Does Ginger Root Decrease a Woman's Menstruation Cycle?

Prostaglandins

Step 1

Prostaglandins are hormones released at the time of menstruation to cause the uterus to contract and expel the tissue that makes up the thickened uterine lining. They are responsible for cramping. Women who have more of prostaglandins called PGE2 and PGF2 alpha, which cause inflammation and uterine spasms, often have heavier than normal menstrual periods. This condition is known as menorrhagia.

Ginger's Effects

Step 1

Ginger may have anti-inflammatory effects similar to ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications often used to treat menstrual cramps and heavy menstrual flow. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications inhibit prostaglandin production. Ginger also inhibits the pathways that lead to prostaglandin production, which reduces the cramping and inflammation related to menorrhagia.

Step 2

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Other Menstrual Effects

Step 1

Ginger is traditionally used to encourage delayed menstruation, an article in the July 1996 "Vegetarian Times states. In Chinese medicine, a large dose of ginger 5 g is used to start a delayed period. Do not take this dose without your doctor's approval; some scientists have expressed concern that ginger in high doses could cause miscarriage, according to author Judith Benn Hurely.

Considerations

Step 1

Ginger appears to have properties similar to anti-inflammatory medications, which can decrease heavy menstrual flow. However, ginger, like many herbs, also has blood-thinning properties that could increase bleeding in people who take medications that interfere with blood clotting, such as aspirin, or in women who have underlying bleeding disorders. Talk with your medical practitioner before using ginger to treat menstrual conditions.

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