New research from South Australia has shown that there is more than hearsay to the notion that ginger helps to stop nausea in pregnancy. A randomized controlled trial of ginger as a treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has found that a dose of 1.05 gm of ginger a day does help to calm nausea and vomiting. The trial compared the effectiveness of ginger and vitamin B-6, a commonly recommended treatment for nausea in the first few months of pregnancy.
“Ginger is Australia’s most widely used complementary therapy for pregnancy related nausea,” said researcher Caroline Smith. “What we wanted to know was how effective it really was and to explore if there were any side effects.”
The study involved 291 women less than 16 weeks pregnant with 146 women taking daily doses of ginger and 145 taking 75 mg of vitamin B-6 daily.
“This is the third clinical trial showing ginger’s positive benefits for pregnant women who suffer nausea,” Smith said. “The women in our trial taking the ginger supplement reported a 53% reduction in nausea and vomiting. Those on vitamin B-6 reported a 55% reduction in symptoms. No side effects were associated with the use of either supplement. What this means for women with nausea in pregnancy is that they have another choice of treatment.”
The researchers say that what works for one person may not work for another, so now women can feel comfortable in trying ginger as an alternative to B-6 and certainly as something worth exploring before they resort to heavier medications. They also remind women to ensure their doctors know what treatments they are taking.
University of South Australia, April 2, 2004