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Does ginger help with gas?

Gas and bloating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Many people look for natural remedies to help relieve these symptoms. One popular option is ginger.

Ginger is a spice that comes from the root of the Zingiber officinale plant. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help soothe digestive issues. Some proponents claim that ginger can be an effective treatment for gas and bloating.

But does the science actually back up these assertions? Let’s take a detailed look at whether ginger truly helps with gas.

How ginger works

Ginger contains active compounds like gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some research indicates these components can help relax gastrointestinal muscles and stimulate the production of digestive juices and enzymes.

This effect may help with gas in a few key ways:

Helping food move through the GI tract

By relaxing intestinal muscles and stimulating contractions, ginger may help speed up the transit of food through the digestive tract. This can prevent excessive buildup of gas from food sitting in the intestines.

Reducing inflammation

The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger may help calm inflammation in the gut that can contribute to gas and bloating. This can provide relief from associated discomfort.

Improving digestion

Ginger increases production of saliva, bile, and other digestive juices. This can aid digestion and help break down food properly so less gas is produced.

Through these mechanisms, ingesting ginger may have beneficial effects on gas, bloating, and other digestive complaints.

Scientific research on ginger for gas

A number of scientific studies have investigated ginger’s effects on gas and digestion:

Double-blind placebo-controlled trials

In 2009, a small double-blind clinical trial tested ginger capsules (1 gram/day) versus placebo in 45 people with indigestion and gas. After 4 weeks, the ginger group reported significantly greater improvement in overall GI symptoms including bloating and flatulence.

Another double-blind trial from 2014 gave people either ginger capsules (1,200 mg/day) or a placebo. Those getting ginger had less gas and bloating compared to placebo after taking ginger for 11 days.

Other human studies

A study in 2003 gave people ginger tea, placebo tea, or the drug metoclopramide after a test meal designed to induce gas. Ginger worked as well as the drug in reducing bloating and intestinal gas production after the meal.

However, other studies have found mixed results. A small trial from 2009 did not find a significant benefit from ginger on gas and bloating in people with indigestion. And a 2016 study found similar improvements in bloating between ginger and placebo groups.

Animal research

Studies in rats have shown beneficial effects from ginger compounds on smooth muscle relaxation, intestinal transit time, and gas symptoms. But more research is still needed to confirm these results in humans.

Summary of findings

Here is a summary of the current research evidence on ginger for gas and related digestive issues:

Evidence Level Findings
Human double-blind trials Most found ginger reduced gas, bloating, and other symptoms compared to placebo
Other human studies Mixed results – some found benefits for gas while others did not
Animal studies Ginger and its compounds improved gas and digestion in rats

Overall, there is promising but preliminary evidence that ginger can help with gas, bloating, and other digestive complaints. Larger and more robust clinical trials are still needed.

Possible ways ginger may help with gas

Based on the existing research, there are a few key ways ginger may help provide relief from gas:

Speeding up food transit time

Ginger can stimulate muscle contractions in the intestines. This may help move food through the GI tract more quickly so less gas builds up.

Reducing inflammation

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger may calm inflammation in the gut that contributes to excess gas and bloating.

Increasing digestive juices

Compounds in ginger promote the production of saliva, bile, and other digestive secretions. This can support better digestion and absorption of nutrients to limit gas.

Relaxing intestinal muscles

Ginger helps relax smooth muscles in the intestines. This assists with gas pain and allows built-up gas to pass more easily.

Other digestive benefits of ginger

In addition to potentially relieving gas, ginger may offer other advantages for digestive health:

Reduces nausea

Ginger has long been used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Studies show it can reduce nausea from pregnancy, chemotherapy, and seasickness.

Lessens stomach pain

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties may ease pain related to stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions.

Improves absorption

By increasing digestive secretions, ginger can help improve the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food.

Protects stomach lining

Ginger exhibits antioxidant effects that may guard the stomach lining against damage from factors like stress, alcohol, and H. pylori bacteria.

Through these mechanisms, ginger shows promise for supporting overall gastrointestinal health as well as potentially relieving gas.

How to use ginger for gas relief

There are several ways to take ginger to ease gas and digestive issues:

Ginger tea

Ginger tea is commonly used for gas relief. Steep fresh grated ginger or use ginger tea bags to make a warm, soothing beverage.

Ginger supplements

Ginger capsules and extracts provide concentrated doses of active compounds. Take as directed on the label for gas symptoms.

Eat raw ginger

Adding fresh raw ginger to meals, smoothies, or juices may aid digestion.

Use ginger essential oil

Topically applying ginger essential oil to the stomach may provide relief from gas discomfort.

Ginger is safe for most people but talk to your doctor before using ginger supplements if you take any medications or have health conditions.

How much ginger should you take for gas?

There is no standardized ginger dosage specifically for gas relief. But research and traditional use provide some guidance:

  • For ginger tea, steep 1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1 ginger tea bag in 1 cup hot water
  • Ginger capsules typically use between 250mg to 1,000mg per dose
  • Up to 4 grams of raw ginger is considered safe for most adults
  • Use ginger supplements for no longer than 3 months unless advised by a doctor

Start with lower doses of ginger and increase slowly to assess your individual tolerance and response for gas symptoms.

Other natural remedies for gas

In addition to ginger, there are some other natural ways to relieve gas you may want to try:


Probiotic supplements support healthy gut bacteria and digestion. Studies show certain strains like Bifidobacterium can reduce bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and other symptoms.


Peppermint is an antispasmodic that helps relax intestinal muscles for less painful gas. Peppermint tea, capsules, and essential oil can provide relief.


Fennel seeds contain compounds that reduce muscle spasms and gastrointestinal inflammation to ease gas. Use fennel tea, added to meals, or in supplement form.


Herbs like thyme, oregano, cumin, and caraway help reduce gas production and allow gas to pass more easily. Add them to recipes or use the essential oils.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal absorbs intestinal gas to relieve bloating. Take it between meals as directed on supplement labels.

Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzyme supplements (like bromelain, papain, lactase) improve the breakdown of foods that can cause gas like fiber, dairy, sugars, and starch.

When to see a doctor

While ginger and other remedies can provide relief for mild gas, see your doctor if you experience:

  • Severe or persistent gas
  • Gas along with other concerning symptoms like weight loss, changes in stools, abdominal pain
  • No improvement after trying natural remedies

This may indicate an underlying digestive disorder that requires medical treatment.

The bottom line

Ginger has been used traditionally for centuries to settle the stomach. Modern research shows it contains compounds that may help relieve gas and bloating in various ways, including increasing motility, reducing inflammation, and improving digestion.

Small clinical studies found ginger reduced gas and other GI symptoms compared to placebo, but results have been mixed. While promising, larger human trials are still required.

Ginger is considered safe for most people. You can try it in tea, capsules, essential oil, or raw form to see if it provides relief from gas, along with probiotics, peppermint, fennel, and other natural remedies.

But visit your doctor if gas persists or you have other concerning symptoms. Though unproven, ginger continues to be a popular natural option for relieving gas and supporting overall digestive health.