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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: ginger (Pronunciation: JIN jer)

What is ginger ()?

The use of ginger in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Ginger is also known as zingiber.

Ginger is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Ginger is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of ginger as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of ginger may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Ginger has been used in the treatment and prevention of motion sickness, to increase appetite, and to reduce stomach acidity. Ginger has also been used under medical supervision by some women to reduce severe nausea in pregnancy.

Ginger has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of ginger may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Ginger may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of ginger ()?

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to ginger have been reported. Stop taking ginger and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about ginger ()?

Ginger is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Ginger is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of ginger as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of ginger may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you

  • have gallstones or any other disease of the gallbladder;
  • have diabetes or if you are taking a medicine to control your blood sugar levels;
  • have any heart problems or take any heart medicines;
  • have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder or are taking a medicine to increase or decrease the clotting of your blood such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or heparin; or
  • take other herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may affect blood thinning).

You may not be able to take ginger, or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions or are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Ginger has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of ginger may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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