Can ginger help ease nausea from chemotherapy?

Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
A randomized clinical trial has confirmed what many people suspect -- that ginger can decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy. The effect goes beyond that provided by standard anti-vomiting drugs.

Patients taking ginger before chemotherapy found a 45% reduction in nausea and discomfort. This study shows the benefit and safety of using ginger with chemotherapy and anti-nausea medications.

According to the study's author, Dr. Julie L. Ryan of the University of Rochester, the best results corresponded to a quarter to a half teaspoon of ground ginger. She added that either the ginger that comes in spice bottles or the ginger capsules sold in health food stores would probably work.

They then rated the severity of their nausea four times a day. Those taking the ginger had a reduction of about 45 percent in severity compared with a previous round of chemotherapy in which they did not take the ginger. Those on the placebo had almost no change.

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