Is Ginger Good for Gout?

Ginger may provide a number of health benefits, including settling the stomach and reducing nausea and flatulence. This flavorful root also contains a variety of active ingredients, some of which may help reduce the symptoms of gout due to their anti-inflammatory activity. You shouldn't take ginger without speaking to your doctor, however, because it may not be safe for everyone in amounts higher than those found in food.

Ginger may help reduce inflammation. Credit: Kenishirotie/iStock/Getty Images

Ginger and Gout

A study published in "Annals of Biological Research" in 2011 found that ginger acted as an anti-inflammatory and reduced the symptoms of gout in mice about as well as a gout medication called indomethacin. Ginger may also have similar effects in people, as an article published in the "Pakistan Journal of Nutrition" notes that a clinical study using a mix of herbs including ginger had anti-inflammatory effects when given to people suffering from gout.

Potential Mechanisms

Because gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation, medications are usually used that help treat the inflammation, thus reducing the symptoms. Ginger contains a few different anti-inflammatory substances, including gingerols and shogaol, according to a review article published in the "International Journal of Preventative Medicine" in April 2013.

Considerations and Medication Interactions

You may want to avoid using ginger for your gout if you have heart disease or bleeding disorders, as it could make these conditions worse, and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, as the safety of ginger during these times hasn't been conclusively established. Ginger may also interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, diabetes medications and calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure.

Other Gout Treatments

Don't rely on ginger alone to treat your gout, as the evidence for this is still relatively preliminary. Other things you can do that may improve your gout symptoms include losing extra weight, following a low-purine diet, limiting alcohol, icing the affected joints and taking medications that reduce inflammation and lower uric acid.

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