An Abuja-based dietician, Mr. Paul Okoh, has advised persons living with haemophilia to stay away from Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger.

Okoh, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said ginger has varied ingredients in many dishes.

Haemophilia is a rare disorder in which someone’s blood does not clot normally because it lacks sufficient blood-clotting proteins.

According to him, haemophilia is not one disease, but rather, one of a group of inherited bleeding disorders that cause abnormal or exaggerated bleeding and poor blood clotting.

He said that certain blood disorders such as haemophilia could make the use of ginger a risky proposition.

This is because ginger acts as a blood thinner, which can prevent the blood from clotting.

“However, for persons with haemophiliac conditions, this can be incredibly dangerous, given that haemophiliacs already have trouble recovering from open wounds due to the inability of their blood to clot.

“Ginger’s blood thinning properties can exacerbate the problem, causing haemorrhaging that could easily become fatal,” he said.

Okoh said that the part of ginger that is commonly used is called the rhizome. “Most people think of ginger as a root, but this is somewhat inaccurate.

“The rhizome is a stem, not a root. Rhizome is packed with powerful nutrients, enzymes, and various compounds that altogether make ginger an herb.

Medicinally speaking, most often, ginger serves to relieve nausea, dizziness, vertigo, or to facilitate digestion.

“In the latter case, this is because ginger promotes the production of saliva, and its fiber content makes bowel movements easier,” he said.

In addition to the uses of ginger, he said there was a research that suggested ginger had some promise as a painkiller, as a cleanser of cellulite and minor skin blemishes.

Ginger also acts as a soothing agent for irritable bowel syndrome, as a means to lower triglycerides or blood sugar, and even as a tool to fight certain kinds of cancer.

He noted that while ginger was a great spice and natural remedy, Nigerians should keep in mind that taking it in excess, or if they were affected by certain conditions, could actually end up causing them more harm than good.

He, however, advised Nigerians that if any of the aforementioned situations applies to them, they should consult a medical professional to discuss their options before taking high levels of ginger or ginger supplements.

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