I Took Ginger Shots Every Day for a Month—Here’s What Happened
As cold viruses abound, a writer took on a spicy experiment with ginger shots every day. Here's how she fared when her family all got sick.
You know that feeling when it’s clear: You’ve officially come down with a respiratory sickness, then you take that first sip of orange juice or tea that delivers the first dose of hope for relief and a bolstered immune system…even if the symptoms have weakened your tastebuds a bit.
If you’ve ever gotten a cold-pressed juice for immunity, chances are good that in addition to citrus, it also featured ginger. Experts say ginger is one of the top foods for immunity: “Ginger is one of the most-used herbal medicinals with reported anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Whitney English MS, RDN, who adds that ginger has a history of use in ancient medicine for symptoms like sore throat, fever and brother infectious disease conditions. Science has shown that’s largely thanks to its contribution to detoxification and activation of the immune system’s T-cells, and the role of ginger to reduce inflammation.
Noticing how infection rates were rising around Thanksgiving, as a mom of toddlers with holiday travel on the horizon I wanted to amp up immunity proactively. I added a daily shot of ginger to my routine—here’s my verdict on whether it was a worthy quest.
Who should (and shouldn’t) take ginger shots
A study published in the book Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects in 2011 asserted that using ginger for immunity “appears to be safe and its effects are mighty.”
It’s important to first note that ginger isn’t for everyone, especially if you have gastrointestinal ulcers or blood conditions. Past research, like one 2003 study, has suggested that those who take aspirin may want to avoid ginger because it has anti-platelet agents.
English also warns: “Adults with GERD (gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disorder) may want to avoid ginger shots as they may exacerbate symptoms of reflux and heartburn.”
How I took ginger shots every day
Because I don’t own a juicer, I took the Vive Organic shots, which contain both ginger and turmeric. They can be shipped straight to your home or found at Whole Foods, Amazon, and more. They’re so convenient that it was easy to take one every morning when I woke up. Vive also makes an immunity shot with cayenne pepper for an extra spicy kick, and another with elderberry.
I’d ordered a mixed box so I switched it up everyday, but all of them contained at least 26,000 milligrams of ginger root per shot.
One key to consider is this: English warns the correct dosing is unclear. “There is no research on ginger shots specifically,” she says, adding that “it’s impossible to know the dose or duration that would be beneficial.” As with any new health habit you try, speak with your doctor first.
Here’s what I discovered taking ginger shots every day
Ginger is strong!
If you’re averse to spicy foods, a ginger shot might be tough to swallow. I personally loved how it felt like it was burning off anything bad in my system when I took a shot. As Selena Gomez once said about taking ginger daily: “It’s a good burn!” I love the sensation that you can almost feel it working—I felt with a taste like that, it seemed there was no way it wasn’t invigorating healthy cells.
Ginger for immunity
Just as I was finishing this story, my entire family got wiped out with a cough, fever and chills. I sensed a small little itch starting at the back of my throat and told my husband I could feel myself getting sick. This is how I always feel at the beginning of a major cold.
To my wildest surprise, mine didn’t progress! I doubled up my ginger shots for a few days, although I’m not sure that’s recommended. I also continued my daily ritual taking a Manuka honey scoop with some warm tea.
On the second day the itch in my throat was still there along with a nasal drip…but instead of getting worse, by day three I felt amazing. I was back to feeling like myself and had never seen a cold resolve so fast. It wiped out everyone else in my family except me! Do I have ginger to thank for boosting my immune system and fighting off all of the bad stuff? I’ll never know for sure, but the empirical evidence would suggest for this one case that just maybe it made the difference.
Ginger for weight loss
Research has suggested that thanks in part to its role in digestion and taming internal inflammation, ginger can aid in weight loss. “Recent trials have suggested that ginger may be helpful for weight loss due to its potential effects on appetite, thermogenesis, and gastric motility. However, more research is needed,” English says.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t notice any difference to my weight, but I did feel less bloat. English reminds us: “I always recommend people focus first on the basic—and most impactful—approaches to weight loss such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep.”
Ginger for healthy hair and skin
Other science has suggested that ginger can contribute to healthier hair, but from my experience alone I didn’t notice a marked improvement.
That said, my skin felt clearer—no breakouts all month!.
Ginger is a keeper
Along with my daily honey and tea, ginger has become a wintertime winner for me.