ginger on gray surface

Ginger for Colds and Flu

Next time anyone in the family is hit with a cold or flu, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have some ginger on hand!

Ginger has been used a lot in traditional Chinese medicine, and it’s used to treat a wide range of health problems. Its medicinal properties are largely due to gingerol (the active component in ginger). 

There’s some good science behind this too:

A 2013 review published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine highlighted the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of ginger, which can help when it comes to fighting colds and flu. The anti-inflammatory benefits can also help with aches and pains associated with colds and flu. The antioxidants in ginger can boost your immunity, and the antimicrobial properties can help heal a sore throat. And if you’re feeling nauseous because of the flu, ginger is a well-known anti-sickness remedy. 

You can use ginger in a few different ways:

  • Creating an herbal mixture of ginger, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, cayenne pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice can help unblock your sinuses and reduce the buildup of mucus and improve your immunity. 
  • Adding 2 tablespoons to a cup of hot water and drinking it up to 3 days a day can ease cold and flu-related headaches and sore throat. You can also add half a teaspoon of raw honey. 
  • Making a warming soup from fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, carrot, and apple. 
  • Chopping some ginger into small pieces, add to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam from the water. To make an even more effective steam bowl, you can also add a drop of eucalyptus oil. This can be helpful for easing congestion.
  • Rubbing ginger essential oil on sore and aching muscles to get relief from cold and flu pains. For a safe 3% blend, mix 6 drops of ginger in 2 teaspoons of carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.

How much ginger is okay to take? For fresh ginger, don’t exceed 4 grams per day. If you take ginger extract, stick to a maximum limit of 2000 mg.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before you try using ginger. For young children check with your pediatrician. If you’re on medications such as blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers, or immune-suppressing drugs, you’ll also need to be cautious with ginger, talk with your doctor.


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