Ginger and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale. It has been used for centuries already in alternative medicine for the many health benefits it is thought to have. Turns out, some of those health benefits have actually been scientifically proven! But is ginger effective in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and digestive issues?
The information on Positive Gut is for informational purposes only. The information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, always seek the advice of your doctor.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale. The outside of the ginger is brown, and not used for consumption. When the ginger is peeled, the yellow inside comes to the surface. And that’s where the goodness is at!
It is not easy to describe the taste of ginger. Some people love it, others really don’t like it. This all comes down to personal taste. According to Harvest to Table, the taste of ginger is half spicy and peppery and half lemony and it’s also got a sweet tone.
The health benefits of ginger have been linked to the bioactive component Gingerol.
How to Use Ginger
Ginger is popular to use in meals and drinks. It can either be used dried or fresh and it is often pickled or candied.
If you want to use ginger for its health benefits, it’s best to use fresh ginger or dried ginger. When drying the ginger, the amount of the health-promoting gingerol doesn’t decrease much, so it is a good option to use.
Pickled or candied ginger can have a lot of additives which will make it less healthy in general.
Ginger is widely used in ginger tea, in curries, soups, marinades, and other meals. You might know the pickled ginger from eating sushi and ginger can also be used in baking (gingerbread cookies) which obviously aren’t that health-promoting, but they are tasty!
Fresh ginger can be kept at room temperature for about 1 week, and for 3 weeks in the fridge. If you have bought too much ginger, you can also peel and cut it, and keep it in the freezer.
Ginger and IBS
When it comes to IBS there are some properties in ginger that catch the attention.
In a recent systematic review, that summarized 109 studies that have been done on the health benefits of ginger it has become clear that ginger works anti-inflammatory, has pain-relieving properties, and can improve the transit time in the stomach and the movement of the stomach.
Other studies have shown that ginger can work against nausea and vomiting, bloating, and improve the movement of the intestines.
Most of the studies used a variety of dosages and supplements. Which makes it hard to pinpoint an amount that would work for you.
If you’re dealing with IBS-symptoms like nausea, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or heartburn often, schedule a free symptom assessment call and I’ll show you how I can help.
To Use or Not to Use Ginger?
In my practice, I often recommend using ginger, especially when my clients experience a lot of nausea. Ginger tea for nausea or to aid digestion usually works well.
Ginger can be a very useful and delicious product you can use in a healthy food pattern. Even if it might not have too much effect on IBS symptoms, it is still a healthy product to use.
If you like the taste of ginger, I would definitely recommend using it. If you don’t like the taste of ginger but still want to try out if it helps you, a supplement can be of use. Make sure not to use too much, most studies have been done with approx. 1000 mg of ginger extract. So that could be a place to start.
In the last couple of years, I’ve grown to like the taste of ginger! Maybe knowing about its health benefits has helped here….
Is ginger a taste you like? Let me know your favorite ginger recipe in a comment below!
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!