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Dysmenorrhea refers to pain felt during the menstrual cycle.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
In a 2009 study, 150 women were instructed to take either ginger or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for the first 3 days of the menstrual period.
The three groups received four daily doses of either ginger powder (250 mg), mefenamic acid (250 mg), or ibuprofen (400 mg). Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the two NSAIDs (24Trusted Source).
More recent studies have also concluded that ginger is more effective than a placebo and equally as effective as drugs such as mefenamic acid and acetaminophen/caffeine/ibuprofen (Novafen) (25, 26, 27Trusted Source).
While these findings are promising, higher-quality studies with larger numbers of study participants are still needed (27Trusted Source).
Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.
High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels.
While the drop in LDL is impressive, it’s important to consider that study participants received very high doses of ginger.
Many cited a bad taste in the mouth as their reason for dropping out of an OA study where they received doses of 500 mg–1 gram of ginger (17).
The doses taken during the hyperlipidemia study are 5–10 times higher. It’s likely that most people may have difficulty taking a 5-gram dose for long enough to see results (28).
In an older study from 2008, people who received 3 grams of ginger powder (in capsule form) each day also saw significant reductions in most cholesterol markers. Their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels dropped by 10% over 45 days (29).
These findings are supported by a study in rats with hypothyroidism or diabetes. Ginger extract lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol to a similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin (30Trusted Source).
Study subjects from all 3 studies also experienced drops in total cholesterol. Participants in the 2008 study, as well as the lab rats, also saw reductions in their blood triglycerides (28, 29, 30Trusted Source).
There’s some evidence, in both humans and animals, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and blood triglyceride levels.
Ginger has been studied as an alternative remedy for several forms of cancer.
Accordingly, a post-study indicated that individuals at upper-level risks for colorectal cancer didn’t extract similar findings (34Trusted Source).
Ginger contains the substance gingerol, which appears to have protective effects against cancer. However, more studies are needed.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process. You can reduce inflammation with turmeric. Find products here.
They’re believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Some animal studies suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain (39Trusted Source).
There’s also some evidence that ginger can help enhance brain function directly. In a 2012 study of healthy middle-aged women, daily doses of the ginger extract were shown to improve reaction time and working memory (40Trusted Source).
Animal studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also help improve brain function in middle-aged women.
Gingerol can help lower the risk of infections.
Ginger may fight harmful bacteria and viruses, which could reduce your risk for infections.
Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
It’s one of the very few superfoods actually worthy of that term.
Last medically reviewed on October 6, 2020