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Clinical trials underscore the merits of ginger for gestational nausea and vomiting

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by: Andrew Kim
Tags: ginger, nausea, health news

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(NewsTarget) Nausea and vomiting or "morning sickness" is a very common complication of pregnancy, affecting over 70% of pregnant women. Morning sickness starts early and tends to persist through the 14-16th week of pregnancy. While there are many theories of what causes morning sickness, the treatments are well established and generally effective. Surprisingly, one of the treatment options is ginger. Clinical trials have proven that the merits of ginger go far beyond their anecdotal reputation and should receive more widespread recognition and use as an effective and safe treatment for morning sickness.

Borelli et al. conducted a systematic literature search of double-blind, randomized controlled studies (RCTs) that tested the efficacy of ginger and published their results in the journal Obstetrics Gynecology.

Their analysis, which included six RCTs and one prospective cohort study, showed that ginger was more effective than a placebo and as effective as the standard drug in the gestational treatment of nausea and vomiting. What is more, when safety was assessed, the subjects taking ginger were absent of significant side effects and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The data on ginger is promising and should be strongly considered for universal use. What is more, proper dosages and dosage forms need to be established for pregnant women, since the clinical trials have used varying doses and dosage forms (i.e. powder and alcoholic extracts).

Nevertheless, at low-doses, ginger seems to be extremely safe for all pregnant women and does not carry the risk of causing malformations of the developing embryo when compared to the other frontline agents. Given the high prevalence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and the potential dangers of anti-emetic drugs, pregnant women should strongly consider using this time (and clinically) tested ancient root.


Ginger is a very nutritious food that benefits the entire body and can be taken every day. For the beginner, start by grating a thumb size piece of ginger and then steep into hot water for about 30 minutes. Or, the beginner can juice the thumb size piece of ginger and then add the juice into a cup of hot water. Slowly increase the dose of ginger to desired effect or tolerance (whichever comes first). For instance, drink the ginger tea twice a day, then three times a day, etc. and then start to increase the amount of ginger to hot water.

1. Marcus, Donald M., and Wayne R. Snodgrass. "Effectiveness and Safety of Ginger in the Treatment of Pregnancy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting." Obstetrics & Gynecology 106.3 (2005): 640
2. Ernst, E., and MH Pittler. "Efficacy of Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting: a Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials." British Journal of Anaesthesia 84.3 (2000): 367-71.
3. Boone, S. A. "Treating Pregnancy-Related Nausea and Vomiting with Ginger." Annals of Pharmacotherapy 39.10 (2005): 1710-713.

About the author

Andrew Kim
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