Acting as an antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, and spasmolytic, ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments including upset stomach, nausea, cramps, dizziness, and arthritis. [“Herbalists Desk Reference“, ars-grin.gov] The spice has not been used specifically as a means to lower blood pressure. Could lowering blood pressure be a benefit of ginger?
In a 1984 study published in the Journal of Pharmacobio-Dynamics, researchers found that the phenol compounds, gingerol and shogaol, present in ginger had cardiovascular effects including blood pressure. [Suekawa, 836] A 2005 study published in the journal Vascular Pharmacology, concluded that ginger lowered blood pressure through blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels. [Ghayur, 74]
Further studies showed additional cardiovascular benefits of ginger including a decrease in blood glucose, an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), as well as anti-inflammatory properties. [Ravindran]
Based on what little evidence there is to support the medicinal use of ginger as a means to lower high blood pressure, the medical community is not extolling it as a miracle replacement for prescribed medications.
Serious Ginger Warnings
The National Institute of Health warns that because ginger may reduce blood pressure, it should not be taken along with medications for high blood pressure or heart disease as the combination may result in a dangerous drop in blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. [“Ginger:Medline Plus Supplements”, nlm.nih.gov]
“Module 5: HDR (Herbalists’ Desk Reference).” GRIN National Genetic Resources Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2012. .
Suekawa, M, and et al. “Pharmacological studies on ginger. I. Pharmacological actions of pungent constitutents, (6)-gingerol and (6)-shogaol..” Journal of Phomocobio-Dynamics 7.11 (1984): 836-848. Print.
Ghayur, MN, and AH Gilani. “Ginger lowers blood pressure through blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels.” Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 45.1 (2005): 74-80. Print.