Warning for food supplements containing ginger and ginger tea and similar

The known chemical ingredients of ginger  include zingiberene (30%), b-bisabolene (10–15%), sesquifellandrene (15–20%), arcurcene, geranyl, citronellyl acetate, and gingerols (approximately 5%).

There is very little scientific information on the use of ginger during pregnancy and the results of the studies are partly contradictory. Some of the chemical constituents of ginger may be harmful to foetal development; some chemical constituents have been found to cause e.g. cell death. Assessment indicates that the use of ginger products as well as excessive or prolonged use of ginger during pregnancy should be avoided.

Therefore, in accordance with the precautionary principle, the Food Authority considers it appropriate that a separate label warn expectant mothers about the use of ginger products. The possible use of ginger products during pregnancy should always be discussed with the nurse, doctor or nutritionist at the maternity and child health clinic.

In order to protect the consumer against health hazards, the packaging must, where appropriate, be accompanied by instructions for use, such as a warning (Art. 9 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011. The Finnish Food Authority considers that as long as the effect of ginger on the foetus is unclear, the following foods should bear a separate warning for pregnant women.

Food supplements containing ginger

Because food supplements are pills, compresses or capsules offered for sale in small dosage forms, it is possible to consume even a large amount at a time. It is not scientifically possible to set a safe limit for the use of ginger during pregnancy. This is why the Finnish Food Authority considers that if ginger or an ingredient containing ginger is present as a characteristic component in a food supplement (Food Supplement Decree 78/2010, section 6) (in Finnish) the product must contain the following indication:

  • “Not recommended for pregnant women”.

When marketing food supplements containing ginger, it should be noted that, in view of the above, advertising or other marketing cannot be directed at expectant mothers.

Ginger tea and similar beverage powders

The food business operator is responsible for food safety. As it is possible to consume large quantities of tea made from ginger or containing ginger as an ingredient, the Food Authority recommends, in accordance with the precautionary principle, that
ginger tea packs and corresponding beverage powders be labelled as follows:

  • ”Not recommended for pregnant women”.

In view of the above, tea containing ginger and the corresponding beverage powders cannot be marketed in such a way as to target expectant mothers. 


Page last updated 1/14/2022