Nausea Remedies - Ginger
Ginger really should be hailed as a genuine superfood as its benefits are fantastic! It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is closely related to turmeric and cardamon which also hail positive health benefits. Ginger is among the healthiest of spices available, it is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds which have powerful advantages to both your body and brain. It contains a high level of Gingerol, a substance with both anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidant effects. Researchers believe that the chemicals within ginger work primarily in the stomach and intestines but they may also work in the brain and the nervous system to control nausea.
Ginger, an ancient spice, is well known for being a flavouring agent commonly used in both Asian and Indian cooking but has also been celebrated throughout history for its medicinal qualities. By the first century C.E., traders had taken ginger to the Mediterranean region and by the 11th century it was well known in England. For well over 2,500 years the stem of ginger has been used to treat gastrointestinal upsets, as well as joint and muscle pain. It is frequently recommended as a natural remedy to help with the dreadful effects of nausea.
Ginger has been clinically proven to ease cancer related nausea
Nausea is a common side effect of many cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and some surgeries. It can be a very unpleasant side effect and can leave the patient feeling generally unwell as a result.
In a study of 576 patients receiving chemotherapy, researchers at New York’s University of Rochester Medical Center found that taking 0.5-1g ginger every day for six days, beginning three days before the first chemotherapy session, significantly helped to reduce nausea.
In a separate study, ginger root powder has also been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy is completed.
Ginger has also been proven to help prevent post-operative nausea. A review of 5 studies including a total of 363 people found that a consistent daily dose of 1g of ginger was more effective than a placebo at reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Research has shown that ginger can increase the responsiveness of the digestive system and speed stomach emptying, which leads to reduced feelings of nausea. Studies which have been completed to evaluate how ginger may reduce nausea suggest that rhizome is the key active ingredient. Both gingerol and shogaol compounds appear to affect gastrointestinal motility and gastric emptying rate but also affect transmitters to the brain that may affect nausea.
Common ways to use ginger to relieve nausea
Ginger can be used in a wide variety of forms and its versatility means it can be taken in the form that best suits each individual. The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root or just ginger. It can be used fresh, dried, powdered, as an oil or juice. It is a common ingredient used in recipes and can also be added to processed foods such as ginger beer and ginger ale.
Here are some common ways to use ginger to help ease nausea;
Ginger tea helps with digestion, it can sooth upset stomachs and can reduce feelings of nausea. The quickest and easiest way is to use a ginger tea bag although it is argued that fresh ginger is more beneficial. Fresh ginger tea can be made at home by steeping sliced or grated fresh ginger into hot water. You could also try adding some lemon and /or honey for taste. Sip the tea slowly, a small amount at regular intervals – drinking it too quickly may increase nausea. The recommended amount is 4 cups (950ml) of ginger tea per day to reduce nausea.
Ground ginger can often be sold encapsulated. Be sure to find supplements that have been 3rd party tested to ensure they contain 100% ginger without fillers or unwanted additives.
Some pregnant women report that this form of ginger helps with their morning sickness. Unfortunately, this form contains a lot of sugar so needs to be used carefully.
This is a quick and easy way to quickly access ginger, however, as with crystalised ginger, biscuits can contain high levels of fat and sugar and should therefore be consumed in moderation.
Ginger Essential Oil
One study found that inhaling ginger essential oil reduced postoperative nausea more than a placebo. However, it can be argued that ginger most effective when ingested rather than used as an aromatherapy oil.
Ginger shots can be made by juicing fresh ginger root or combining fresh grated ginger with other juices such as lemon or orange. It could also be mixed with honey to give it a sweeter taste.
Ginger sweets are a great alternative for those who struggle to swallow tablets – which can be a challenge in itself when feeling nauseous. CancerPal stocks both hard ginger sweets and ginger chews. You could also melt a couple of the ginger chews in boiling water to create a deliciously spicy ginger drink.
Is ginger safe for everyone?
Ginger has been shown to be a safe, effective and natural way to ease nausea for sufferers. However, as with everything, certain individuals, for instance; those with low blood pressure or low blood sugar, those taking blood thinners, those with kidney stones, individuals who experience heartburn or acid reflux, amongst others, should use it with caution. We would always advise that you check with your medical team prior to taking any form of dietary supplement.
How much ginger should be taken?
There isn’t a hard and fast rule detailing an exact recommended dosage but most studies indicate that individuals were taking between 0.5 to 1.0g of dried root ginger per day.
CancerPal has a wide range of products that have been recommended to help ease nausea, including ginger products, in our Online MarketPlace.