Interested in trying our FREE Healthy Diet Plan? This easy-to-follow, nutritionist-created plan will inspire you to cook and eat more healthily. Nourish yourself with seven days of meals, snacks and treats.


What is ginger?

Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom. Native to South East Asia, India and China, ginger is an integral component of the region’s diet, and is valued for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties.

Although we may be more familiar with recipe favourites like gingerbread or ginger biscuits, ginger is more than just a flavouring – it's been used for its medicinal properties throughout the ages.

Benefits of ginger may include:

1. May be used to treat fever or cold
2. May reduce sickness
3. Topically applied it may relieve pain
4. Has anti-inflammatory qualities
5. May calm the digestive system
6. May support heart health
7. May lower blood pressure
8. May lower blood sugar
9. May support the liver
10. May reduce menstrual pain
11. May aid weight management

More like this

Discover our full range of health benefit guides and read about the health benefits of ginger tea. Plus, check out some of our delicious ginger recipes and gingerbread recipes.

Ginger and ginger powder

Nutritional profile of fresh ginger:

4g serving of fresh ginger provides:

• 2 kcals / 8 kJ
• 0.1g protein
• 0.3g carbohydrate
• 0.1g fibre
• 17mg potassium

What are the 10 top health benefits of ginger?

1. May alleviate the symptoms of a cold

Ginger tea is a great choice at the onset of a cold. Because of the way ginger promotes perspiration it may be used to treat feverish conditions such as influenza or cold. In animal studies, the dried root increased antibody production after immunisation with a flu vaccine, while the fresh root also appears to have antiviral effects.

2. May soothe mild nausea and morning sickness

Anecdotal reports suggest the symptoms associated with motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats, may be alleviated by ginger. This may extend to people undergoing surgery and chemotherapy-related nausea, although further studies are required. Ginger has most often been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with mild pregnancy sickness – if this is relevant to you check with your GP or midwife to ensure its use is appropriate for you.

3. Topical application may relieve pain

Many of the curative properties of ginger relate to its potent anti-inflammatory qualities. These effects appear to be relevant for topical use, with studies supporting the use of a ginger compress for relieving osteoarthritis symptoms. Topical applications may also stimulate circulation and soothe burns.

4. Has anti-inflammatory properties

The fresh root is rich in volatile oils that contain active components, these include gingerol. This potent anti-inflammatory compound is believed to explain why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis who consume ginger regularly experience reductions in their pain levels as well as improvements in mobility.

5. May calm the digestive system

Ginger has a long reputation as a carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excess gas from the digestive system, and is known to soothe the intestinal tract. Colic and indigestion respond particularly well to ginger.

Fresh ginger with lemon

6. May support heart health

Ginger has cardioprotective effects that are attributed to a number of different mechanisms, including managing cholesterol levels, promoting blood flow and improving the efficiency of the heart.

7. May lower blood pressure

Both animal and human studies suggest ginger may lower blood pressure and daily consumption may protect against certain other chronic illnesses.

8. May lower blood sugar

Ginger may help to lower blood sugar levels, a 2022 study looking at ginger supplementation, in a group of people with type II diabetes, found significant reductions in fasting blood sugar as well as lower HBA1c, the marker that measures your average blood glucose level for the last 90 days.

9. May support the liver

Gingerol and shogaols, two potent compounds in ginger, help inhibit inflammation and protect against cell damage, as well as against toxins including alcohol. This may help support liver health.

10. May reduce menstrual pain

Taking ginger during the first 3-4 days of a period may help alleviate the symptoms of menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). It appears to work as well as medications such as ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and diclofenac. However, if you experience heavy blood flow, you may need to exercise caution and refer to your GP for further guidance.

11. May aid weight management

Both animal and human studies suggest that ginger may help improve body weight and weight-hip ratio scores.

How to incorporate ginger into your diet

1. Ginger tea can be consumed at any time of day. It works well as a pick-me-up first thing in the morning, but you may also find it helps ease digestion after a meal.

You can add fresh lemon or honey, or buy different flavoured tea bags, such as lemon and ginger or ginger green tea.

Read more about the benefits of ginger tea.

2. A ginger juice shot makes a punchy, refreshing start to your day. This concentrated juice is often combined with honey, turmeric, cayenne pepper or citrus juice. We’ve added apple juice to our ginger shot – the sweetness complements the earthy, warmth of this popular spice.

3. Ginger can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes. Fresh ginger has a sweeter more complex flavour and works well in soups, casseroles and stir fries, whereas ground ginger is more intense and suited to bakes, as well as curries and spice blends.

4. Other preserved forms of ginger include stem ginger, which are balls of ginger preserved in a sugary syrup, and crystallised ginger (dried pieces of ginger rolled in a sugar coating).

Ginger recipes to try

Carrot & ginger soup
Ginger chicken
Curried cod
Vegetable bean chilli
Ginger loaf cake

Is ginger safe for everyone?

Although regarded as safe, especially as a condiment or flavouring, ginger is a potent herb that acts pharmacologically, so it may be unsuitable for some people, including but not exclusively those:

  • With a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones
  • With gallstones, this is because ginger may stimulate the gall bladder
  • Who frequently experience heartburn or acid reflux
  • About to undergo surgery
  • With low blood pressure or on prescribed blood pressure medications. These individuals should consume ginger in moderation because of its potential blood-pressure-lowering effects
  • On other prescribed medications including blood thinning medication such as warfarin or aspirin as well as diabetes medications
  • Using anti-nausea, motion sickness medication.

There is no evidence to suggest ginger is unsafe if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, but it’s best to check with your GP or midwife first.

If you’re unsure or concerned whether it’s safe and appropriate for you, consult your GP for further guidance.

Overall, is ginger good for you?

Ginger has been used in alternative forms of medicine for years, and it’s easy to see why. It offers multiple benefits to health, including helping to ease nausea, bring out a fever or cold, calm the digestive system and relieve joint pain. More studies are needed, but it’s also believed to lower blood pressure and support heart health, too. As a condiment or flavouring, ginger works well in a number of recipes. Also, check out our pickled ginger recipe.

Want more like this? Try...

Top health benefits of peppermint tea
Top health benefits of kombucha
Top health benefits of turmeric
Top health benefits of kefir

If you’re unsure or concerned whether it is safe for you to consume ginger, consult your GP for guidance.

This page was reviewed on 9th October 2023 by Kerry Torrens, Registered Nutritionist.

Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition with a specialism in public health. Follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.


All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post