Australian research shows that ginger prevents nausea or morning sickness when pregnant

New research from South Australia has shown that there is more than hearsay to the notion that ginger helps to stop nausea in pregnancy.

In a new push to test the validity of complementary medicines, a randomised 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 B6, a commonly recommended treatment for nausea in the first few months of pregnancy.

UniSA’s Associate Professor of complementary and alternative therapies, Caroline Smith, said the trial, conducted with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Adelaide University, set out to find just how effective the use of ginger was.

“Ginger is Australia’s most widely used complementary therapy for pregnancy related nausea,” Prof Smith said.

“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 B6 daily.

“This is the third clinical trial showing ginger’s positive benefits for pregnant women who suffer nausea,” Prof Smith said.

“Asked to report on their symptoms the women in our trial taking the ginger supplement reported a 53 per cent reduction in nausea and vomiting. Those on vitamin B6 reported a 55 per cent 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.

“What works for one person may not work for another – so now women can feel comfortable in trying ginger as an alternative to B6 and certainly as something worth exploring before they resort to heavier medications. As with any supplements it is important to talk to your consulting doctor and to ensure she or he knows what treatments you are taking.”

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