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What is a Ginger Capsule?

By Amanda Barnhart
Updated May 17, 2024
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A ginger capsule is a pill filled with dried, powdered ginger root, the stem of a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes in Asian, Arabic, and Indian cultures for more than 2,000 years. While ginger is available as a cooking spice and in some foods and drinks, taking a ginger capsule can help patients include ginger in their daily diets to treat certain symptoms and medical conditions. Children under 2 should not take ginger capsules, and patients should always check with their doctors before using any herbal remedy.

Ginger is most commonly used to relieve motion sickness symptoms, nausea, and vomiting. Many non-herbal motion sickness medications cause undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness and dry mouth. Taking a ginger capsule can provide the same level of relief from cold sweating, vomiting, and vertigo associated with motion sickness in many people with less side effects than traditional medications. Pregnant women who suffer from nausea and vomiting can also benefit from ginger since they are not able to take many anti-nausea medications, but should not take ginger capsules for more than four days at a time unless recommended by their doctors.

Many patients experience nausea and vomiting following surgery or chemotherapy treatments. Taking a ginger capsule prior to surgery can help reduce post-surgical nausea in some patients, though some may actually vomit more after surgery if taking ginger before the procedure. A 2009 study funded by the National Cancer Institute and released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology reported that chemotherapy patients who took ginger capsules several days before treatment experienced fewer and less severe problems with nausea than those who took a placebo.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Taking a ginger capsule daily may also help lower cholesterol and prevent blood from clotting, reducing the risk of heart attack in patients with heart disease. More research is needed to confirm these possible benefits, however.

Most adults should not take more than 4 g of ginger daily, though this amount can be spread throughout the day by taking small doses as needed for nausea and vomiting. Proper dosage for children is usually based on the child's weight. For example, since standard adult dosages are usually based on a person who weighs 150 lbs. (about 68 kg), a child weighing 75 lbs. (about 34 kg), should not exceed 2 g of ginger daily. It is best to check with a doctor before deciding how much ginger to take, since medical conditions and other medications can affect the appropriate daily dosage.

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