UMEAA, SWEDEN. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has been cultivated for medicinal and culinary purposes for over 2000 years. It is now generating considerable excitement within the cardiology community (more than 1000 scientific articles about ginger are listed on MEDLINE). Recent research has shown that ginger exhibits strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and effectively inhibits platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid. Ginger also has significant fibrinolytic activity and exhibits calcium channel-blocking activity similar to that of verapamil. Of more immediate interest to the afib community, especially a vagal afibber, is the finding that ginger stimulates the release of adrenaline and increases the strength of the heart beat.
Nicoll, R and Henein, MY. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): a hot remedy for cardiovascular disease? International Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 131, No. 3, January 2009, pp. 408-09
Editor's comment: Vagal afibbers often experience their episodes when resting or digesting a heavy meal; in other words, when the parasympathetic (vagal) arm of the autonomic nervous system is dominant. It is conceivable that ingesting ginger (minimum of 5 g) an hour or so before bedtime may increase sympathetic (adrenergic) response through adrenaline release and thus prevent episodes that come on when the "head hits the pillow".