The use of ginger for cooking is widespread. It is known for its palatable taste and healthy benefits. It is also used as herbal remedy for some common ailments.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is effective against nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, weight loss and vertigo. However, it also increases bleeding time and should not be used together with
- anticoagulants such as warfarin, heparin
- Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) such as diclofenac, aspirin, Ibuprofen, piroxicam (felvin)
- Metronidazole (as it increases bioavailability and decreases removal of the drug from the body, leading to drug toxicity – very dangerous)
True, some people with conditions such as stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, atrial fibrillation or prolonged bed rest may need to take anticoagulants. However, taking these medications with ginger as a herbal supplement (or tea) is dangerous and may worsen side effects such as passing blood in urine or faeces, prolonged nosebleeds, vomiting or coughing blood among others. This may result in severe anemia and can be deadly.
It is however important to note that when used as a food product (in little quantity), the potential side effects as well as interactions of ginger with these drugs may be less pronounced than when it is used as a herbal supplement.