Trend Alert: What’s the deal with ginger shots?

Leah writes: “I’ve been hearing a lot about ginger shots as way to boost health and nutrition. Would they be good for everyone? What are the upsides and downsides of daily consumption?”

Fresh ginger juice can make for a zingy little pick-me-up. Will it detox your organs, kill cancer cells, or melt away fat? No. But ginger does have some legitimate health benefits.

Ginger root contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals but not enough to have a substantial impact on your overall nutrition. However, ginger also contains compounds called gingerols, which have potent anti-inflammatory activity in the body. If your ginger shot also contains a substantial amount of sugar, which tends to be pro-inflammatory, it might end up being a wash.

Gingerol is also an anticoagulant, reducing the tendency of the blood to form clots. Consuming natural blood-thinners like ginger and garlic can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, they can also interact with prescription anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin) to cause excessive bleeding.  Even if you’re not on any meds, too many ginger shots could cause you to bruise more easily.

Ginger shots are probably best avoided by those who take prescription blood-thinners, those with any kind of bleeding disorder, and anyone planning surgery or dental procedures.

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