Saturday, 12 September 2015

Can Ginger Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is an herbaceous perennial plant that produces the spice known as ginger. Ginger has been commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, and diarrhea. Ginger has also been used to treat inflammatory joint diseases including rheumatism and arthritis. However, it is not so well-known that ginger is also useful as one of the effective high blood pressure remedies.

Ginger works in a similar way to blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers, which relax your blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood through your body. [1] Ginger also contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols and shogaols. These phenol compounds are the reason why so many people with joint conditions experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.  But, gingerol and shogaol compounds also have the ability to decrease high blood pressure. [2]

Ginger may also decrease blood pressure by preventing blood clots from forming in your arteries and blood vessels. Blood clots can restrict or prevent blood from flowing through your circulatory system, which can lead to hypertension. By preventing blood clots, ginger may also help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, consult your doctor before using ginger to address high blood pressure. You should not use ginger in place of medical treatment for this serious condition.

References:

[1] “Ginger Lowers Blood Pressure Through Blockade of Voltage-Dependent Calcium Channels.”  Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. Jan. 2005;459(1):74-80.

[2] “Pharmacological studies on ginger. I. Pharmacological actions of pungent constitutents, (6)-gingerol and (6)-shogaol.” Journal of Pharmacobiodynamics. 1984 Nove; 7(11):836-848.

[3] University of Maryland Medical Center online.

[4] “Synergistic Effect of Ginger and Nifedipine on Human Platelet Aggregation: a Study in Hypertensive Patients and Normal Patients.” American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2006;34(4):545-51.