Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Origin: The dried or fresh root of the ginger plant.
Claims: Decreases joint pain and reduces inflammation in people with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Increases circulation in people with Raynaud’s phenomenon.
What we know: Used in Asian medicine for centuries, ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors such as celecoxib (Celebrex). Ginger also suppresses leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules) and switch off certain inflammatory genes, potentially making it more effective than conventional pain relievers. Ginger also reduces nausea and vomiting and is a proven treatment for motion sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Studies: In a 2012 in vitro study, a specialized ginger extract called Eurovita Extract 77 reduced inflammatory reactions in RA synovial cells as effectively as steroids.
Ginger also has been studied for OA. In one trial of more than 200 patients, Eurovita Extract 77 improved OA pain after standing and walking.
A 2005 study showed ginger killed Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes stomach ulcers.
Dosage: Powder, extract, tincture, capsules and oils, up to 2 g in three divided doses per day or up to 4 cups of tea daily. In studies, 255 mg of Eurovita Extract 77 (equivalent to 3,000 mg dried ginger) twice daily.
Ginger can interfere with medications for blood thinning. It should not be used if you have gallstones.