes the uterus to discharge which can result in miscarriage. This can be particularly in the first few weeks of pregnancy so stop any ginger root supplements prior to trying for a baby.
Adverse drug interactions
If you take blood thinner medication, ginger should not be taken as it can cause bleeding from excess thinning of the blood. Theoretically, it could have a counter-effect with insulin or medication for heart conditions or for stomach complaints so consult a doctor before taking ginger if you are taking any of these medications. It can also reduce the effectiveness of painkillers. (See Bliddall et al, reference 2) or speed up the absorption of some drugs, so if you are taking any medications, consult your doctor before taking ginger root supplements.