Do you like ginger? It might be a bit of a polarizing ingredient in food — not quite overly spicy, but still gives a kick to any dish or drink to which it’s added. In addition to being a flavorful addition to many dishes, it also has a number of health benefits; one of these is helping support joint health, particularly in people with arthritis.
Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, from soothing stomach upset to managing pain and inflammation. It is thought to boost the function of the immune system and may also serve as an antioxidant.
The root is the part of the plant that is usually used for cooking. One tablespoon of fresh grated ginger has:
That is a lot of nutrition in just a tablespoon! Ginger also contains a compound called gingerol, which is likely responsible for all its health benefits (including prevention of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract).
Ginger and Arthritis
Gingerol is particularly beneficial for the management of inflammation of the joints caused by arthritis as it inhibits COX-2 receptors, decreasing pain and swelling.
A 2001 study compared the effect of a ginger extract with a placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis. The group that received the ginger reported a 40% reduction in pain and stiffness.
Ginger may be a great alternative to other treatments for pain caused by inflammation and arthritis.
A similar 2016 study evaluated the use of a ginger and echinacea supplement for inflammation in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee. The subjects were given 25 mg of ginger and 5 mg of echinacea or a placebo for 30 days. There was a significant reduction in pain and swelling reported in those who received the supplement.
Ginger doesn’t even have to be taken orally to improve joint pain. A 2015 study evaluated the impact of a ginger extract cream on inflammation and pain for subjects with osteoarthritis. The cream was applied three times a day for 12 weeks. Subjects reported a significantly better quality of life with less pain and inflammation.
Based on these studies, ginger may be a great alternative to other treatments for pain caused by inflammation and arthritis.
How to Take Ginger
Ginger comes in many different forms, including capsules, oils and teas. Of course, it is relatively simple to just add it to your diet as a spice. You can use either dried or fresh ginger root in your food. You can also make ginger tea with fresh ginger root for a refreshing, warm drink. But ginger in food may not provide enough gingerol to see any major impact in terms of inflammation and reduced pain.
Concentrated supplements that contain ginger may be more effective for joint health. The recommended dose for a supplement is 100-200 mg per day. Each serving of Flexify contains 200 mg of ginger root extract. The use of extracts in clinically tested Flexify makes it possible to include a greater concentration of active ingredients in each tablet.
There are no major side effects noted with ginger, but for some people concentrated doses may cause stomach discomfort. If that happens, take the supplement with food. If you use a ginger oil or cream, be sure to test a small amount first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
Ginger is a natural alternative to help lower inflammation in the joints and get you moving again.