Got Nausea?

Personally, i think nausea is one of the most uncomfortable physical sensations forced upon me. When i am nauseous, whether from foodborne illness, turbulence, the stomach flu, a bad cold or past pregnancy…I am engulfed in misery. Friends of mine who have endured chemotherapy for various cancers tend to agree. Life doesn’t get a whole lot worse or uncomfortable when overpowered by severe nausea. Of course, we are all aware of many horrible life circumstances that trump nausea. But for now i am not looking for a nausea competitor in the arena of intolerable physical sensations. Just an antidote. Something to lessen the discomfort. Sure, there are drugs to help combat the torture of an upset stomach. But often the drugs come with a plethora of side affects. Most of us want to be functionally nauseous, if possible. Not comatose.

When i was a kid my grandma would offer me ginger ale for a bad tummy. Grandma was onto something, as always! Ginger has been used in China for thousands of years to treat nausea and many other conditions. Ginger,(Zingiber officinale) does help soothe an upset stomach. One recent study even finds this herb effective for controlling nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. And a randomized clinical trail confirms what has long been suspected: Ginger lessens nausea in chemotherapy patients.

In this National Cancer Institute study involving women with breast cancer, patients undergoing chemotherapy took a standard drug each day to prevent vomiting as well as capsules that were either ginger root extract or placebo. Those taking ginger reduced nausea severity by 45%, compared to almost no change in patients taking the placebo.

Lead author Julie L. Ryan, PhD, MPH, at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, told the New York Times that the best results in this trial corresponded to 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. High doses of the herb, however are not recommended with anti coagulant drugs. Also, use under supervision if you have gallstones, ulcers, or are pregnant.

Sip on this for nausea: I like to juice fresh raw ginger, about 1/2 inch slice and a few green apple wedges. Mix this into a cup of room temperature club soda. Often, i will just suck on a thin slice of fresh peeled ginger. Whatever works!

Always check with your doctor first!

Selected sources “effects of ginger capsules on pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting” by G. Ozgoli et al “Ginger found to ease nausea of cancer treatment”, by Andrew Pollack, NYT

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