People around the world use ginger as a trusted source for a wide variety of health ailments, and ginger has a long history as a remedy for nausea and vomiting.
However, if you’re using ginger for nausea, you want to get the most out of this effective natural health remedy. Thankfully, science and tradition both shed some light on this superfood and give us some information on the best ways to take it.
Continue reading for some tips when you want to use ginger to reduce nausea. First, though, here is a little history about ginger and what science and research say today about the spice as one of the most effective remedies for nausea treatment.
History of Ginger
Ginger is a flowering and knotted stem that originates from Southeast Asia. The rhizome, or root, is the part that we typically use and consume. Humans first used it over 5,000 years ago.
Because of its delicious flavor and purported health benefits, ginger quickly spread in popularity across the world, to be used both as a spice as well as a trusted source for nausea and sickness relief. Today, it’s grown in a variety of tropical places around the world and is found to be one of the best and most effective natural health remedies. India has the most ginger in the world, but the largest exporter of ginger is currently China.
People used ginger for medicinal purposes for the past 5,000 years. It’s a health staple in both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine and mentioned in both Arabic and Greco-Roman writings. All of these cultures traditionally used ginger as both a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory agent.
Ginger was introduced to the Western diet over 2,000 years ago and is still one of the most popular remedies for nausea treatment today.
Is Ginger Effective Against Nausea?
In addition to the traditional use to reduce nausea, a lot of modern science and research also can be found to back up many of ginger's medicinal health claims. More specifically, science points to a specific compound in ginger, called 6-gingerol, to be the secret behind its nausea-relieving effects. 6-gingerol relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles, which can relieve nausea, pregnancy and motion sickness, and vomiting.
In addition, some medically reviewed studies show the effectiveness of ginger against:
Morning Sickness During Pregnancy
Many women swear by ginger as an effective natural remedy when they're in the throes of morning sickness early in their pregnancy. It turns out, they might be right about this treatment: an overview of the studies surrounding ginger and nausea shows that it is a safe and effective treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
In what may be one of the least-fun research studies of all time, 13 volunteers were spun in a drum for 15 minutes to induce nausea. The participants who consumed ginger before the test had less nausea and recovered faster than those who didn’t.
A well-known side effect of chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting, and nausea medications and over-the-counter drugs are often found to be not as effective. Up to 70% of chemo patients still struggle with nausea, even after taking medicine. A study of over 500 women who were undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer found that ginger was effective in treating nausea and vomiting. Another research study found that even taking as little as ¼ teaspoon of powdered ginger helped cut nausea significantly for chemotherapy and cancer patients.
Post-Surgery Nausea and Vomiting Relief
No matter what the operation, nausea and vomiting are common occurrences for a patient after surgery. An overview of six studies points to the effectiveness of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. For patients that have a hard time eating, but are experiencing nausea, ginger might be the right remedy for them.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Ginger
If you’re experiencing nausea and/or vomiting, it's the first thing on your mind and you likely want to get rid of it ASAP. There are ways to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your ginger as a trusted source to treat your nausea.
Some tips for using ginger as a health remedy for sickness and nausea include:
1. Choose Fresh Ginger Over Dried
Most traditional medicine, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, calls for taking fresh ginger root for its digestive-healing health effects. Generations of experience and observation led them to believe that ginger was stronger fresh rather than in its dried form.
They may have been onto something: fresh ginger has more 6-gingerol, the nausea-fighting component in ginger, than dried. Also note that the same research study found that the ginger peel had the highest amount of 6-gingerol, so keeping it intact may be the more effective way to get the most nausea-fighting power.
Whenever you can, take fresh ginger for the most potent nausea-fighting remedy. Traditionally, people would chew on the ginger to cure their nausea and vomiting, but that may be too harsh for you. There are other ways that you can have it fresh, though. For example, try it grated to make a cup of tea.
You can still benefit from ginger if it is dried or powdered. If the taste of fresh ginger is too much, or you can’t find fresh ginger, don’t be afraid to take ginger in its other forms to get nausea and sickness relief.
