Ginger: An Effective
Treatment for Headaches
With all the modern prescription medicines and over the
counter remedies available, researchers have found ginger, a well know
spice, is a good way to treat headaches. While is may seem
unusual for a spice to be used as a treatment ginger is
actually no stranger to the medical profession. For more than
5,000 years ginger has been used for various medicinal
purposes. In Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient healing
system, ginger is used often as a medicine. In Sanskrit,
Ayurvedic means "science of life." This type of healing is
becoming more popular in modern healing as people are realizing
the importance of the connection between the body and the
For years, ginger has been well known as a treatment for
nausea. Recently, however, it is gaining popularity as an
effective remedy for headaches. In fact, ginger is so effective
in treating headaches that it has positively endorsed by many
doctors and neurologists.
How Ginger Works on Headaches
While it is not exactly known how ginger treats headaches it
is known that headache sufferers say ginger decreases the
incidences of headaches as well as the intensity of the
headache pain. These positive effects are attributed to the
anti-inflammatory properties of ginger. Initial research shows
ginger seems to prevent the blood vessels from becoming
inflamed. This is good for headache sufferers because when
blood vessels are not inflamed, they do not become enlarged and
begin pressing on the nerves, the main cause of headache
One study conducted in Denmark seems to reinforce the idea
that ginger is good for the prevention of migraines. These
tests, however, were initially intended to determine the effect
of ginger on those suffering with arthritis. Results of the
study indicated 75% of the people who were tested had less pain
and swelling when ginger was included in their diet. How does
this show ginger is good for migraines, you may ask. Like a
migraine, arthritis is a condition caused by inflammation. It
makes since that if ginger will help with the inflammation of
arthritis, it would also help reduce the inflammation that
leads to migraine pain.
Along with reducing the number of headaches a migraine
sufferer has in a particular time period ginger can also help
reduce the unpleasant side effects associated with a migraine.
One of the main side effects ginger can help control is that of
nausea and upset stomach. For more than two decades, ginger has
been known to prevent nausea as well as motion sickness. In
fact, ginger has been proven to be more effective than
a popular over the counter medication for motion sickness.
In 1982, The Lancet, a British medical magazine for doctors,
published a study whose results indicated that ginger was
twice as effective as Dramamine in preventing nausea and
motion sickness. Ginger is believed to act either on the
digestive or central nervous system in reducing nausea and
vomiting. When ginger is taken as soon as a migraine is felt
coming on, the spice can provide relief from the nausea.
Ginger is Not For Everyone
Even though it may seem that ginger is a great cure for
headaches and migraines it may not be right for everyone. You
should not take ginger to treat your headaches and migraines if
you suffer the following conditions.
• You have gallstones. Those who have a history of
gallstones should not take ginger because it can cause more
bile to be released, making gallstones worse.
• You are pregnant. Even though ginger is advertised to
relieve morning sickness, there are no tests to show ginger is
safe to take during pregnancy.
• You doctor has ordered you to take blood thinning
medications such as Warfarin, Heparin, Plavix or Aspirin.
Taking ginger along with these medicines will further prevent
the clumping of blood cells. This could result in a dangerous
hemorrhage if you were to suffer a serious cut or other
• You have heart problems or you are taking any heart
• You have diabetes or you are taking medication to control
your blood sugar. You should not take ginger supplements under
these circumstances as they contain high levels of sugar.
• You take a supplement such as garlic. You should not take
garlic and ginger at the same time because garlic also thins
If you have any question about whether it is safe for you to
take ginger, you should talk to your doctor to make sure it is
safe for you. If you and your doctor decide ginger is a good
option you, there are a variety ways you can take this
supplement. It is available in tablets or capsules. Or you can
drink your ginger in a tea or tincture form. This supplement is
also available in a paste.
Once you start taking supplemental ginger, however, be sure
you are not also getting it in from some other source. If you
are taking ginger capsules, for example, you wouldn’t also want
to drink a tea containing ginger. You should be careful to
watch closely how much ginger you are taking as to avoid
ingesting too much. An overdose of ginger is indicated by
sleepiness, confusion, dizziness or an erratic heartbeat.
A Word of Caution
As the FDA has not done any testing on ginger as a
medication for headaches, you should be careful when taking the
supplement. In addition, the manufacturing of ginger
supplements and products are not governed by any regulated
standards so it pays to exercise caution before using these
products. There have been reports that some ginger supplements
were contaminated. To lessen the risk of buying a contaminated
product, make sure that you only buy ginger supplements from
reliable and reputable sources.
While ginger has been shown to reduce the inflammation that
leads to the pain of a migraine headache, ginger supplements
are unregulated and untested by the government. For this reason
you should be careful where you purchase your supplements. Also
be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a ginger
supplement for your headaches to be sure you don’t have health
issues that ginger would make worse.
Effective Treatment for Headaches