The Benefits of Ginger for an Upset Stomach: A Simple Guide

by Ella

Ginger, a well-known spice and medicinal root, has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive discomfort. Its potent bioactive compounds make it particularly effective in alleviating symptoms of an upset stomach. This comprehensive guide explores the benefits of ginger for an upset stomach, how it works, the best ways to use it, and scientific evidence supporting its efficacy.

Understanding Ginger: A Medicinal Root

Historical Uses of Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years. Originating from Southeast Asia, it was used in ancient Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a wide range of conditions, particularly digestive issues.


Nutritional Profile

Ginger contains a variety of bioactive compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Key components include:


Gingerol: The primary bioactive compound, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.


Vitamins: B6 and C.


Minerals: Magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Mechanisms of Ginger in Alleviating Digestive Discomfort

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects come from gingerol and other related compounds. These compounds can reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which can alleviate pain and discomfort associated with an upset stomach.

Antioxidant Effects

Ginger is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the stomach lining from oxidative stress and free radical damage. This protective effect can prevent and soothe irritation and inflammation.

Enhancing Digestive Function

Ginger aids in the production of digestive enzymes and bile, which can improve digestion and nutrient absorption. It helps food move more smoothly through the digestive tract, reducing bloating and gas.

Nausea Reduction

Ginger has been extensively studied for its ability to reduce nausea. It affects the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, providing a dual action that can effectively counteract nausea.

Scientific Evidence Supporting Ginger’s Efficacy

Studies on Nausea and Vomiting

Numerous studies have shown that ginger is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting caused by various conditions, including:

Morning Sickness: Research indicates that ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea in pregnant women.

Postoperative Nausea: Studies suggest that ginger can reduce nausea and vomiting following surgery.

Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: Ginger has been found to help alleviate nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Research on Digestive Health

Research supports ginger’s role in enhancing digestive health by:

Improving Gastric Emptying: Studies show that ginger can speed up gastric emptying, helping to alleviate bloating and discomfort.

Reducing Inflammation: Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Clinical Trials

Several clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of ginger in treating various forms of digestive discomfort. These trials highlight ginger’s potential as a natural remedy for an upset stomach.

How to Use Ginger for an Upset Stomach

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger root can be used in various ways to soothe an upset stomach:

Chewing Raw Ginger: Chewing a small piece of raw ginger can provide immediate relief from nausea.

Ginger Tea: Boil fresh ginger slices in water for a few minutes, then strain and drink the tea. This is a popular method for relieving stomach discomfort.

Ginger Supplements

Ginger supplements, available in capsules or powder form, can provide a convenient way to consume ginger, especially for those who may not enjoy the taste of fresh ginger.

Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer

Natural ginger ale or ginger beer (not the commercial varieties loaded with sugar and artificial flavors) can help alleviate stomach discomfort. Ensure they contain real ginger extract.

Ginger Candies and Chews

Ginger candies and chews can provide a quick and portable option for nausea relief. Look for products that use real ginger extract.

Cooking with Ginger

Incorporating ginger into meals can help maintain digestive health. Add fresh ginger to soups, stews, and stir-fries for both flavor and digestive benefits.

Dosage and Safety Considerations

Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage of ginger varies depending on the form:

Fresh Ginger: 1-2 grams per day.

Ginger Supplements: 250-500 mg up to four times daily.

Ginger Tea: 1-2 cups per day made with 1-2 grams of fresh ginger.

Potential Side Effects

Ginger is generally safe for most people, but it can cause mild side effects in some cases, such as:



Mouth irritation


Pregnancy: While ginger is generally considered safe for pregnant women, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider before use.

Medications: Ginger can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medications. Consult a healthcare provider if you are on any medication.

Comparing Ginger with Other Natural Remedies

Ginger vs. Peppermint

Both ginger and peppermint are effective in alleviating digestive discomfort. While ginger is particularly good for reducing nausea and vomiting, peppermint is effective for soothing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and relaxing the gastrointestinal tract.

Ginger vs. Chamomile

Chamomile is known for its calming effects and can help with stomach cramps and inflammation. Ginger, on the other hand, is more effective in treating nausea and promoting overall digestive health.

Combining Natural Remedies

Ginger can be combined with other natural remedies for enhanced effects. For example, ginger and peppermint tea can provide a powerful combination for soothing the stomach.

Incorporating Ginger into a Healthy Lifestyle

Regular Consumption

Incorporating ginger into your daily diet can help maintain overall digestive health. Regular consumption can prevent digestive discomfort and support a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, along with regular consumption of ginger, can promote optimal digestive health.

Stress Management

Since stress can exacerbate digestive issues, incorporating stress management techniques such as meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep can enhance the benefits of ginger for digestive health.

See Also: Ginger: Health Benefits (Diabetes+High Blood Pressure)


Ginger is a powerful natural remedy with a long history of use in treating digestive discomfort. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive-enhancing properties make it particularly effective for soothing an upset stomach. Scientific evidence supports its efficacy in reducing nausea, improving gastric function, and alleviating various forms of digestive distress. By incorporating ginger into your diet through fresh root, supplements, tea, or cooking, you can harness its benefits to promote digestive health and overall well-being. Remember to follow recommended dosages and consult a healthcare provider if you have any concerns, especially if you are pregnant or on medication.


1. Are ginger supplements as effective as fresh ginger?

Ginger supplements can be effective and convenient, especially for those who do not enjoy the taste of fresh ginger. However, it is important to choose high-quality supplements and follow the recommended dosage.

2. Can ginger cause any side effects?

Ginger is generally safe for most people but can cause mild side effects in some cases, such as heartburn, diarrhea, and mouth irritation. It is advisable to start with small amounts to gauge your body’s response.

3. Is ginger safe to use during pregnancy?

While ginger is generally considered safe for reducing nausea during pregnancy, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before use to ensure it is appropriate for your specific situation.

4. Can I use ginger if I am taking other medications?

Ginger can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medications. If you are on medication, consult your healthcare provider before using ginger to avoid potential interactions.

5. Is ginger effective for chronic digestive conditions like IBS?

Ginger can be beneficial for managing symptoms of chronic digestive conditions such as IBS due to its anti-inflammatory and digestive-enhancing properties. However, it is best used as part of a broader management plan that includes dietary and lifestyle changes.

6. Can children use ginger for an upset stomach?

Ginger can be used for children to help alleviate an upset stomach, but it is important to use age-appropriate dosages and consult with a healthcare provider before giving ginger to young children.

7. How long does it take for ginger to work on an upset stomach?

The effects of ginger can vary depending on the individual and the form in which it is consumed. Some people may experience relief within a few minutes to an hour, especially when using ginger tea or fresh ginger.

8. Can I use ginger every day for digestive health?

Yes, ginger can be consumed daily as part of a balanced diet to maintain digestive health. Regular consumption of ginger can help prevent digestive discomfort and support overall gastrointestinal well-being.



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