Does ginger tea help with headaches? Ginger tea has been used since ancient time as a herbal remedy. Its strong anti-inflammatory properties are well known to ease nausea, settle the stomach and assist with digestion. It’s also a powerful solution for easing arthritis and muscular aches.
However, new evidence suggests that this aromatic, spicy root may also be used to gain relief from headaches and migraine.
- The Science of Ginger: Does Ginger Tea Help With Headaches?
- How To Brew Ginger Tea?
- More Ways to Use Ginger For Headache Relief
The Science of Ginger: Does Ginger Tea Help With Headaches?
Ginger contains healthy oils responsible for both its health benefits and strong flavor. The chemical compounds found in this oil, which include shogaols and gingerols, have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds can also ease vomiting and nausea which are symptoms associated with migraine attacks.
Ginger tea can help in increasing your serotonin which is a chemical messenger involved with headaches and migraine attacks. By increasing your serotonin levels, ginger may help stop headaches and migraine by reducing blood vessel restriction and inflammation, allowing blood to flow freely.
A 2014 study revealed that ginger tea or 250mg of ginger powder mixed with warm water can help reduce migraine symptoms as well as Sumatriptan, a drug used to treat migraines.
A more recent study shows that taking a 400mg ginger supplement with ketoprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug, can reduce migraine better than taking ketoprofen alone.
How To Brew Ginger Tea?
Although studies are limited, there’s good evidence showing that ginger tea can help relieve symptoms of headaches and migraines.
You can find ready-to-brew ginger tea bags available in local groceries and online. Or you can prepare one at home.
Simply, wash the gingers. Chop and slice the ginger and add it to 4 cups of boiling water. Steep for 5 – 10 minutes or longer if you want to have a stronger flavor.
You can add honey, sugar, or lemon juice to add flavor. You can enjoy your ginger tea either hot or cold.
Sipping ginger tea is a tasty way to ease headache pains as well as reduce nausea caused by a migraine episode and settle your digestive system. You can drink a cup of ginger tea when your headache starts and drink another cup after 1 – 2 hours.
More Ways to Use Ginger For Headache Relief
Does ginger tea help with headaches? Other than sipping on ginger tea, there are other ways to use ginger to reduce headache and migraine pains and associated symptoms.
1. Try Ginger Supplement
Like any OTC or prescription drug for headaches and migraine, ginger is also available in supplement form that you can take if you start feeling the symptoms. Ginger supplements may contain dried ginger powder or ginger extract and are one of the best forms of ginger to alleviate your symptoms.
A typical dose of 550mg ginger capsule can help provide relief at the first sign of a headache and can be repeated once or twice. Take note, however, that higher doses may cause side effects such as heartburn, rash, diarrhea, flushed skin, and irritation of the mouth or throat.
2. Sucking on Ginger Lozenges
Ginger lozenges contain small amounts of ginger extracts or powder. It is best when you don’t feel like drinking tea or taking pills, especially if you’re feeling nauseous. Try sucking on ginger lozenges to ease stomach upset and nausea.
It’s recommended to take 1 – 2 lozenges 2 – 3 times a day. But follow the dosing instruction on the product packaging.
3. Apply Ginger Essential Oil
If you have a sensitive stomach or don’t want to consume ginger because of its strong flavor, ginger essential oils can be your option.
Massaging ginger oil into the skin reduces pain in people with back pain and arthritis. So, it may also help in reducing pain from your headaches.
If you experience a tension headache or migraine attack, try massaging a few drops of diluted ginger oil into your forehead, temples, and back of the neck once or twice every day. The anti-inflammatory effects and soothing aroma of ginger combined with the relaxing power of massage may help in easing headaches and migraine.
Is it okay to drink ginger tea on an empty stomach?
No. Ginger stimulates bile production in your stomach which helps with food digestion. On an empty stomach, there’s no solid food to break down. The bile produced can rest in the stomach and cause digestive discomfort.
How much ginger tea should I drink?
Try sticking to around 4 grams of ginger. This should be enough to give relief without making symptoms worse. You can split this up and take the divided dose throughout the day.
Studies on ginger for headaches and migraine is currently limited but promising. And the best evidence points to ginger tea and supplement and other ginger forms such as ginger lozenges and essential oils to help in reducing headache as well as other migraine-associated symptoms.