Ginger for Babies: Is It Safe, Health Benefits & Safety Measures

Ginger for Babies – Health Benefits and Safety Measures

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Gupta (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Ginger is among the most popular dadi maa ke nuskhe for infants and adults- and with good reason, too! It is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which act as a natural immunity booster and protect you from falling sick! But ginger tends to have a spicy and umami taste and is not made for everyone’s palate. If you’re wondering how to add ginger to your baby’s diet, you have come to the right place.

We bring you all you need to know about feeding ginger to babies! Keep reading to understand the benefits of ginger for babies and the precautions you should take while giving a piece of ginger to your little one.

Is It Safe to Give Ginger to Babies?

Ginger is believed to be relatively safe for infants. (2) Yet, if administered in excess, it can result in many health complications. Once your baby has crossed the 9-month milestone and started eating solids, you can give ginger in small amounts.

Nutritional Value of Ginger

Ginger

In just 100 g of ginger root, the following concentration of nutritional ingredients can be observed.

Constituent Quantity
Vitamin B6 0.24 mg
Riboflavin 0.23 mg
Vitamin C 45 mg
Sodium 41 mg
Phosphorous 99 mg
Iron 1.15 mg
Fibre 5 mg
Lipids 0.11 g
Energy 75 kilocalories
Folate 15 mcg
Niacin 0.5 mg
Thiamine 0.15 mg
Zinc 0.4 mg
Potassium 555 mg
Magnesium 25 mg
Calcium 44 mg
Carbohydrates 17.25 g
Proteins 2.5 g
Water 80 g

In addition, ginger also contains various biochemical compounds such as choline, (3) curcumin, camphene, terpenes, limonene, and many others.

Health Benefits of Ginger for Babies

Although ginger is most commonly used to relieve cough in babies, it has other benefits, too.

1. Reduces Gas

Flatulence or gas problems can be irritating and uncomfortable for babies. For ages, ginger has been used to treat stomach issues, primarily gas in the intestine. (4) Giving it to the baby can help reduce the passing of gas by a considerable amount. 

2. Makes the Liver Strong

The human liver is one of the most vital organs in the body, as it can digest almost anything. However, when a baby’s liver is still developing, food poisoning could quickly become complicated. Ginger extracts increase liver tolerance.

3. Boosts Immunity

Babies become more prone to seasonal ailments like flu, cold, and cough as seasons change. Ginger helps provide the first line of defence in this regard. (4) Parents dread bronchitis most of all the respiratory issues. In this, the mucous membrane gets inflamed, causing problems in breathing. Give a mixture of dry ginger powder, pepper, long clove powder, and honey thrice daily to boost immunity.

4. Relieves Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is contagious, and prolonged coughing can cause lung abrasion. Your baby’s respiratory system is delicate and needs something to boost it. A mixture of ginger juice and honey, delivered in small quantities, can help your infant recover from the cough.

5. Relieves Nausea and Motion Sickness

Motion sickness can even happen to babies when they travel onboard a car or plane. If your baby faces nausea and motion sickness, giving a small amount of ginger can help keep the food down and reduce the chances of vomiting and acid reflux. (5)

6. Alleviates Stomach Pain

Be it intestinal gas, colic spasms, or other stomach issues, there’s nothing that a small dose of ginger can’t fix. Mix some ginger juice and a little lemon juice to help set the stomach right. A couple of doses every day can reduce these problems substantially.

7. Aids Digestion

Ginger can battle digestive problems in infants effectively. Using ginger in your baby’s food can prevent indigestion, bloating, and constipation.

How to Add Ginger to Your Baby’s Diet?

Here are some recipes that incorporate ginger:

1. Ginger Tea

Add a few pieces of ginger to a pan with water. Let the water reach a boiling point. Then, let the concoction simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Turn off the flame and strain the liquid. Serve this twice a day.

2. Ginger Milk

If your child has started drinking cow milk, add dry ginger powder. This is an excellent remedy for colds and coughs in kids.

3. Ginger Vapour

Boil a few pieces of ginger in water. Once the vapour starts wafting, tell your child to inhale the ginger vapour. This method is considered safer than the vapour rubs available in the market.

4. Ginger Candy

If your child is older than two years, he can suck on ginger candy for relief from flu and motion sickness.

Safety Measures You Should Take While Giving Ginger to Your Baby

Before using ginger in your baby’s food, remember these things:

  • Many parents combine honey with ginger to make drinking the concoction easier for the baby. This shouldn’t be followed, especially for babies younger than a year. (6)
  • An allergy to ginger is rare, but it’s better to be safe and look for any signs that might indicate one. Please test it out for four days before making ginger a regular constituent. (7)

FAQs

1. Is it safe to give ginger to premature babies?

Do not feed ginger to premature babies! You can only feed ginger to babies who are two years of age or older. (8)

2. Can ginger help with teething discomfort in babies?

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate the discomfort caused by teething. Clean and peel ginger and cut a thin slice to ease your baby’s pain from teething. Gently rub this slice on your baby’s gums for 2-3 minutes. This should help ease the discomfort. (9)

3. Is ginger an effective remedy for diarrhoea in infants?

Ginger for babies can be an effective remedy for infant diarrhoea. (10) Add pieces of ginger to water and boil, then remove the pieces and feed the concoction to your infant. You can also do this with milk. Alternately, add it to food preparations like purees and mash before feeding it to your baby.

4. Is it safe to give ginger to babies with medical conditions?

Ginger can lower blood glucose and increase the risk of bleeding. So, it is advised not to feed it to babies who are suffering from conditions that require them to ingest blood thinners or infants with diabetes. (8)

There are many ways of ensuring that your baby gets all the medical benefits of ginger. We recommend getting your paediatrician’s go-ahead before feeding ginger to your infant.

References/Resources:

1. Mashhadi N.S., Ghiasvand R., Askari G., Hariri M., Darvishi L., Mofid M.R.; Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence; Int J Prev Med; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/; April 2013 

2. Bode, A. M.; The Amazing and Mighty Ginger; Herbal Medicine – NCBI Bookshelf; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/; 2011

3. Ginger root, raw; U.S. Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169231/nutrients; 2018

4. Bhatt N., Waly M.I., Essa M.M, Ali A.; Ginger: A Functional Herb; Nova Science Publishers; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257416254_Ginger_A_functional_herb; January 2013

5. Ernst E and Pittler M.H.; Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials; British Journal of Anaesthesia; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10793599/; March 2000

6. Ashkin E. and Mounsey A.; A spoonful of honey helps a coughing child sleep; The Journal of Family Practice; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601686/; March 2013

7. Ginger; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

8. Ginger; Mount Sinai; https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/ginger

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