Ginger May Reduce Inflammation in Autoimmune Diseases

Ginger has the potential to help with the management of certain autoimmune diseases because of its ability to halt white blood cell activity that causes inflammation, a small study has found.

While ginger has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments, there hasn’t been a lot of research in people with autoimmune conditions to explain exactly why the root has anti-inflammatory effects, says Kristen Demoruelle, MD, PhD, a senior study author of the study and an associate professor of rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

“Sometimes supplements are given less credit for their potential health benefits because studies detailing exactly how they work are not performed rigorously or in people,” Dr. Demoruelle says. “What’s new with our study is that we demonstrate a specific pathway by which ginger exerts an anti-inflammatory effect, specifically in people, which more strongly supports the use of ginger supplements in people to lower inflammation.”

How Did Researchers Evaluate the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger?

For the study, published September 22 in the journal JCI Insight, researchers conducted a series of lab tests to assess the impact of ginger supplements on the immune system, specifically looking at the activity of white blood cells known as neutrophils.