Ginger, a natural hay fever medicine
Ginger reduces symptoms of hay fever as much as loratidine, the active ingredient in antiallergic drugs like Claritin or Allerfre. This is evident from a human study published by researchers at Thammasat University in Thailand in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies.
The researchers divided 72 hay fever patients into 2 groups. For 6 weeks, one group received 10 milligrams of the hay fever medication loratidine, an antihistamine, every day. The other group took 500 milligrams of ginger extract daily.
The researchers used an extract from the roots of the alcohol-based ginger plant they made themselves. 1 gram of the extract contained 71 milligrams of 6-gingerol and 20 milligrams of 6-shogaol.
Both loratidine and ginger caused a drastic and significant decrease in hay fever symptoms, the figure below shows.
When the researchers looked separately at specific hay fever symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy nose and sneezing, they saw about the same pattern each time. Ginger worked just as well as loratidine.
The researchers did see a clear difference between the side effects of the two drugs. Three-quarters of the subjects who used ginger said they burped more often [burping = eructation].
Conversely, ginger users were less likely to experience sleepiness, fatigue, dizziness and constipation.
The researchers suspect that ginger components such as 6-shogaol and 6-gingerol inhibit inflammatory responses, thereby reducing the body's allergic response.
BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020 Apr 20;20(1):119.
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