So you have some nausea, or motion sickness, or morning sickness, and take a sip of ginger ale or ginger tea and feel better. What just happened?
Well, among other things, ginger is a bit like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen in that it alters biochemical pathways. Not only that, but ginger, like coffee, is a mild stimulant that improves blood flow.
Ever get motion sickness? That woozy feeling you get when the boat is rocking but your stomach is rocking even faster? That has a lot to do with how your brain reacts in conjunction with the digestive system. Though it is not yet clear to researchers exactly how, but studies show that ginger acts on the brain and the stomach.
The ginger root contains a number of chemicals, but two, gingerols and shogaols, in particular, are the most important when it comes to stomach upset. Gingerols and shogaols relax the intestinal track.
As a result, ginger can be employed to ease a number of maladies, including a wide range of nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, heartburn and gas.
That is also why ginger can be used to prevent motion sickness, as well as vomiting, colic, stomach cramps and stomach troubles associated with the flu.