Using ginger as a treatment for diarrhea is a common practice. But is there medical research that supports this? Is Ginger Good for Diarrhea?
While some may assume that the benefits of ginger are anecdotal, research is proving that ginger is a natural remedy with plenty of benefits.
Ginger has long been used as a herbal remedy for diarrhea, with many having felt the benefits. Soothing for the stomach, with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, a dose of ginger can ease diarrhea and reduce pain.
Popular ginger remedies include ginger ale and ginger tea. There’s also increasing evidence showing the benefits of ginger for other medical conditions, such as morning sickness. With this guide, we cover how and why to use ginger as a diarrhea treatment.
- Related Aritlce: Is Ginger Good for IBS?
What The Research Says About Ginger?
Anecdotal evidence suggesting that ginger is good for diarrhea has come from a history of usage as a home remedy. In Eastern medicine, ginger has often been relied on for diarrhea relief. A 2005 study investigated the science behind these claims, and concluded that ginger had spasmolytic qualities.
Sudden diarrhea can be caused by a bacterial infection. Research is ongoing into the effect of ginger on typical bacterial pathogens in the gut, but the early results are positive.
A 2015 study investigated how ginger and garlic can be used to treat E. coli and Listeria infections. The study concluded that ginger could be used to restrict the growth of both bacteria.
Another 2015 study investigated whether there was modern support for traditional therapeutic claims about the properties of ginger. The investigation found there was supportive evidence showing ginger could treat abdominal cramps, intestinal spasms, and dyspepsia.
In 2011, a study was conducted into the effects of ginger in guinea pigs, to investigate the links between the herbal drug, nausea, and vomiting. The study concluded that an inhibitory effect of ginger on certain receptors could reduce these feelings.
An earlier study from 1990 investigated the effects of ginger on serotonin induced diarrhea. The results supported ginger as an anti-diarrheal medication.
Ginger may also potentially treat underlying causes of diarrhea. The protective properties of ginger can help to alleviate ulcers, and reduce the severity of other gastrointestinal diseases.
Although more research will be needed to fully understand the benefits that ginger can have for those suffering with diarrhea, these results all support the use of the herbal treatment. Ginger is able to:
- Inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause diarrhea
- Assist movement in the lower digestive tract, helping the body to remove the source of the illness
- Warm the body and prevent chills caused by sickness
- Relieve chronic conditions that may be causing the diarrhea, such as ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
- Reduce feelings of nausea and vomiting by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters
How to use ginger for diarrhea
The best way to use ginger for the treatment of diarrhea is in its fresh form. Although powders and capsules exist, they aren’t well regulated, and none are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If you do intend to buy ginger as a supplement, be sure to buy from a trusted source.
There currently is little research into the best dosage of ginger to take. A 2017 study into the effects of ginger on rats concluded that ginger is likely safe, although as an animal study it may not be applicable to humans.
It’s often recommended not to take more than 4 grams of ginger per day. Start with a low dosage, and monitor the effects. If there’s no change, then gradually increase the dosage.
How To Make Ginger Tea?
Ginger tea and ginger ale are both popular methods for consuming ginger, as they’re pleasant to drink, and can feel soothing on the stomach. Drinking ginger in a beverage is also useful for increasing hydration — a necessity if suffering from diarrhea.
To make ginger tea, add one to tablespoons of grated or sliced ginger to a mug of hot water. Leave to steep for five minutes, or longer if you prefer a stronger taste. Strain, and add honey or lemon to taste.
Ginger can also be blended into smoothies. Powdered ginger can be used instead, and ginger tea bags are also available.
Avoid sugary ginger treats. Sugar can often aggravate an upset stomach, negating the use of ginger.
Research into ginger often takes different forms. If you find ginger tea doesn’t work for you, experiment with different ways to incorporate ginger into your diet.
Side Effects Of Ginger
There are few reported side effects to taking ginger, but still exercise caution before using. Fresh ginger has a strong flavor, and can lead to a burning sensation in the mouth or nose. Be sure to wash your hands after using.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with a doctor before taking ginger to treat diarrhea. Children under 2 should not be given ginger.
Ginger can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea in some.
Anyone suffering from gallstones, diabetes, bleeding disorders, and heart disease should avoid ginger. If you’re on medications, speak to a doctor before taking ginger.
Should You Take Ginger For Diarrhea?
With minimal side effects and growing amounts of supportive research, there are many good reasons for taking ginger to relieve diarrhea.
As it can be brewed into a tea, consuming ginger in low dosages is easy, and often effective.
However, if you have severe diarrhea, or diarrhea that has lasted for longer than several days, speak with a doctor.
Is Ginger Good for Diarrhea Final Thoughts
As a long-standing herbal medicine, many will have already experimented with using ginger to ease diarrhea. Ongoing medical research indicates that ginger is a valid treatment.
Fresh ginger brewed into a tea is an easy way to hydrate, and potentially soothe the stomach.
Some, such as pregnant women and those taking certain medications, should avoid ginger. If diarrhea doesn’t ease, seek medical help.
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