Study shows Ginger effective in treating morning sickness.




Obstet Gynecol

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Morning sickness during pregnancy can range from a general annoyance to a condition that requires hospitalization. It can also happen at times other than in the morning, though that is when it most often manifests. Usually there is little one can do to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting that occur during pregnancy. As is often the case, an old folk remedy has surfaced and appears to have promise in treating morning sickness.

Ginger has been used throughout history as both a culinary herb and a medicinal agent. Ginger has gained attention in the United States because of its effect on motion sickness, nausea, and to aid in digestion. Several studies have been published which support ginger’s antiemetic activity compared to drug or placebo therapy.1 As a tea, ginger is often used after a meal to stimulate digestion.

In a study reported in the April 2001 issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of ginger in relieving nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. During a five-month study, 70 women attending an antenatal clinic were recruited for this randomized, double-blind study. The participants were given either one gram of ginger orally each day, or an identical placebo for four days. The participants evaluated their level of nausea and recorded the number of vomiting episodes per day up to the day they started the study and then again, daily during the study.

The follow-up showed a significant difference between the two groups. Not only did the number of vomiting episodes decrease in the ginger group, but further evaluations showed that 28 out of 32 in the ginger group had improvement in their symptoms of nausea while only 10 out of 35 showed improvement in the placebo group. In addition, no adverse effects of ginger were noted with the pregnant participants. This lead the researchers to conclude that ginger is an effective treatment for morning sickness during pregnancy.2


1. Mowry DB, et al. Motion Sickness, Ginger, and Psychophysics. Lancet. 1982; 1(8273):655-67.
2. Vutyavanich T, et al. Ginger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Apr;97(4):577-82.