Drs. Rx: Ginger to Help with Joint Pain?
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Food can be your medicine and ginger is one of those foods! Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and one study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found ginger extract improved osteoarthritis in knees when applied topically. In another study, patients who took ginger extract used fewer drugs over time to treat their joint pain.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra has one important note on using ginger topically. On its own, ginger extract is very concentrated and too much will likely lead to irritation. Only a few drops are needed and they should be mixed with either petroleum jelly or another essential oil. Do a patch test first if you are trying any new natural product on your skin.
As for ginger in supplement form, Dr. Batra suggests checking with your doctor before adding it to your diet. She says she has seen people who have bled from taking oral ginger.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork thinks the best way to take ginger is to literally eat ginger! Unlike supplements, which aren’t regulated, “it’s hard to overdose when eating the real thing,” Dr. Travis says.