Ginger is a root spice that is included in a number of dishes and desserts in cuisines around the world. Indians have a special affinity for this warm and pungent spice with a strong flavour. Most of our curries- both vegetarian and non-vegetarian start with frying a ginger paste with onions to add flavour to them. Ginger is also grated into that most favoured drink of the nation that fuels us on a daily basis- masala chai. Adrak waali chai has a separate fan base among the tea drinkers of India and with good reason- it is believed to be a remedy for a number of small and big problems like headaches, cold, stomach aches, cramps, etc. No wonder then that ginger is also highly valued in the ancient Indian system of medicine- Ayurveda- and is included in numerous home remedies and Ayurvedic concoctions.
But can this almost messiah-like spice turn villainous when consumed in excess? 'Everything is bad in excess' is one rule of thumb that one should follow in life and the same applies to diet and nutrition as well. Over-consumption of ginger may also lead to some health problems. If you are suffering from any particular chronic condition, then too, you might want to check with your nutritionist before adding ginger to your diet.
Ginger may have some side-effects as well
Ginger is considered a natural blood thinner. This is why some menstruating women may experience increased bleeding if they consume excessive ginger in their diets. This blood thinning action of ginger is due to the presence of the acid salicylate, which has anti-coagulation properties.
Ginger and ginger extracts have been known to help diabetes patients reduce blood sugar or glucose levels. This is due to the presence of the main active compound of the root- gingerols- which enhance the uptake of glucose into muscle cells without the need for insulin. Therefore, non-diabetics or people prone to low blood sugar levels may want to use ginger with caution.
Although ginger is said to be an effective home remedy for a number of gastric issues like heartburn, gas and bloating, it may result in completely opposite symptoms if consumed in excess. Consuming over 4 or 5 gms of ginger per day may result in mild heart burn and may even trigger gas and bloating.
Ginger is said to be beneficial in regulating symptoms of high blood pressure or hypertension. However, when consumed in excess by people suffering from low blood pressure, it may further lead to a BP drop, exacerbating heart problems and leading to a number of unprecedented complications.
Although ginger is an intrinsic part of many of our lives, you may want to still keep your intake of the spice within the daily recommended limits, to avoid any of the above side-effects.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)