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Ginger Relieves Morning Sickness

What the Study Showed
How It Was Done
Why It's Important

What the Study Showed

Researchers in Thailand, in an effort to confirm and build upon previous findings, report that ginger can significantly relieve the severity of nausea and the frequency of vomiting during pregnancy. The Chiang Mai University study was reported in the 2001 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

How It Was Done

Seventy pregnant women were randomly assigned to take either 1 gram of ginger or a placebo for 4 days. Since ginger capsules are not commercially available in Thailand, to ensure quality the researchers prepared their own capsules from fresh ginger root that was processed by a pharmacist.

Participants in the ginger group took one 250 mg. capsule three times a day after meals and one at bedtime. Those in the placebo group took identical-looking capsules on the same regimen (three did not complete the study). Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was assigned to the ginger and who was assigned to the placebo.

Using a visual scale, the women described the severity of their nausea and vomiting, and recorded how many times they had vomited for 24 hours before treatment and twice daily during the 4days of the study. Their symptoms were re-evaluated using a different independent measurement scale seven days later.

The symptoms of 28 of 32 subjects in the ginger group improved, as compared to 10 of 35 in the placebo group. No adverse effect of ginger on the pregnancies was detected.

Why It's Important

Although ginger has been studied for motion sickness and for vomiting following surgery, the only previous research on its use in pregnancy was done with a small group of women whose nausea was so severe that hospitalization was required. The present researchers set out to expand on these earlier findings by involving far more women than had been included before.

The results indicate that ginger is clearly effective and it does indeed appear to offer women a safe natural alternative to powerful anti-nausea drugs.

Source: Vutyavanich T, Kraisarin T, Ruangsri R-A. Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy: Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Obstet Gynecol 2001;97:577-82.


Date Published: 07/30/2002
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