2. Start Slowly
It can be tempting to over-do the ginger as a nausea treatment when you're feeling queasy, but that can make the problem even worse. Most common side effects include gas, bloating, digestive issues, heartburn, and increased nausea. If you find that you have any of these side effects, try cutting down and starting with a smaller amount of ginger for the best results.
Some studies have found as little as a ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger effective against nausea, so start out slowly when taking ginger. You can always take a bit more if you find that you need it.
Although fresh is best, you can still benefit from the health advantages ginger if it is dried or powdered. If the taste of fresh ginger is too much, or you can’t find fresh ginger, don’t be afraid to take ginger in its other forms to get nausea and vomiting relief.
3. Eat with Meals
For some people, taking ginger to reduce nausea can be too much on its own. Even with a smaller dose, they may find that the taste of ginger is too strong for their nausea. In this case, it might be best to have ginger with, or even in, your meal.
Not only can food make taking ginger more comfortable, but ginger can conversely help you when mealtime is giving you nausea. If you find that you have a hard time digesting your meals, then eating ginger with your meal can be the best option to help you reduce nausea and break down your meals better.
Ginger is known to activate the salivary glands, which is the first step in digesting meals. This means that the food is easier to break down in the stomach, which can help ease nausea and vomiting as well.
4. Eat Before You Might get Nausea
It's not always possible to know when nausea is going to strike, such as during pregnancy or cancer treatment sickness. Sometimes, though, you know that a stomach ache may be a real possibility; for example, when you are preparing for surgery, going on a boat ride, or about to undergo chemotherapy. When you know that you might experience nausea or vomiting soon, consider taking ginger root ahead of time.
Ginger can help to keep your stomach calm when you’re going through a nauseating event and prevent you from feeling queasy. This is especially true if you’re going to experience motion sickness or surgery. Some research studies that showed ginger to be effective had participants consume ginger before participating in something that may cause nausea.
Don’t wait for nausea to strike to start taking ginger. If you think that you might be sick soon, start taking ginger right away for the best and most effective results.
5. Keep Taking It
You’ll probably feel the health effects of ginger pretty soon after taking it for nausea and vomiting. However, taking ginger over a while increases its effects. Many studies (such as those for chemotherapy) studied the impact of taking ginger over several days and weeks to help reduce nausea.
If the cause of your nausea is ongoing (such as chemotherapy and pregnancy), take ginger regularly as a treatment to keep any sickness or vomiting to a minimum.
6. Think Twice Before Drinking Soda
Most of us remember sipping on ginger ale as children whenever we had a stomach ache. Even many hospitals hand out ginger ale to help patients reduce nausea. However, when it comes to taking ginger for nausea, ginger ale is actually the least effective.
Many ginger ales found on the market today have very little actual ginger in them. Canada Dry, for example, has only 24 milligrams of ginger in it. Since most studies found about 1 gram of ginger to be most effective for nausea, you would have to drink a lot of soda to relieve your nausea.
Also, ginger ale has carbonation, which can be problematic for your digestion and nausea. The excessive amount of sugar in soda also makes it less than ideal for your digestive and overall health.
If the only ginger you can stand to stomach is soda because of your nausea, make sure that it has plenty of ginger to help. An old-fashioned or all-natural ginger ale will likely have more actual ginger in them then mass-produced ones. You may also want to let it go flat to keep carbonation from hurting your digestion.
7. Try a Tonic
Combine your ginger with other nausea-relieving ingredients to get the most significant health effects. Tonics are a trusted source of ginger that allow you to get rid of nausea as fast as possible using safe and natural ingredients.
The Hana Tonic Nausea Relief Remedy
Hana Tonic combines ginger in its most effective form to get you feeling normal and nausea free again. Its ingredients include ginger, pineapple, lemon, and cayenne pepper to deliver nausea relief in one potent shot!
Get the most out of your ginger and get nausea relief fast by trying these tips today!