Background. The potential effect of ginger on platelet aggregation is a widely-cited concern both within the published literature and to clinicians; however, there has been no systematic appraisal of the evidence to date.
Methods. Using the PRISMA guidelines, we systematically reviewed the results of clinical and observational trials regarding the effect of ginger on platelet aggregation in adults compared to either placebo or baseline data. Studies included in this review stipulated the independent variable was a ginger preparation or isolated ginger compound, and used measures of platelet aggregation as the primary outcome. Results. Ten studies were included, comprising eight clinical trials and two observational studies. Of the eight clinical trials, four reported that ginger reduced platelet aggregation, while the remaining four reported no effect. The two observational studies also reported mixed findings.
Discussion. Many of the studies appraised for this review had moderate risks of bias. Methodology varied considerably between studies, notably the timeframe studied, dose of ginger used, and the characteristics of subjects recruited (e.g. healthy vs. patients with chronic diseases).
Conclusion. The evidence that ginger affects platelet aggregation and coagulation is equivocal and further study is needed to definitively address this question.