Can You Use Ginger to Treat IBS Symptoms?


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Ginger is the most commonTrusted Source home remedy used by people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Many people report that ginger helps calm their symptoms, but at this time, most of the evidence is anecdotal. Since there’s no cure for IBStreatment involves targeting the specific symptoms that you’re dealing with. Treatment includes a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary changes, home remedies, and medications.

In this article, we’ll examine how ginger may help treat IBS symptoms, including:

We’ll also take a look at other home remedies that may help you manage your IBS symptoms.

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it’s thought that ginger could potentially alleviate IBS symptoms. StudiesTrusted Source have found that ginger has a number of potential benefits for digestive health, including:

  • reducing intestinal cramping
  • preventing indigestion
  • reducing bloating
  • reducing gas

What the research says

At this time, there’s insufficient research to support the ability of ginger to treat IBS. Due to limited studies on other gastrointestinal disorders, most of the evidence is anecdotal or theoretical. However, researchers are continuing to examine ginger’s potential as an IBS treatment.

In a 2014 pilot studyTrusted Source, researchers found that daily ginger intake alleviated IBS symptoms in a group of 45 people, but similar results were seen among the group given a placebo.

In the study, researchers assigned the participants to one of three groups. For 28 days, they either consumed:

  • a placebo (brown sugar)
  • 1 gram of ginger
  • 2 grams of ginger

The researchers found that at least a third of participants in all three groups had at least a 25 percent reduction in symptoms.

However, the group that took a placebo had a higher percentage of people reporting improvements in their symptoms. The placebo group also reported more side effects.

Animal research

2020 animal studyTrusted Source found that ginger significantly reduced symptoms of diarrhea-predominant IBS in rats. The researchers concluded that ginger may relieve IBS symptoms by inhibiting the body’s inflammation reaction in the gut.

Ginger with Panax ginseng and Japanese pepper

In a 2015 studyTrusted Source, researchers examined the effect of a herbal supplement called Daikenchuto on abdominal bloating. Daikenchuto is widely used in Japan to treat IBS. The supplement is made up of ginger, Panax ginseng, and Japanese pepper.

The researchers found that indigestion and constipation was decreased among people who took the supplement compared to a placebo. They concluded that the supplement could improve the quality of life for people with chronic constipation.

More research is needed to understand the potential benefits of ginger for treating IBS symptoms. At this time, there’s no consensus on the best dose or form. Many studies use daily doses of 1 to 2 grams per day.

If you chose to take ginger to treat your IBS symptoms, you can take it in whichever form you like best. Ginger tea, powder, fresh root, and capsules are all widely available options.

If you choose to drink ginger tea, you may want to make it with ginger powder so that you know how much ginger you’re consuming.

In addition to ginger, there are many other natural remedies that people use for the management of IBS symptoms. Depending on your symptoms as well as what’s practical for you, you can try some of the following ways to relieve symptoms at home.

Dietary and lifestyle changes

Curcumin

Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory effects that may help with IBS symptoms.

StudiesTrusted Source have found mixed results about its effectiveness. It’s possible that curcumin may have benefits, but more research is needed.

Peppermint oil

Some people claim that peppermint oil helps them manage IBS symptoms. The active ingredient in peppermint oil called menthacarin blocks calcium channelsTrusted Source and causes relaxation of muscles in your intestines.

2014 review of studiesTrusted Source found that peppermint oil was significantly superior to a placebo for improving IBS symptoms and abdominal pain. The most common side effect was heartburn.

It’s a good idea to contact a doctor if you’re experiencing persistent symptoms of IBS that are interfering with your daily life. It’s also a good idea to see a doctor if your symptoms change or if you’re dealing with a new symptom.

Your doctor may recommend making dietary and lifestyle changes to help ease your symptoms. They may also recommend medications such as:

  • alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex) for diarrhea-predominant IBS
  • eluxadoline (Viberzi) for diarrhea-predominant IBS
  • lubiprostone (Amitiza) for constipation-predominant IBS
  • rifaximin (Xifaxan) for diarrhea-predominant IBS

To treat specific symptoms, your doctor may recommend:

IBS is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and cramping. While there’s no cure for IBS, treatment involves targeting the symptoms specific to you.

Some people find that ginger helps alleviate some of their IBS symptoms, but more research is needed to understand its potential benefit and the best daily dose.

Consuming ginger is generally safe and rarely causes serious side effects. It may be worth taking 1 or 2 grams of ginger per day to see whether it helps you manage your IBS.

If your IBS symptoms worsen, change, or disrupt your daily life, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to discuss further treatment plans.

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