Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?

Research shows that yes, you can use ginger to manage your pain.  It is especially helpful for arthritis.  Read to learn more about how ginger can help you.  

But First a Confession

I admit I have been avoiding writing about ginger because I don’t care for the taste.  At least I thought I didn’t.  Yeah, I like ginger snaps and gingerbread, but those contain sugar.  So I knew I should stay away from that form.

But a few days ago a friend made some Chicken Tikka Masala, and it had ginger in it. I wasn’t going to tell him to leave it out.  After all, it was his recipe.  He knew more about what he was doing than I did.  

And you know what?  It was delicious!  Yeah I could taste the ginger, but there was garlic and onion and turmeric in it also.  In fact all those ingredients are great to fight inflammation and to promote health.  And I decided that ginger is an interesting ingredient.  

I could get used to this flavor!  So now I’m a convert to ginger.  And I hope to see some results from eating it.

What is Ginger?

Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?

Ginger is a flowering plant.  The leaves look a bit like bamboo leaves to me.  The root of the plant is the part we are interested in.  Like a potato it is starch-like with a semi-thick skin.  Usually the skin is peeled before consuming the root.

The root can be sliced, grated or powdered to use as a flavoring or spice.  It has been promoted for years as a herbal medicine.  The powder is sold in a capsule form, which is an easy way to get your ginger quota.

Who Could Be Helped by Ginger?

Those of us that have chronic pain are always hoping for some relief.  And I personally want to find relief from natural products when possible.

Ginger appears to help with pain related to inflammation, the most common disease that is inflammation related being arthritis.  

Both forms of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) seem to respond to ginger.  This article about ginger and turmeric promotes them both.  It’s worth reading.  I especially like the source, Practical Pain Management.  Check them out.

Ginger has also been linked to treating nausea and digestive problems.  Some of which could be caused by inflammation.

So, those of us in pain and those with stomach issues should probably try ginger.  It is a food after all.  

Why Should I Be Concerned About Inflammation?

As the name implies, inflammation means that your body is under stress from swelling, redness and possibly an infection.  This can lead to pain.  So to fight that kind of pain, we can use natural remedies like ginger.  

Other foods are also helpful.  Here is one of my articles about the best foods to fight inflammation.  Eating the right foods is such an easy fix to help us with our pain, that I highly recommend you add some of these foods.  

Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?

What Form of Ginger is Best?

Eating fresh ginger makes the most sense.  Cooking with it is an easy way to consume it.  

Some suggested uses in cooking are:

  • Grating it over a salad
  • Boiling it in water to make a tea
  • Cooking with it in dishes like the one mentioned above.  Here’s a link to a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.

Also, a doctor Roberta Lee of Beth Israel Hospital says that capsule form is one of the best ways to get your ginger benefits.  Look for products that have “super-critical extraction” which provides the best quality.  Read the article where she is quoted here

Suggested dosage is 3 – 4 grams per day.  That equals out to ½ teaspoon of powdered or 1 teaspoon of grated ginger.  Heating makes ginger more concentrated so less is needed in tea.  

Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?

Science Backs Up These Claims

Though the test group was a small sample, results show that ginger is in fact effective for pain.  The study was published by the National Institutes ofHealth, where they compared results with Ibuprofen.  

It is worth reading.  Here is the link.  

A Unique Application

I never thought of doing this before, but one article I found suggested making a poultice.  Make a paste of the powder with warm water.  Apply it to cheesecloth and place it on the painful area.  Leave on for 20 minutes.  A warm cloth or heating pad makes it even more soothing.  

Test a small area of your skin to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction first.  

Here’s a doctor’s advice.


It is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor first to see if there are any restrictions to your consuming ginger.  Although it is a food that helps with nausea, it can cause it as well, especially if consumed in high doses.  

Pregnant and nursing mothers should also check with the doctor.  Additionally while there isn’t much research on its effects in young children, moderation and caution should be advised.  Check with the child’s doctor first.  

Ground Ginger Root from
Thrive Market.

Are there side effects?  There may be mild side effects when ingesting ginger that include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, burping and heartburn.  The more you use, the greater the chance of side effects.  Better to err on caution and try just a little before you use more for your pain.   

Get Powder Ginger Here

As an Affiliate Marketer, I promote businesses that I trust. Thrive Market has quality products, many of which I feature in other articles. You can purchase powdered ginger through them. I receive a small referral fee if you purchase from this link.


If you have a comment or question, please leave it below. I will do my best to respond to you as we share this pain journey together.

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6 thoughts on “Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?”

  1. Ginger has so many good qualities that stand out to us, we do cook with ginger and with the taste being so powerful it is hard for others to eat.
    We are glad that we stumbled upon your article inflammation and chronic pain , and ginger can help with these natural remidies.


  2. Thanks for such an informative article. I enjoy cooking with ginger powder and I also like the flavor of fresh ginger with tuna. I am a little hesitant to take it as an additive, though. I’ll have to check with my doctor. My daughter has chronic pain on her shins from a running injury. I wonder if applying it directly to her shins would help relieve some pain? I plan on forwarding this to her to see what she thinks.
    I’ll definitely keep this in mind when my aches and pains errupt.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yes, do check with your doctor first. And make sure your daughter uses just a little to see if her skin will tolerate it. Just drinking ginger tea may help her. Ginger in tuna? I may try it. It’s so good for me, that I need to be a bit more adventurous. Barbara

  3. I found this article about ginger really interesting as I managed to sprain my back 5 days ago. The pain was excruciating and even icing it didn’t make a huge difference. Following an osteopath treatment and exercises it’s starting to ease but still very sore. I certainly had no idea that ginger is good for pain relief. I can’t take ibuprofen as on blood thinners and interested to read about the comparison !I’ll certainly consider giving ginger a try, especially as it’s a natural pain relief.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I am sorry to hear about your back. I know how the pain can be. It is difficult to even get out of bed. I too can not take ibuprofen, so I am always looking for natural pain relief. I hope the ginger helps you. Barbara


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