Pregnancy can make you an anxious eater. You want to vet everything you eat for its effects on your precious little one. So if people have warned you about taking ginger during pregnancy or you’ve read too much about it, let’s give it to you straight. Is ginger safe during pregnancy? Yes, but in limited quantity. It is not just safe but also beneficial in a number of ways.
1. Ginger Reduces Morning Sickness
Ginger is especially effective in reducing nausea in early pregnancy thanks to gingerols, the active ingredients that give the herb its spiciness.1 In this, it has the same effect as vitamin B6.2
One particular study observed pregnant women (of less than 16 weeks) who took about 1 gm of ginger every day for 3 weeks. Ginger noticeably reduced retching and vomiting in them.3
2. Ginger Improves Digestion During Pregnancy
Even if you have had a strong digestive system, pregnancy can change it. As the fetus grows, the uterus presses on the wall of the abdomen and also pushes up the stomach and the diaphragm, causing acid reflux. Moreover, digestion itself is a lot slower during pregnancy which keeps you feeling full. Ginger has been found to quicken gastric emptying or the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine.4 It is also considered a natural remedy for heartburn.
3. Ginger Does Not Cause Miscarriage Or Birth Defects
The answer is a simple no, ginger does not cause miscarriages. There is no scientific evidence to prove this. In fact, a large population-based study has concluded that eating ginger “does not seem to increase the risk of congenital malformations, stillbirth/perinatal death, preterm birth, or low birth weight.”5
4. Up To 1 gm Ginger Is Safe During Pregnancy
Most studies use about 250 mg ginger, 4 times a day. So that is 1 gm ginger per day. You can take it in the form of fresh and dried root, in tea, and with breads or any other dishes. However, 1 gm might not suit all pregnant women. Check with your doctor or dietician for a dosage ideal for your body type, especially if you are taking ginger for your osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy.6
5. Higher Doses Can Have Side Effects
The amount of ginger we have in our diet rarely has any adverse effects. However, even for a healthy adult, doses higher than 4 gm a day will cause side effects. The significant ones are gastritis, stomach upset, diarrhea, mouth irritation, and heartburn. It might also cause irregular heart beats or arrhythmia. Do note that more than 1 gm ginger can be considered a high dose for pregnant women.7 8
6. Avoid Ginger If You Are On Blood Thinners
Ginger can act as a blood thinner and lower blood pressure and blood sugar. So if you are already taking medicines for these, avoid ginger to prevent an overdose. It might also be prudent to avoid ginger if you have a history of clotting disorders or are nearing surgery.9
7. Ginger Has Many Other Health Benefits
Ginger is so frequently used in home remedies for a reason. It’s a great natural anti-inflammatory agent, thanks to the zingerone and shogaol (which are formed when gingerol is heated) in it that help reduce pain. Apart from treating nausea and motion sickness, it also effectively reduces arthritis- and bursitis-related pain, any kind of stomach upset, and diseases of the blood vessels.
Overall, ginger is a good home remedy for nausea and perfectly safe during pregnancy, provided it’s taken in small quantities.
|↑1||Ginger. University of Rochester Health Center.|
|↑2||Sripramote, Manit, and Nol Lekhyananda. “A randomized comparison of ginger and vitamin B6 in the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand= Chotmaihet thangphaet 86, no. 9 (2003): 846-853.|
|↑3||Smith, Caroline, Caroline Crowther, Kristyn Willson, Neil Hotham, and Vicki McMillian. “A randomized controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 103, no. 4 (2004): 639-645.|
|↑4||Wu, Keng-Liang, Christopher K. Rayner, Seng-Kee Chuah, Chi-Sin Changchien, Sheng-Nan Lu, Yi-Chun Chiu, King-Wah Chiu, and Chuan-Mo Lee. “Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.” European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology 20, no. 5 (2008): 436-440.|
|↑5||Heitmann, Kristine, Hedvig Nordeng, and Lone Holst. “Safety of ginger use in pregnancy: results from a large population-based cohort study.” European journal of clinical pharmacology 69, no. 2 (2013): 269-277.|
|↑6, ↑7, ↑9||Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑8||White, Brett. “Ginger: an overview.” Am Fam Physician 75, no. 11 (2007): 1689-91.|