Ginger Clinical Evidence
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. Comparison of the effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen in women with primary dysmenorrhea. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32.
Is ginger effective in relieving pain in women with dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea refers to recurrent pain and cramping during menstrual periods, caused by uterine contractions. Can ginger help? How does it compare to NSAID painkillers such as mefenamic acid or ibuprofen?
Human clinical intervention trial
Double-blind, comparative. Participants took ginger, mefenamic acid, or ibuprofen for 3 days from the start of their menstrual periods. Researchers used a verbal multidimensional scoring system to assess severity of symptoms and compared pain relief and satisfaction between the groups.
150 students, aged 18 and older, with primary dysmenorrhea
250 mg 4 times a day, for 3 days
At baseline, there were no significant differences between groups. At the end of treatment, this was still true of severity of symptoms, pain relief, and satisfaction. No serious side effects were reported.
“Ginger was as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen relieving pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Further studies regarding the effects of ginger on other symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea and efficacy and safety of various doses and treatment durations of ginger are warranted.”
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Khayat S, et al. Effect of treatment with ginger of the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms. 2014 May 4;2014:792708.
What is the effect of ginger on premenstrual symptoms?
PMS has physical and mental components. Herbs have been suggested to address both. Is ginger a useful botanical for this purpose?
Human clinical intervention trial
Double-blind, placebo-controlled. Participants took ginger or placebo from 7 days before until 3 days after the beginning of their periods and they recorded their symptoms on a daily questionnaire.
250 mg twice a day, for 3 days
At baseline there were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups, but at 1, 2, and 3 months there was significant improvement in mood, physical, and behavioral symptoms in the treatment group.
“Based on the results of this study, maybe ginger is effective in the reduction of the severity of mood and physical and behavioral symptoms of PMS and we suggest ginger as treatment for PMS.”
Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Rad HA, et al. Effect of ginger and novafen on menstrual pain: a crossover trial. 2018 Dec;57(6):806-09.
Can ginger reduce menstrual pain? How does it compare to novafen (a combination of ibuprofen, acetaminophen and caffeine)?
Painkillers are commonly used for pain during menstrual periods. For women desiring more natural treatment, is ginger an effective option?
Human clinical intervention
Randomized, crossover, comparative. Participants took either ginger or novafen at the onset of pain, every six hours for 2 menstrual cycles. Pain severity was ranked using a visual scale before treatment, 1 hour, 24 hours, and 48 hours after treatment.
168 female university students, aged 18-26
200 mg every 6 hours, for 2 menstrual cycles
Intensity of pain decreased in both groups. It declined from 7.12 +/- 2.32 to 3.1 +/- 2.69 in the novafen group and from 7.6 +/- 1.84 to 2.97 +/- 2.69 in the ginger group. There was no statistically significant difference between groups.
“Both drugs reduced menstrual pain. Ginger as well as novafen is effective relieving pain in girls with primary dysmenorrhea. Therefore, treatment with natural herbal medicine, non-synthetic drug, to reduce primary dysmenorrhea is recommended.”
Ginger Mechanism of Action:
One explanation for the painful cramps that characterize primary dysmenorrhea is the increased production of prostaglandins derived from cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 activity. Ginger acts as an inhibitor of COX and lipoxygenase, which results in inhibition of the synthesis of leukotriene and prostaglandin. This mechanism underlies its anti-inflammatory action.