Table of Contents
Acid reflux can be a common digestive complaint that can be very painful and looking for a natural way to help may be something you’re interested in.
Now food can definitely help manage reflux symptoms because there are some common triggers for acid reflux like acidic foods, chocolate, caffeine, onions, or black pepper (these are just a few).
Today we’re going to explore the research looking at ginger for acid reflux and how you might incorporate ginger into your diet.
Ginger is anti-inflammatory
One of the best things about ginger is it can help fight inflammation in the body. What’s interesting about ginger is that there is more than one compound in ginger that gives it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In fact, some studies have looked at how ginger may be used to help inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (1).
Ginger and heartburn
One may think since ginger is anti-inflammatory that it could help soothe heartburn but as of now, there is little research to support this claim. Although there are no studies that directly support ginger helping heartburn, that doesn’t mean the potential isn’t there.
There was a small study that looked at how ginger may impact digestive symptoms with people who had advanced cancer. At the end of the 14-day study period, people reported a reduction in their reflux symptoms (2).
Another small study did look at a specific ginger extract to see how it could help with dyspepsia, which is when people have chronic indigestion. The group taking the ginger supplement reported fewer indigestion symptoms, including heartburn, compared to the placebo group (3).
So while we wait for research to tell more about how ginger may help heartburn keep in mind that ginger is still great. Explore using ginger in different ways in your kitchen.
Should you try it?
Part of learning what gut-friendly means to you is listening to your gut (this a key part of The Mindful Gut® approach) so if you feel ginger might help (and a doctor hasn’t indicated otherwise) give it a go. Just because the research may be lacking doesn’t mean you might not find benefit.
If anything it can be helpful to keep fresh ginger on hand (or freeze fresh ginger) so that you can make a tea anytime you’re feeling nauseous or have an upset stomach.
Ginger tea can be an easy way to try and see if it helps your acid reflux.
To make fresh ginger tea all you have to do is slice ginger root and add it to boiling water. Let it boil for 10-15 minutes. The longer you brew your ginger tea the stronger it will be.
A ginger shot may not be an ideal option for acid reflux but because of its popularity, I wanted to mention it.
To make a ginger shot the ginger is blended or juiced and that liquid becomes your shot. This will have a strong and spicy flavor which could irritate your throat so a ginger shot may not be the best option for acid reflux.
Before exploring ginger supplements I would first get guidance from your doctor.
Supplements will have higher and/or more concentrated doses than you would find in food so you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any reasons it might not be a good option for you.
Cooking with ginger
An easy way to add ginger is to simply cook with it. Ginger will add a lot of flavor to your dish. For some inspiration check on the ginger recipe pack which includes breakfast, salad, veggie, and main dish recipes using ginger.
- Ginger Root Recipe Pack$0.99
Listen to your gut when trying ginger
Always check in with yourself anytime you try a new strategy for acid reflux. Set a timeframe a couple days or a week to see how things are going, evaluate if you’ve noticed a difference and decide if you want to continue.
- Ballester P, Cerdá B, Arcusa R, Marhuenda J, Yamedjeu K, Zafrilla P. Effect of Ginger on Inflammatory Diseases. Molecules. 2022 Oct 25;27(21):7223. doi: 10.3390/molecules27217223. PMID: 36364048; PMCID: PMC9654013.
- Bhargava R, Chasen M, Elten M, MacDonald N. The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) in patients with advanced cancer. Support Care Cancer. 2020 Jul;28(7):3279-3286. doi: 10.1007/s00520-019-05129-w. Epub 2019 Nov 19. PMID: 31745695.
- Panda MPharm SK, Nirvanashetty PhD S, Parachur BTech VA, Krishnamoorthy MPharm C, Dey MSc S. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled, Parallel-Group, Comparative Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of OLNP-06 versus Placebo in Subjects with Functional Dyspepsia. J Diet Suppl. 2022;19(2):226-237. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1856996. Epub 2020 Dec 11. PMID: 33305631.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.