When attempting to find effective methods of fighting back against joint pain, achy knees, and uncomfortable limbs, many of us are willing to try just about any method in the hope that it will offer some relief. From home remedies that involve combining olive oil and cayenne pepper, to knee compression belts designed to promote healing and improve comfort in aching joints, there are a wide range of options available for suffering individuals.
One of the many connections that is being explored lately, is the one between joint pain and ginger. As health experts begin to recommend ginger tea and other root-infused remedies, science is considering the facts behind why ginger has been used for centuries as a flavorful way to combat numerous ailments, including inflammation and joint pain.
Why Joint Pain and Ginger Are Connected
Although there is still not enough comprehensive research conducted into the effectiveness of ginger when it comes to managing issues of joint pain, some studies have shown signs that this fleshy underground stem might help to relieve the symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One study indicated that the ginger was able to reduce knee pain in a patient with osteoarthritis after three months of treatment, while another found that ginger could work about as well as ibuprofen in certain circumstances.
Unfortunately, there are also studies that suggest ginger may not be as effective as we might hope, and it's difficult to determine conclusively whether joint pain and ginger really do go hand in hand. What scientists do suggest, however, is that if ginger does help, this is because of the various volatile oils such as shagaols and gingerols that help to give the root it's bite.
Using Ginger for Joint Pain
For people who want to try out the interaction between joint pain and ginger themselves, there are plenty of different home remedies to try. Ginger can be bought in a wide variety of different forms, including crystals, ground powder, fresh roots, or infused in the form of oils, teas, and even capsules. Many people find that it's easier to tolerate the hot flavor of fresh ginger if it's coated with sugar and crystalized, which is why it's frequently used in sweet teas and other sugary remedies.
Importantly, the studies so far that have shown a distinct and positive connection between joint pain and ginger used standardized and concentrated ginger extracts. However, according to the University of Maryland, individuals should avoid taking any more than four grams of ginger a day, either in the form of supplements or foods. If you're counting, this works out at:
- 1 inch of candied ginger
- Two teaspoons of fresh chopped ginger
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 1 ginger capsule
When trying out ginger for joint pain relief, remember that this substance can lead to upset stomachs and heart burn in some people. However, it is widely used as a food and is on the FDA's list of "safe" substances. The best course of action may be to check with your doctor before starting to take ginger on a medicinal level - particularly if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.