New research shows daily use of ginger can assuage muscle pain by up to 25 percent.

Researchers from the University of Georgia set out to determine if daily ginger consumption would reduce muscle pain caused by exercise.

Patrick O’Connor, a professor in the College of Education’s department of kinesiology, directed two studies examining the effects of 11 days of raw and heat-treated ginger supplementation on muscle pain

Participants in the studies, 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively, consumed capsules containing two grams of either raw or heat-treated ginger or a placebo for 11 consecutive days, according to a university press release.

On the eighth day they performed 18 extensions of the elbow flexors with a heavy weight to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Arm function, inflammation, pain and a biochemical involved in pain were assessed prior to and for three days after exercise.

The studies showed that daily ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25 percent, and the effect was not enhanced by heat-treating the ginger.

“The economic and personal costs of pain are extremely high,” said O’Connor. “Muscle pain generally is one of the most common types of pain … anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it.”

The study is published on the Journal of Pain’s website: www.jpain.org.

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