Ginger is a healing food and universal folk remedy used for everything from stomach upset to treating the common cold or relieving joint and back pain. But despite its health benefits, the spice is not good for everyone and everything. In fact, eating ginger can be both good and bad for you, depending on what you may be suffering from. Some of the same compounds that give it its strong anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties can engender unpleasant side effects such as stomach upset and disturbed sleep and worsen gastritis and hemorrhoids. If eating ginger makes you feel worse, know that there is a reason behind why it’s just not good for you.
Is ginger good or bad for you? Truthfully, ginger can be both good and bad for you, depending on how you use it, what for and whether or not you are sensitive to the compounds that make it what it is. Overall, if it makes you feel better after eating it, then it’s most likely good for you and you can keep eating it. If not, then it might be wise to look for other natural remedies and solutions for what is ailing you. And if you are looking to know what it’s bad for and why, here are 7 powerful reasons why you shouldn’t eat ginger:
1) Makes hemorrhoids worse. As someone who has been dealing with hemorrhoids for years, I can tell you that ginger is the worst. The spice is bad for hemorrhoids because it irritates them, causing swelling, pain, itchiness and significant discomfort overall. The fact that it encourages bleeding makes it much worse for piles. The second day after adding a pinch of powder ginger to a fruit juice, my hemorrhoids acted up so bad I couldn’t sit down for 3 days, despite the fact that up to that point I was managing them great with diet alone.
2) Bad for gastritis. Many people recommend eating ginger for your stomach saying it’s healthy and that it calms discomfort, indigestion and helps eradicate Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria causing gastritis and stomach ulcers. Indeed, there are reports of people having treated their gastritis with ginger and honey and studies confirm the anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of ginger extracts. At the same time, not everyone eating ginger has cured their gastritis, but made it worse instead. For some people, ginger is a strong irritant and can worsen gastritis incredibly, aggravating stomach lining damage and intensifying the irritation and discomfort.
Even worse is mixing ginger and lemon because the citric acid in lemons can further irritate the stomach lining. If you want a natural approach towards gastritis treatment, know that manuka honey with a high methylglyoxal content is reportedly much more effective for gastritis than ginger (read more about Manuka honey MGO, UMF and KFactor). And remember to ask your doctor first and check for a potential allergy to honey or manuka pollen.
3) Worsens acid reflux. Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach juices escape from the stomach and rise up into the esophagus, causing inflammation and discomfort. Ginger is a proven irritant for the skin, blood vessels and mucous membranes and can have an irritating effect on the stomach lining, encouraging acid reflux.
See what Foods to Eat and to Avoid for Acid Reflux.
4) Intensifies heartburn and causes heart palpitations. Eating ginger is known to cause mild to severe heartburn, a burning feeling in the chest that occurs with indigestion or other digestive problems. All strong spices, from ginger to pepper and hot chili peppers can cause heartburn. The more you eat, the more severe the symptoms, even leading to heart palpitations.
Learn more about Heart Palpitations: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.
Powder ginger, whole ginger root, ginger extracts and supplements, even ginger tea have been known to cause palpitations (when you feel your heart is racing or pounding or experience irregular heartbeats such as skipped heartbeats or extra heartbeats). Certain people, especially those with existing heart or digestive conditions, may be more sensitive to the side effects of ginger.
5) Insomnia. If you are wondering why not eat ginger especially at night, then know it can cause insomnia. Because it worsens gastritis, acid reflux, heartburn and causes palpitations and even indigestion, eating it before bed can keep you up all night. Moreover, some people report having headaches, a side effect that can be attributed to the lack of sleep caused by the digestive upset or to the fact that the spice stimulates blood flow.
6) Indigestion. Ginger has an irritating effect and eating too much can easily lead to indigestion and common symptoms such as intestinal gas, bloating, eructation and flatulence. These effects can lead to other problems in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other inflammatory conditions of the digestive system.
7) Uterine contractions and bleeding. Eating ginger can potentially cause uterine contractions because it stimulates blood flow and encourages bleeding. This is why it’s not recommended too eat too much in pregnancy, or at all. Your doctor will know best so consult him or her on the matter. Also, because ginger has the potential to reduce platelet aggregation, this makes it bad for people with poor blood coagulation because it encourages bleeding. The spice has also been shown to interact with anticoagulant medication. Turmeric, a relative of ginger, contains curcumin, a compound with similar anticoagulant properties.
Conclusion. Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory food with potential benefits for arthritis and various inflammatory conditions and excellent for treating nausea and morning sickness. It holds several other beneficial effects which have lead to it being considered an overall healthy food, good for everyone and everything. Nevertheless, the same properties that make ginger good for some people and certain medical conditions cause side effects for other people and may worsen other health issues, particularly conditions associated with the digestive system. So while some of us may benefit immensely from eating ginger, others may benefit more from avoiding it. And it’s okay either way because we are all different and what may be good for some doesn’t necessarily have to be good for all of us.