Ginger has been used for a variety of ailments like upset stomachs and the common cold for many years. It has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in rodents, however it had not been studied on human muscle pain.
Researchers at the University of Georgia have recently conducted two studies evaluating the effect of raw and heated ginger intake on muscle pain. The volunteers consumed either raw or heat-treated ginger or placebo for 11 days straight. On the 8th day, the participants performed arm exercises with heavy weights to induce moderate muscle pain. Arm function, pain and inflammation were assessed prior to exercise and 3 days following.
The participants that consumed the daily ginger supplement reduced the exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%. This effect was noticed in both the raw and heat-treated ginger groups. No increased benefit was noted in the heat-treated ginger group.
Muscle pain is one of the most common types of pain and is usually caused by sports and recreational activities. Most people experiencing this type of pain would be likely to embrace an alternative option for pain management.
This study will be published in The Journal of Pain in September 2010.