Ginger for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

By Lorinda Sorensen, ND

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been studied recently for dysmenorrhea with some very positive results. Now it may be time to consider using it for heavy menstrual bleeding, based on the findings of a placebo-controlled, randomized and blinded clinical trial conducted in Iran. Ninety-two high school-age females with heavy menstrual bleeding took dried ginger powder, 250 mg capsules, three times a day, or a placebo. The interventions were taken for four days, beginning the day before the menses and continued until day three of the cycle. Outcomes were assessed after three months using the pictorial blood assessment chart. Before the intervention, the two study groups were similar in terms of the amount of bleeding, and after the 3rd month of intervention, the ginger group had an improvement of over 50% with a p-value <0.001. Adverse reactions were few, with the ginger group having reports of heartburn and diarrhea, and the placebo group reporting flatulence. While the study may be considered weak due to the subjective nature of the measurement for outcomes, it gives more support to ginger being an essential integrative gynecological treatment. The authors theorize that it’s ginger’s anti-inflammatory activity in the prostaglandin pathway that account for the benefit seen, and it seems to add another favorable study to the growing body of evidence for ginger.

Kashefi F, Khajehei M, Alavinia M, Golmakani E, Asili J. Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) on Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial. Phytother Res. 2014 Oct 8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5235.[Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25298352.

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