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Can Ginger Help Ulcerative Colitis?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

ulcerative colitis

Story at-a-glance -

  • Ginger, an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, has been shown to reduce disease activity in ulcerative colitis
  • In patients with ulcerative colitis, ginger was found to reduce malondialdehyde (MDA), a biomarker of oxidative stress, significantly after six and 12 weeks
  • Ginger also led to reductions in severity of disease activity and increased patients’ quality of life significantly after 12 weeks
  • Separate research showed ginger extract was beneficial in reducing markers of ulcerative colitis, likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ginger’s effects were comparable to that of the highest dose of sulfasalazine, an anti-inflammatory drug often used to treat ulcerative colitis

In the U.S., about 3 million adults have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and in the case of ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Symptoms range from mild to severe, and while most people have periods of remission when symptoms disappear, it can be debilitating when symptoms flare up, causing frequent, urgent bowel movements, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, fever and anemia. In about 10% of cases, ulcerative colitis is severe and may lead to bloody bowel movements and severe abdominal cramping.

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