Because of its gastroprotective effects, ginger may be one of the useful herbs for ulcers. Ginger is a spice that is commonly used in Asian cuisine and desserts such as gingersnaps. It's the basis of things like ginger ale and ginger beer.
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Ginger Nutrition Information
According to the USDA, ¼ cup of 1-inch ginger slices contains:
- 19 calories
- ½ gram of protein
- 0 grams of fat
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
- ½ gram of fiber
- Less than half a gram of sugar
- 4 milligrams of calcium
- 10 milligrams of magnesium
- 8 milligrams of phosphorus
- 100 milligrams of potassium
- 3 milligrams of sodium
- 1.2 milligrams of vitamin C
Ginger is a healthy way to add flavor to a variety of dishes. You can even make ginger water to add a bit of flavor if you don't like plain water. If you're not a fan of fresh ginger, it's possible to find ground ginger in the spice section of your local grocery store. You can also find pickled ginger in the international foods section.
Many health food stores also sell ginger capsules you can take, though it's important to pay close attention to the label since it's a dietary supplement that's not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The dose you use depends on the condition you're trying to address.
Beyond being one of the herbs for ulcers, ginger can also help with inflammation, protect the heart, and may help protect against cancer, according to an October 2014 review published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Services.
Read more: Foods That Alleviate the Pain of an Ulcer
Using Ginger for Ulcers
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) defines a peptic ulcer as a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum. They are most often caused by long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, or by a helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
According to a June 2013 review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger published in Journal of Functional Foods, ginger has "immense value" in treating a number of gastric ailments including nausea and vomiting, indigestion, gastritis, bloating and more.
The review also shows ginger is an effective way to prevent gastric ulcers caused by using NSAIDs and H.pylori induced ulcers, though these studies were conducted with laboratory animals rather than humans so further research needs to be conducted to confirm effects in humans.
The idea is that using ginger provides the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs so you can reduce your dependence on them and reduce the risk of developing an ulcer in the first place. Ginger itself may not provide quick ulcer pain relief, but could help prevent recurring ulcers.
Quick Ulcer Pain Relief
Ulcers can be quite painful, so you may want to turn to medication for ulcer relief. Home remedies involve using acid reducing medications such as ranidine (Zantec) or famotidine (Pepcid) that are available over the counter.
If herbs for ulcers aren't providing the quick ulcer pain relief you're looking for, you can also turn to over-the-counter acid-neutralizing medications, such as Rolaids or Tums. They'll provide temporary relief but as the stomach produces more acid, you can expect the pain to return within an hour or two.
If you opt to use an over-the-counter antacid, make sure it does not contain aspirin. The FDA warns against using products like Alka-Seltzer because there's a serious bleeding risk associated with using antacids with aspirin to treat ulcer pain.
If after changing your diet, using ginger or over-the-counter solutions to address your ulcer pain you're not getting relief, make an appointment to see your doctor.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: "Ginger root, raw"
- Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Services: "Medicinal Properties of Zingiber Officinale Roscoe - A Review"
- National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Definition & Facts for Peptic Ulcers (Stomach Ulcers)"
- Journal of Functional Foods: "A Review of the Gastroprotective Effects of Ginger (Zingiber Officinale Roscoe)"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA Warns About Serious Bleeding Risk With Over-the-Counter Antacid Products Containing Aspirin"