Ginger Reduces Chemo Nausea

Car sickness is not the only form of nausea where the common herb, ginger, might come to your aid. Research also shows it to be better than placebo when used to treat seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Nausea and vomiting are the most significant influences on quality of life in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Despite widespread use of anti nausea-drugs, more than 70% of patients continue to suffer.

According to Dr Gary Morrow, Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, ginger was “found to be effective for reduction of acute nausea……(and) can be consumed as gingersnaps, ginger tea, or ginger pills”. Dr J Ryan from the same institution who studied the subject in conjunction with 744 cancer patients, suggests that a therapeutic daily dose of 0.5g-1.0g ginger “significantly aids in reduction of the severity of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in adult cancer patients”.

Ginger is widely available in capsules, the form that was used for this research.  Dehydration increases the potency of the original plant so you may need a higher dose if consuming the rhizome in food or as a tea.

Ginger has been used medicinally in many ancient civilizations including Rome, Greece, China, India and the middle east. It now has government approval in countries throughout the world.  The FDA has approved ginger as a safe herbal product. The Mayo clinic also approves ginger to treat and prevent nausea (in conjunction with standard anti-nausea medications).

Dr Morrow also lists other non-allopathic therapies which appear to positively contribute to the treatment of CINV including:

Ginger lovers may like to know about other benefits of this superspice including:

  • reducing pain of osteoarthritis and has also shown benefit for rheumatoid arthritis in animal studies
  • decreasing blood clotting (CAUTION:  Do not use ginger medicinally if you are taking blood-thinning medication. Please consult your physician.)
  • beneficial addition to treatment of pneumonia patients
  • beneficial adjunct in the treatment of lung cancer
  • improving digestion (in some cases ginger can be an irritant)
  • possesses general anti-inflammatory properties
  • may relieve migraine in some people (Danish researchers propose ginger may ease symptoms by blocking prostaglandins)

Read Dr Morrow’s presentation as part of continuing medical education publication here.

Read Dr Ryan’s research here.

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