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Thought to originate from Thailand and used for over a thousand years in Thai traditional medicine & folk medicine, more and more people are taking black ginger as a dietary supplement.
Not heard of black ginger? It’s also known as Thai ginseng, Kaempferia parviflora, krachai dum, KPE supplement, and black Galangal, just to confuse you.
Before you join the queue, please go through the black ginger benefits and side effects below. While there are claims that it aids in relaxation, is shown to improve men’s sexual libido, and can activate muscle cells, these are mostly anecdotal (although not disproven!)
Instead, I’ve gone through the clinical studies to compile the information so you can make an informed decision (as well as where to buy it!)
(Hint: use the code “HOG10” for 10% off at Anabolic Health)
Black ginger benefits & side effects
What is black ginger good for, if anything?
And are you aware of the black ginger pros and cons?
I strongly advise that you’re aware of these below before you commit to taking even a single dose!
Health benefits of black ginger supplement use
You may have already heard of some of the below Kaempferia parviflora extract benefits, but keep in mind that doesn’t mean that they’re all going to apply to you.
Let’s dive into the most common black ginger health benefits straight away and see what’s what:
Black ginger for weight loss
The positive relationship between black ginger (specifically the Kaempferia parviflora rhizome powder) and weight loss is not yet fully understood. However, some research suggests that black ginger may have a positive impact on weight loss.
A study carried out in rats focused on adipocytes (it’s not clear whether the activation of brown adipose tissue specifically was examined), which are closely linked to metabolic diseases. The result was that the Kaempferia parviflora “to some extent at least, [was] involved in the mechanisms of anti-metabolic disorders effects.”
In addition, another rat study found that KP had a “suppressive effect on body weight increase and visceral fat accumulation.” These positive results were suspected to be driven by the polymethoxyflavonoid compound within the extract.
With the majority of studies having been carried out on rats, a 12-week, randomized, double-blind trial on humans, which was also placebo-controlled, was conducted.
From the trial, the black ginger extract benefits were that the trial selection saw a “significant reduction in abdominal fat area” in comparison to the placebo group.
The general consensus is that more human research is needed to confirm the black ginger powder benefits for weight loss, as well as to its longevity,
Black ginger testosterone benefits
Looking to black ginger to boost your sexual performance & endurance or help you men with erectile dysfunction? Hmm… the jury is still out on that one (see a dedicated section below on this).
A lot of the thoughts surrounding ED surround potential testosterone increases. The majority of studies of these, until now, have all been in vivo studies, meaning they’ve been performed on animals or plants.
In addition, the conclusive vivo studies used regular ginger instead of black ginger, so the black ginger vs regular ginger effectiveness is still in question.
Even so, it’s worth mentioning that the studies using regular ginger concluded that ginger supplementation does enhance the production of testosterone in males, especially when under oxidative stress.
Black ginger erectile dysfunction
Some believe that black ginger may be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. There is some anecdotal evidence to support this claim, but no scientific studies have been conducted to confirm its efficacy.
As usual, studies on rats have been conducted, but even then any benefits aren’t directly in relation to penile erectile dysfunction, but an indirect effect. For example, in one study, it was found that Kaempferia parviflora increased the metabolism of sildenafil, which is used to treat ED directly.
Staying on the sexual health, libido & impotence theme, there is further research on rats to suggest that Kaempferia parviflora can improve the weight (and function) of the glands, duct and levator ani muscles around the male reproductive system.
However (there’s that counter-word again!), the study was conducted with exercise, so it’s not conclusive as to whether these are black ginger powder benefits or as a result of the exercise.
Black ginger extract in athletes
So, what does black ginger do for the body, specifically in athletes?
While there’s a lot of hype around Kaempferia parviflora improving endurance, the human studies are lacking and somewhat inconclusive.
For instance, one study tested untrained college-age males in sprints and endurance to exhaustion. The result was that the use of Thai Kaempferia parviflora didn’t increase performance.
To counter this, a separate study was undertaken on 45 elderly human subjects; one group took a placebo and the other K. parviflora extract for 8 weeks. Results from a tandem test, hand-grip test, walk test and 30-second chair stand test were positive…
In particular, there was a marked increase in performance in the 6-minute walk test and 30s chair test via a reduction in oxidative stress. However, the same study also concluded that more comprehensive human studies are needed.
In contrast, a study of male mice monitored each mouse during a swimming test, measuring grip strength, swim time and motility post-swim. The results were all positive through an increase in mitochondria, glycogen and relevant mRNA.
Black ginger and ovarian cancer
There seems to be some positive findings regarding black ginger extract and its effect on ovarian cancer cells.
In particular, a study on SKOV3 cancer cells concluded that the extract could be a “candidate as an ovarian cancer chemotherapeutic agent.”
It’s worth noting that while there are mentions of “ginger” extracts and other cancers, such as cervical cancer and liver cancer, these are linked to regular ginger as opposed to black ginger.
