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All about: ginger

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Generic Name: ginger (JIN jer)
Brand Names:

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 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.

Who should not take ginger?

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.

Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Ginger may not be recommended in some other situations.

Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. There is no information available regarding the use of ginger by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take 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.

If you choose to take ginger, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, topical formulations, teas, tinctures, and others) of ginger at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of ginger.

Store ginger as directed on the package. In general, ginger should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of ginger. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a ginger overdose may include sleepiness, confusion, dizziness, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking ginger?

There are no known restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking ginger, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Ginger side effects

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.

Side effects other than those listed here have not been reported with the use of ginger. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that you develop.

What other drugs will affect ginger?

Do not take ginger without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
  • any heart medicine;

  • a medicine to control blood sugar levels such as insulin, glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Glynase, Diabeta, Micronase), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolbutamide (Orinase), tolazamide (Tolinase), troglitazone (Rezulin), rosiglitazone (Avandia), repaglinide (Prandin), metformin (Glucophage), and others;

  • warfarin (Coumadin);

  • aspirin;

  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis), indomethacin (Indocin), etodolac (Lodine), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), tolmetin (Tolectin), and others;

  • ardeparin (Normiflo);

  • dalteparin (Fragmin);

  • danaparoid (Orgaran);

  • enoxaparin (Lovenox);

  • heparin; or

  • 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 are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with ginger or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about ginger.

  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. 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. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:07:53 PM.

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