Ginger vs. Ibuprofen

Wondering if there’s a natural alternative to over the counter pain medication?

One of the most commonly used drugs in the United States is ibuprofen. Now in defense of Ibuprofen, there are times that you may need fast relief for severe pain.

Whether you have a mild headache, sore muscles or any other pain, Ibuprofen can provide relief within 30 minutes or so.

However, there is more and more data being released that this drug can lead to long-term side-effects.

Ibuprofen Side Effects and Health Concerns

According to this article in *Time Health, studies are showing side-effects such as:


  • stomach and intestinal damage
  • liver failure
  • hearing loss
  • heart disease and strokes


Ginger as a Natural Pain Relieve Alternative

If you experience mild headaches and sore muscles from time to time, or even on a daily basis, before you reach for a couple of Ibuprofen or any other over-the-counter pain reliever, perhaps you should consider the pain-relieving benefits of ginger.

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal Arthritis, ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice and is considered more effective than ibuprofen for pain relief.

The study revealed that while drugs like Tylenol or Advil do block the formation of inflammation; ginger actually blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds–prostaglandins and leukotrienes–and also has antioxidant effects that breakdown acidity and inflammation within the joints.

In addition to being a powerful pain-reliever, ginger is also among the healthiest spices on the planet.

Powerful Benefits for your Body

Loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds, ginger also has powerful benefits for your body and brain when consumed daily.

Some commonly known medicinal benefits of ginger:


  • anti-fungal
  • anti-parasitic
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-viral


Ginger Can Treat Nausea, Even Morning Sickness

There is a long history of using ginger to help with sea sickness and upset stomach. There is also some evidence that shows ginger can help with nausea the day after chemotherapy.

But throughout the ages, ginger appears to be most effective when it comes to “morning sickness”, or nausea related to pregnancy.

Twelve studies, involving a total of 1,278 pregnant women, recently concluded that 1 to 1 ½ grams of ginger each day can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea.

Although ginger is considered safe and has no known adverse reaction with medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant or undergoing treatment for illness or disease.

Ginger for Muscle Pain and Soreness

The daily use of ginger (fresh or in capsule form) has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain and minor day-to-day pains.

Researcher Christopher D. Black, of the department of kinesiology at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville has said that the “Daily consumption of ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury”.

While ginger does not have an immediate impact, meaning you could not take a ginger capsule and reduce muscle soreness within 30 minutes; instead it is suggested that consuming ginger or taking supplements as part of a daily routine can be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.

The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Ginger Can Help With Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is a common health problem for people as they age and athletes. The condition itself leads to a breakdown of the joints causing pain and stiffness.

However, “Research shows, that at a cellular level, ginger can affect certain inflammatory processes,” says Roy Altman, MD, now at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose University of Miami study concluded that ginger extract could be a substitute to drugs like Ibuprophen and Tylenol.

His study compared the effects of ginger extract versus placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and found that ginger reduced stiffness and pain in knee joints by nearly 40 percent.

Ginger May Lower Blood Sugars

While research on this topic is relatively new; it is being investigated that ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties.

In 2015, a study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes was given 2 grams of ginger powder per day, which resulted in lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%.

This ginger powder also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a 12 week period.

Researchers from the University of Sydney discovered that extracts from the Buderim Ginger (a ginger plant grown in Australia) is rich in gingerols (the major active component of ginger rhizome) can increase the absorption of glucose into muscle cells without the use of insulin, and may, therefore, assist in the management of high blood sugar levels.

Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Traditional use of ginger root is for minor pain relief, and this includes menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) or the pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Menstrual pain is mostly the result of increased production of hormones known as prostaglandins, which produce contractions in the uterus and result in cramps or pain.

Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen work by reducing prostaglandin production. However, it comes with significant side effects and, long-term, can cause gastrointestinal distress and bleeding.

Ginger has also been shown to reduce the production of prostaglandin and thereby alleviate uterine contractions and pain – but is completely safe and free of side effects.

While turmeric is widely recognized for its anti-inflammatory effects, ginger can dramatically reduce inflammation AND pain.

Lower Cholesterol Levels with Ginger

High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) can occur in many people due to genetics, poor diet, smoking and lack of physical activity and are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

More often than not, medications like statins are prescribed in order to reduce cholesterol numbers.

However, the foods you consume can also have a strong influence on LDL levels.

In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, patients were given 3 grams of ginger powder per day which resulted in a significant reduction in most cholesterol markers

Ginger has many compounds like sterols and stanols that have been proven to be a natural blood-thinner and can reduce the amount of fats in the blood and protect against blood-clotting, which can lead to strokes and heart attack.

Ginger May Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a very serious disease affecting millions of people around the world. It is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Ginger extract is being actively studied as an alternative and effective treatment for several forms of cancer as the anti-cancer properties in raw ginger is a substance called 6-gingerol.

In a 2012 study, the British Journal of Nutrition wrote that ginger extract produces significant effects in a wide range of prostate cancer cells, both in the inhibition of new cancer cells forming and the death of existing ones.

In fact, the study suggests that ginger extract can inhibit the growth and the progression of prostate cancer cells by as much as 56 percent.

Another recent study conducted by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in India focused on a particular substance found in ginger root and compared it with the chemotherapy drug Taxol (i.e. Paclitaxel) as relates to breast cancer stem cells.

Using three-dimensional models, they determined that Taxol had very little effect on breast cancer stem cells. However, 6-Shogaol, an active component in ginger root appeared to directly target the cancer cells.

Here is more information regarding the exact molecular components of ginger and the breakdown of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol and [6]-shogaol:

Effective Home Remedy for Infections

Gingerol, a bioactive substance in ginger, can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria and help lower the risk of infections.

Long hailed as an effective home remedy for throat infections, the juice from a piece of raw ginger is often used to cure a cough or help relieve allergy symptoms.

It is also effective against oral bacteria linked to gingivitis and periodontitis and other inflammatory diseases of the gums.

Natural Immune System Booster

According to the University of Michigan Health System, ginger contains volatile oils, which have antimicrobial, diaphoretic, cough-suppressant, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also considered an immune system booster.

In addition, ginger also contains sesquiterpene, a chemical compound known to eliminate rhinoviruses, agents that cause the common cold and may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of upper respiratory tract infections.

Information on is for education purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a professionally trained doctor nor substitute conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, talk to a physician.