Many cultures around the world have long known the value of ginger as a natural remedy for the treatment of digestive issues and upset stomach. You may even have taken ginger ale or ginger tea yourself at one time or another.
But is ginger tea good for diarrhea? In this article, we’ll take a look at what causes diarrhea and how a natural remedy like ginger tea might help to reduce and relieve the symptoms.
Diarrhea is something that everyone has probably experienced at least once in their lives, and more likely several times. It’s a relatively common digestive problem that affects people of all ages and one of the main symptoms of diarrhea is loose stools that occur more frequently than usual.
The cause of diarrhea can be a viral infection, bacteria called Escherichia coli (or e. coli), food poisoning, food intolerances, or even underlying medical conditions, although it is usually something that can be treated at home. For more severe cases that may involve cramps, nausea, and vomiting, or for cases that last more than a few days it’s important to consult a medical professional.
Very severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and can even be fatal in young children. As with any natural remedy, ginger is not a substitute for professional medical treatment if the case warrants it.
Unless you’ve got a very severe case of diarrhea though, then you probably want to avoid a trip to the doctor if you can. So, you may want to try a simple natural remedy that is effective and easy to use such as ginger.
Ginger As A Natural Treatment
Ginger is full of bioactive components but it is thought that the main compound that gives ginger its medicinal properties is gingerol. This is what gives ginger its characteristic flavor but according to research also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can help fight infections.
Not only that but it may help to improve brain function, reduce cancer risk, help treat indigestion, and may help to lower blood sugar. Although the scientific research is still limited, most of the trials that have been undertaken so far involved taking 1-3g of ginger daily.
While we don’t yet know enough about the benefits of ginger, it is clear to see that there is emerging evidence that it’s worth taking for a whole range of health benefits in the body.
Ways Use Ginger
There are lots of different ways to use ginger – you can buy ginger juice or powder or you can use fresh ginger root. Eating raw ginger is probably not the best way to take it as it has a very strong, spicy taste that can be a bit overwhelming and not particularly palatable. A more popular way to consume ginger and enjoy its health benefits is as a tea, or ground up and added to a smoothie.
Ginger teabags are available but may not work as well as making your own ginger tea with real ginger from your local grocery store. It’s very simple to make – just steep grated or chopped fresh ginger in boiling hot water (1-2tbsp) for 5-10 minutes and drink it just like you would any other tea. Some people add honey to the drink to sweeten it and make it easier to drink. Lemon juice is also a popular addition and has its own antibacterial properties.
The use of ginger supplements is also popular in herbal medicine circles and is a quick and convenient way to get the required dosage without spending time peeling and chopping fresh ginger. Many people take the supplements to relieve muscle spasms and gastrointestinal distress, but also as an inflammatory to ease joint pain.
Health practitioners are investigating the possibility of using ginger to treat other gastrointestinal issues such as morning sickness, menstrual cramps, and motion sickness. Although there is only a very limited body of research on ginger for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) many sufferers have found it to ease diarrhea symptoms and intestinal inflammation.
How Much To Take
You maybe be wondering how much ginger to take. Real fresh ginger is the best way to take it and is better than supplements which contain highly processed ginger and other fillers as well. The US Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved ginger supplements so there is no official recommended daily amount.
Start with 1g of ginger per day (or less) and if that helps you don’t need to take any more. The safest dose for any alternative medicine or natural remedy is the lowest dose. If you want to increase your intake, you can safely consume up to 4 grams of ginger per day without adverse effects.
If ginger isn’t helping, always consult a physician.
Side Effects of Ginger
There have been no serious side effects reported from taking ginger, however, some people do experience a burning sensation in the nose or mouth after consuming it. Ginger may irritate the mucous membranes so be careful to wash your hands before and after touching or preparing fresh ginger.
Pregnant women and those with allergies should consult a doctor before taking any kind of ginger or related supplements to make sure it’s suitable.
Other Herbal Teas That Can Be Used To Treat Diarrhea
Herbal teas are one of the most popular home remedies for stomach pain related to the digestive system and other digestive problems. While most people know a cup of ginger tea is one of the best natural remedies for stomach problems, some other herbal teas can also be used to treat stomach upset.
One of the top contenders for best tea in this arena is peppermint tea. Peppermint tea contains essential oils that have been known to relax stomach muscles and ease stomach aches. The active ingredient in peppermint, menthol, not only provides a refreshing flavor but can also contribute to reducing digestive discomfort.
Peppermint tea with its natural peppermint oil may even have a positive impact on the gastrointestinal tract, helping to alleviate loose motion and diarrhea. However, individuals taking blood thinners should exercise caution with peppermint, as even though it is most likely safe, it is recommended to avoid taking them together.
Chamomile tea, brewed from dried chamomile blossoms, is another herbal option that has a whole range of benefits from treating digestive disorders, to soothing cold symptoms, to promoting more restful sleep. It’s overall good for your immune system and many people take it when dealing with stress or having difficulty getting quality sleep.
Fennel tea, made from fennel seeds, is an excellent choice for those seeking relief from digestive troubles. Fennel seeds are known to help alleviate gas and bloating and fennel tea may aid in digestion by supporting the functioning of the digestive tract. Like ginger tea, it is also a potential remedy that can help fight infection in the body – both viral and bacterial. Many people drink fennel tea when they feel a cold or flu coming on.
Black tea and green tea, though not as commonly associated with digestive relief, can also contribute to a healthier digestive system. Both types of tea contain compounds that could help enhance the immune system and offer antioxidant support.
As you can see, although ginger tea is a firm favorite when it comes to treating stomach problems, there are plenty of other herbal teas that can also have a beneficial effect.
Add Ginger to Your Home Remedy List
In conclusion, what we know from research into the benefits of ginger suggests that it can be effective in treating diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain. While more research is needed to confirm exactly how well it works for digestive issues (much of the research so far is animal-based), ginger has been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties for centuries.
So, we can conclude that it is definitely worth trying for milder cases and is also safe to use at home and unlikely to cause negative side effects. Next time you experience digestive distress give it a try for yourself! However, it’s important to remember that if diarrhea continues for more than a few days that you should seek advice from a doctor.