Editor's note: Ginger and turmeric can interact with medications taken for medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure as well as blood thinners. Seek advice from your health care provider about potential interactions before using ginger.

If you've been looking to trim down, fight inflammation or boost immunity, you may have checked out ginger shots, a fiery elixir a little healthier than the usual 5 o’clock shot.

Ginger has been popularly combined into a juice shot with apple, turmeric, lemon or cayenne pepper. But is the trend good for health, or just hype?

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center registered dietitian Alice Smith recently weighed in.

“Ginger has some apparent health benefits,” Smith said. “Research has shown it may help fight inflammation, boost immunity and deliver digestive support."

Studies have suggested that ginger may help improve arthritis and joint pain, muscle pain and soreness. It may also reduce symptoms associated with morning sickness during pregnancy in the short-term, motion sickness and nausea, although some studies were inconclusive about the correlation, Smith noted.

However, not everyone may tolerate the strong flavor of a shot.

“You can always put ginger in your tea or smoothies, or you can cook with it, put it in soups or make a ginger honey glaze for salmon,” Smith said. “Ginger shots are just one option.”

A shot is one way to consume ginger in a highly concentrated way, but the medicinal root retains its health benefits when cooked, Smith noted.

For people looking to use ginger to boost their diet or immunity, it’s important first to make sure there are no underlying health concerns. Talk with your doctor to discuss whether you should increase your ginger intake.

“Some people might think it could be a quick fix for weight loss but that’s definitely something that takes a whole revamping of your lifestyle,” Smith said. “Ginger may help with overall health, but there’s not a quick fix for anything.”

The key is a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress and eating a healthy diet, Smith added. “Ginger also may help you avoid getting sick, but you’ve also got to exercise, get sleep and wash your hands,” she said.

Smith shared her favorite ginger recipes.

Spinach, strawberry and ginger smoothie

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Add ingredients to blender and mix until well blended.

Pineapple, banana and carrot smoothie

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice (store bought or blend together 2 cups of carrots and 1 1/2 cups of water)
  • 1 orange, squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Add ingredients to blender and mix until well blended.

Ginger honey glaze

  • 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, grated

Heat ingredients in small saucepan for two minutes until simmering. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Cook salmon to your preference, then pour on glaze. Top with sesame seed and/or scallions.

Homemade lemon ginger shots

  • 1 fresh ginger root (about a half pound)
  • 1 sliced organic lemon
  • Juice from three to four organic lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey
  • 1 small tea bag (your choice of flavor)

Slice ginger into small pieces, place ginger in saucepan with 6 cups of water and a sliced lemon. Boil for 30 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and add tea bag, honey and juice from lemons. Let sit in pot for 30 minutes. Strain water. Store ginger juice in a glass bottle in the fridge for up to a week.