Sipping on that ginger ale when your stomach was upset as a child wasn't just a placebo -- numerous studies and research, including the Mayo Clinic's strict grading system, agree that ginger has some sort of anti-nausea properties.
Some believe that ginger works well against postoperative, or after-surgery nausea, while others swear by it to reduce motion sickness. The Mayo Clinic, however, advises the use of ginger only to reduce nausea -- and vomiting -- during pregnancy. While more research needs to be done, early studies are very promising, especially in that short doses don't seem to do any harm to the mother or baby [source: Mayo Clinic]. Longer doses may cause problems, so, as with any medication or supplement, you should seek medical advice before beginning treatment.
Other health benefits from ginger exist as well. The anti-inflammatory properties that may keep cancer from multiplying may also offer relief against rheumatoid arthritis [source: Rossiter]. Some suggest that ginger can help alleviate menstrual cramps and quell a cough associated with the common cold [source: Tyler}. Another benefit of ginger is that it seems to have no real side effects, which is one of the main reasons it appears to be safe during pregnancy.
No matter your treatment, you should always consult a doctor before starting, even with something like ginger that seems to have little to no side effects.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- The Age. "Ginger, tea may fight cancer." October 29, 2003 (Accessed 3/14/09) http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/10/29/1067233213631.html?from=storyrhs
- BBC News. "Ginger 'may fight ovarian cancer.'" April 16, 2006. (Accessed 3/14/09) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4876056.stm
- Bob. "Ginger for Nausea, Motion Sickness, and Health." HubPages. (Accessed 3/14/09) http://hubpages.com/hub/Ginger-for-Nausea--Motion-Sickness--and-Health
- Chinese Medicine News. "Ginger inhibits ovarian cancer cell growth." (Accessed 3/14/09) http://chinesemedicinenews.com/2008/01/02/ginger-inhibits-overian-cancer-cell-growth/
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- Tyler, Varro E. "Spotlight on ginger." Prevention; Feb98, Vol. 50 Issue 2 (accessed 3/23/09 via Health Source Database) http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hxh&AN=28979&site=ehost-live
- UK Daily Mail. "Ginger joins cancer fight." (Accessed 3/14/09) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-200924/Ginger-joins-cancer-fight.html
- Vimala, S. et al. "Ginger and turmeric fight cancer." Healing Cancer Naturally. April 1999. (Accessed 3/14/09)http://www.healingcancernaturally.com/nutrition3.html