Researchers find daily ginger consumption eases muscle pain by 25 percent

May 19, 2010

For centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found that daily ginger consumption also reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.

While ginger had been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in rodents, its effect on experimentally-induced human muscle pain was largely unexplored, said Patrick O'Connor, a professor in the College of Education's department of kinesiology. It was also believed that heating ginger, as occurs with cooking, might increase its pain-relieving effects.

O'Connor directed two studies examining the effects of 11 days of raw and heat-treated ginger supplementation on muscle pain. Collaborators included Chris Black, an assistant professor of at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, UGA doctoral student Matt Herring and David Hurley, an associate professor of population health in UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Participants in the studies, 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively, consumed capsules containing two grams of either raw or heat-treated ginger or a placebo for 11 consecutive days. On the eighth day they performed 18 extensions of the elbow flexors with a heavy weight to induce moderate to the arm. , inflammation, pain and a biochemical involved in pain were assessed prior to and for three days after exercise.

The studies showed that daily ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25 percent, and the effect was not enhanced by heat-treating the ginger.

"The economic and personal costs of pain are extremely high," said O'Connor. "Muscle pain generally is one of the most common types of pain and eccentric exercise-induced specifically is a common type of injury related to sports and/or recreation (e.g., gardening). Anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it."

Explore further: Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population

More information: The study, which will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Pain, is currently available online at www.jpain.org/home

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug-free treatments offer hope for older people in pain

Sep 10, 2007

Mind-body therapies, which focus on the interactions between the mind, body and behavior, and the ways in which emotional, mental, social and behavioral factors can affect health, may be of particular benefit to elderly chronic ...

Strength training of neck muscles relieves chronic pain

Jan 04, 2008

Neck pain has been steadily increasing over the past two decades and is now second to back pain, the most common musculoskeletal disorder. Women are more likely than men to suffer from persistent neck pain, in particular ...

Is cherry juice a new 'sports drink?'

May 28, 2009

Drinking cherry juice could help ease the pain for people who run, according to new research from Oregon Health & Science University presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Seattle, Wash. The study ...

Heat halts pain inside the body

Jul 05, 2006

The old wives' tale that heat relieves abdominal pain, such as colic or menstrual pain, has been scientifically proven by a UCL (University College London) scientist, who will present the findings today at the Physiological ...

Recommended for you

Strategy proposed for preventing diseases of aging

17 hours ago

Medicine focuses almost entirely on fighting chronic diseases in a piecemeal fashion as symptoms develop. Instead, more efforts should be directed to promoting interventions that have the potential to prevent ...

User comments : 0