Ginger for Migraine

J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Nov 30;82(6):21f14325. doi: 10.4088/JCP.21f14325.


Many preclinical and clinical studies have examined the potential benefits of ginger extracts for a range of medical disorders. Ginger has been found to reduce both pain and nausea and has therefore also been studied in the context of migraine headache. One randomized controlled trial (RCT) found that ginger was no better than placebo for the prevention of migraine episodes. One meta-analysis (pooled N = 227) found that, relative to placebo, ginger was associated with a higher proportion of patients who were pain free 2 hours after treatment (risk ratio [RR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-3.09; 2 RCTs). In this meta-analysis, relative to placebo, ginger reduced the risk of migraine-related nausea and vomiting (RR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.30-0.77; 3 RCTs) and was not associated with an increased risk of adverse events (RR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.46-1.41; 3 RCTs). No other RCT data are available. Such an evidence base is clearly too small for formal recommendations to be possible. It is suggested that raw ginger or proprietary ginger extracts may be useful as a home remedy for patients who experience an episode of migraine and who, for whatever reason, cannot take established first-line treatments for acute migraine. How ginger thus used compares with established treatments for migraine is presently unknown. Finally, it must be remembered that the chemical constituents of ginger will vary across source and extract; so, when an extract of ginger is studied, the findings of the study can be generalized only to that extract and, possibly, to other extracts with a similar composition.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Migraine Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Migraine Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Migraine Disorders* / therapy
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zingiber officinale*


  • Analgesics
  • Plant Preparations