In this article, I have explained how ginger extracts can affect the gut microbiome and whether they are anti-bacterial and kill probiotics.
Ginger has anti-bacterial ingredients and has been used to cure infections for over 5000 years. However, most probiotic strains can tolerate its effects. Besides that, it helps with many gut issues like gastric acidity, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain, as its ingredients resist inflammation and oxidative stress.
But how can probiotic bacteria escape anti-bacterial agents in ginger and use it to their advantage instead? I’ve discussed all that and more in the sections below, so without any further ado, let’s dive into the details.
How Does Ginger Affect Probiotics?
Ginger intake does not damage the probiotic strains. Instead, this herb promotes good microbial activities in the gut.
Ginger (the root of the Zingiber officinale plant) is widely known as a health-boosting herb. Its active ingredients (gingerol, paradol, and shogaol) have anti-oxidation, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.
Hence, its regular intake is effective against bacteria that infect skeletal and smooth muscles, causing inflammatory diseases.
Studies have shown ginger extracts kill harmful bacteria or slow down their growth in the GI tract.
However, these antibacterial effects of ginger are limited to infectious microbes and do not impact probiotics negatively.
Instead, it helps gut-friendly bacteria grow faster and better. This phenomenon occurs because probiotic bacteria do not cause inflammation and help the herbal elements with their anti-inflammatory activities.
So, ginger and probiotics act synergistically to cure gastrointestinal problems (like acid reflux, nausea, diarrhea, etc.), promote digestion, and improve the immune system.
However, excess of anything is bad.
Adding a small amount of ginger to your diet relieves acid reflux and gut inflammation. But consuming a large amount of the herb would reverse the effects, causing side effects like heartburn, belching, or diarrhea.
Hence, using more than 4 grams of ginger daily is not recommended.
Is Ginger Good For Gut Bacteria? If So, How?
Here are the details about how ginger intake can improve the efficacy of probiotics;
Ginger Increases Probiotic Adhesion
The efficacy of a probiotic pill depends on two factors.
One, how many colony-forming units of live strains it supplies, and second, how well these microbes colonize in the intestine.
Research proves ginger extracts, especially 6-gingerol, promote probiotic adhesion to intestinal cells. Hence, they cling better to the gut lining and colonize faster.
Ginger Supplies Prebiotics
Many polyphenols in ginger are a food source for probiotic bacteria. A Journal on nutrients points out that phenols, especially gingerols, promote the growth of Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus colonies.
Another research performed in Indonesia shows that ginger extracts also feed Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus brevis.
Hence, taking ginger with probiotic supplements will make good bacteria flourish in your gut.
Ginger Kills Pathogens
Another way ginger improves gut microbiome composition is it reduces the number of pathogenic bacteria.
Research shows that ginger extracts can reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria by 39 to 56%. These bactericidal effects are even stronger than commercial antibiotic drugs.
When the population of bad bacteria in the gut is smaller, the good bacteria get better nutrition and can resist pathogenic attacks better.
Ginger Synergizes With Probiotics
The bioactive ingredients of ginger include several polyphenols like 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol, 6-shagaol, and paradols. These phenols are powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Hence, adequate intake of ginger with food lowers oxidative stress, leading to a better bacterial growth environment.
Also, both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory characteristics are common in ginger and probiotics. So, adding both this herb and friendly microbes would make health benefits two-fold.
Can You Take Ginger And Probiotics Together?
Yes, ginger and probiotics make a good, health-promoting combination.
- As mentioned above, this blend effectively prevents and treats infectious diseases. Hence, it will fight against germ-induced diarrhea, IBS, and other gut inflammations.
- This combination also has commercial therapeutic applications. Clinical research shows that probiotic supplements containing ginger extracts are good for gastric ulcer treatment.
- It reduces oxidative stress (which can cause constant fatigue, brain fog, and memory damage).
- It is a good immunity booster.
