Q:

Should you take ginger for arthritis?

A:

Quick Answer

Ginger may be beneficial for arthritis sufferers due to its anti-inflammatory properties that work at a cellular level, as affirmed by the Arthritis Foundation. Individuals can take ginger supplements or cook with grated ginger root to experience its benefits.

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Full Answer

A study by the University of Miami showed that ginger's pain- and inflammation-relieving abilities rival those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The study used highly concentrated ginger extracts and placebo pills divided among 247 osteoarthritis sufferers and found that patients who took the ginger supplement experienced a 40 percent reduction in pain and stiffness of the knee joint. Another study reported in the "Journal of Pain" found that several tablespoons of fresh grated ginger reduced inflammation caused by exercise.

Foods like gingerbread and gingersnaps normally do not have high enough levels of ginger to reduce inflammation, but individuals can use tinctures, powders, oils or teas made from dried or fresh ginger root, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Capsules deliver some of the most concentrated levels of ginger, while brands that use super-critical extraction produce maximum results. Capsules are best consumed with meals to avoid upset stomach. The recommended dosage is one 100- to 200-milligram capsule every day for four to six weeks to begin the regimen. Those already taking blood-thinning medications should not take ginger capsules. Individuals should only start taking ginger after discussing it with a doctor.

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