Again, we’re lacking human studies on whether Kaempferia parviflora can have a positive effect on the human heart. However, as usual, some hopeful results have been found in rat studies.
One in particular noted that, along with a known positive nitric oxide production impact, KP altered the heart’s physiology. This effect was to increase the content of the messenger molecule “cGMP” in cardiac tissue.
An additional study on diabetic rats confirmed that Kaempferia parviflora preserved nitric oxide quantities in the heart and showed an antioxidant effect, which was down to the methoxyflavones contained within KP.
Staying with the diabetes theme, the same research showed that Kaempferia parviflora didn’t have an impact on glucose levels in the 4-week period that the test was run over.
While there is evidence to suggest that Kaempferia parviflora (specifically the chloroform extract) has anti-inflammatory effects to suppress & inhibit the production of nitric oxide, it’s not as potent as Feverfew (another herb).
Moreover, an animal study targeting acute inflammation found that inflammation was inhibited by up to 25.31%.
Black ginger side effects & dangers
There are no official researched Kaempferia parviflora side effects.
However, some people may experience one or more of the following side effects:
- stomach upset
- skin irritation
- increased blood pressure
If you experience any of these side effects, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.
Additionally, black ginger may interact negatively with certain medications. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking black ginger, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Choosing the best black ginger supplement
You’re quite limited when it comes to choosing a Thai black ginger supplement, but it comes in three forms:
All have the same bioavailability and efficacy, so it comes down to personal preference.
I highly recommend getting 10% off with the team at Anabolic Health if you use the code “HOG10”, who are known for producing high-quality supplements.
The next best alternatives for each form are:
- Tablet: Ujido The Path of Zen black ginger matcha supplement.
- Capsule: Swanson black ginger extract
- Powder: Jamulogy premium-grade Thai black ginger powder
Where to buy black ginger root
Believe it or not, you can’t actually buy black ginger root online. I did hear that you can buy GNC black ginger root, but they only do regular ginger root.
Black ginger dosage: how much black ginger should I take daily?
There’s no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of individual factors.
However, as a general guideline, many experts recommend taking between 500mg and 1000mg of black ginger daily. It’s important to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time, as too much black ginger can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Again, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
How to take black ginger powder
The best way to take krachai dum powder is as a drink. Simply mix 1/8th of a teaspoon in approximately 85g (3oz) with water (preferably warm).
To add some flavor to your drink, try it with one of the following:
- lemon juice
- fruit juice
- cocktail (yep, you can take it with alcohol!)
- A liquor plus honey combination
You could also mix it with other herbs and spices—why not try some turmeric, which also works well in smoothies.
How to take black ginger capsules
The best way to take black ginger capsules is by simply swallowing the capsule with water, as guided by the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to take natural black ginger
You can either chew or steep natural black ginger in with your tea bags. I don’t know about you, but the thought of chewing it doesn’t sound great, so tea is a great choice.
- Grind approximately 0.5-1 teaspoon of powder.
- Mix it with your chosen tea.
Yep, it’s that simple!
Is black ginger good for you? Key takeaways
There’s definitely some length in saying that black ginger is good for you, especially since there aren’t any serious side effects and it’s traditionally been used in Thai medicine and as a food ingredient for so long.
And the number of studies out there is promising; we just need more studies carried out on humans rather than rats (any of you fancy being a lab rat? 🙂 )
So, if you’re looking for black ginger to reduce energy expenditure when exercising, act as an aphrodisiac or affect your sexual activity, cure an allergy, improve your acne, or act as an antibacterial, the jury is out.
Any claims that this is the case are purely anecdotal, but that doesn’t mean any health claims should be ignored; the studies just aren’t there to back them up.
Is black ginger safe to take?
The safety of black ginger is still under investigation by researchers and scientists. Although some preliminary studies have been conducted, there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not black ginger is safe for human consumption. More research needs to be done to make a definitive conclusion.
Is black ginger dangerous under any circumstances?
Some experts believe that black ginger may pose a danger to certain individuals if consumed in large quantities or if the individual is allergic to it. However, there is insufficient evidence to support this. Therefore, more research is needed to determine potential risks associated with black ginger consumption.
How long does black ginger take to work?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of individual factors. Generally speaking, however, it’s thought that black ginger begins to take effect within 1-2 hours after ingestion. The effects may peak after 4-6 hours, then gradually subside over the next 8-12 hours.
What is KPE supplement?
KPE black ginger extract supplement is a member of the ginger family and is available in powdered, tablet, or capsule form. The efficacy of each is exactly the same and is thought to have a positive effect on metabolism and endurance, although these are from rat studies.
Is black ginger good for blood flow?
Black ginger is good for blood flow because it contains high levels of anthocyanins. These compounds are known to have vasodilatory effects, meaning they can widen blood vessels and improve blood circulation. Additionally, black ginger is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for cardiovascular health.
Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and reduce inflammation, both of which are important for maintaining healthy blood flow.
In addition, an active ingredient in black ginger is ginsenoside, which is known to have various pharmacological effects, including vasodilation and increased blood flow.
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