- Combined intake can benefit you in losing weight.
Now, when you are well-informed of the ginger-probiotic benefits, the question arises; how to use them together?
Well! the best way is to add fermented foods and fresh ginger to your meals. Yogurt, Kimchi, and Kefir are common probiotic-rich foods, and you can use ginger as a spice in meals or try ginger tea or infused water.
But if you have no time for daily cooking or the recipes simply seem overwhelming, you can go for relatively easier options as well. These include commercial ginger-probiotic herbal teas and ready-made, sparkling drinks.
Here are the best ones in the market;
1. Celestial Ginger+ Probiotic Herbal Tea
This product comes from an innovative company in the herbal tea market- Celestial seasoning. All their products contain herbal goodness, but this tea has something additional for improving gut health.
Yes, the probiotics!
Each tea bag contains 167 million CFUs of Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30. This probiotic strain is widely tested in research for its effects on digestion and gut health.
A study published in the Journal of Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins reports that B. coagulans GBI-30 improves carbohydrate and protein digestion.
This effect, combined with the polyphenol benefits of ginger, will make your gut digest better and stay healthier.
It is available from Celestial official website, Amazon, and also at local retailers. The price starts as low as $5.59 for the pack of 16 tea bags.
2. Bigelow Lemon Ginger Plus Probiotics Herbal Tea
Bigelow tea is another big name in the industry; they have been producing tea blends since 1947. Their product catalog contains two ginger-probiotic teas, but the Lemon Ginger Plus Probiotic is my favorite one.
Like the Celestial tea, it also contains B. coagulans GBI-30, providing probiotic benefits. Natural ginger extracts provide the goodness of gingerols and other polyphenols.
Besides ginger, it contains other beneficial herbs like lemongrass, cinnamon, and licorice root.
However, Bigelow’s blend is caffeine-free, and if you prefer a small punch of caffeine in your tea, you can count on it for a jitter-free experience since this tea comes with the same strain-and-herb goodness with a small caffeine content of 25-50mg/ serving.
You can find these products easily at grocery stores, Amazon shops, or the official website of Bigelow.
3. Kevita Sparkling Lemon Ginger Probiotic Drink
This ready-made drink is best to take on the go. It contains B. coagulans GBI-30 as well as probiotics from water kefir. Kefir cultures have various strains depending on the grains used to make kefir.
However, these seven bacteria (Lentilactobacillus hilgardii, Lacticaseibacillus paracasei, Liquorilactobacillus satsumensis, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Lentilactobacillus kefiri.) are the most abundant.
Study regarding the effects of kefir reports that kefir drinks can improve lactose digestion and reduce the risk of many diseases, including microbial infections, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
Hence, ginger-probiotic sparkling water will give you a zesty refreshment and tons of health benefits.
This lemonade-style drink comes in 40 oz bottles which you can purchase from local retailers or online shops.
Does ginger have probiotics?
No, ginger contains no probiotics.
However, its active ingredients, gingerol, and shogaol have prebiotic properties and support good bacterial proliferation in the gut.
Is ginger probiotic tea good for you?
Yes, ginger probiotic tea is good for health.
It improves gut microbiome composition, prevents inflammatory diseases, and reduces cancer risk.
Does ginger kill bacteria in the mouth?
Yes, ginger kills the pathogenic bacteria causing oral inflammation.
Research proves that its anti-bacterial effect is stronger than many antibiotic medicines. Thus, the regular intake of ginger prevents oral bacterial infections like gum disease.
Final Thoughts – Ginger Facilitates Probiotics Instead of Killing Them
The roots of ginger plants have been used as a spice for centuries. It detoxifies the body, improves the immune system, and is known for its anti-bacterial properties.
The surprising fact here is it does not harm good bacteria but feeds them and aids them in becoming part of the gut microbiome.
Also, ginger extracts and probiotic microbes play a team against poor digestion, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Hence, you will get the best results by adding both of them to your diet.
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