Ginger for Sore Throat?

Ginger for Sore Throat?

Ginger is a flowering plant and its official name is Zingiber officinale. The rhizome, more commonly known as the root, is what you are likely familiar with. The root is spicy and peppery in flavor, with loads of medicinal properties.  One medicinal use of ginger, supported by both scientific studies and tradition, is for the treatment of sore throats.Ginger may help sore throats in several ways. For example, it may provide some pain relief as an anti-inflammatory. It also boosts immunity to help fight infections that cause sore throats.

Ginger contains bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds are phytonutrients found in certain foods that have beneficial effects on your health. The most notable bioactive compounds in ginger are gingerols and shogaols. Studies show these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage or reduce your risk for many conditions, including sore throatsGinger is also believed to have antimicrobial properties that may help fight infections (bacterial or viral), including those that cause sore throats 

Lastly, ginger has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may provide protective and healing benefits against disease. In one study, fresh ginger was found to provide more antioxidative benefits than dried ginger.

Ginger boosts the immune system

Ginger may help soothe throat pain and improve your recovery time. The reason: Ginger’s compounds may enhance immunity. Most sore throats are caused by viruses. This includes common colds, the flu, and mononucleosis. Cold medications cannot kill viruses. But ginger might.

One laboratory study showed ginger stimulated the immune system to kill viruses. These results suggest that ginger has the potential to reduce incidences of sore throat, provide quicker symptom relief, and improve recovery time. Tests in humans are needed to confirm these results.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects

The pain you experience with a sore throat comes from the inflammation and itchiness in your throat. This inflammation can be the result of your body’s immune response to an infection, or due to an irritant, like postnasal drip.

The anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can help soothe a sore throat by relieving inflammation. Research suggests that ginger may do this by blocking pro-inflammatory proteins in the body. These proteins cause inflammatory pain and itchiness. Additionally, research in two different studies shows ginger helped tonsillitis and pharyngitis pain in combination with other herbs. In one study, 7 out of 10 participants with chronic tonsillitis saw a reduction in symptoms of acute tonsillitis. The other study was done in test tubes in a lab, but showed promising results.

Ginger protects against pathogens and toxins

Ginger may help sore throats by protecting against bacteria, pathogens, and toxins. These are known as microbes. Some of these microbes cause sore throat. This includes strep throat, which is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. One study compared the effectiveness of ginger extract versus antibiotics on strep-causing bacteria. As part of the study, ginger was extracted in various amounts from the root and leaves of the plant, and diluted with water or ethanol (14).

Solvents made from the leaves and root were equally effective at inhibiting the bacteria, and were comparable to the antibiotics. The ethanol-based solvents were more effective than the water-based solvents. This research was all done in test tubes. More research is needed to understand the antimicrobial effects of ginger in people (14).

Ginger and honey for sore throat

Adding honey to ginger can help soften the flavor and take the bite and spice out of it. Honey also has antimicrobial properties, so it may provide additional healing benefits (15).