Ginger may help ease nausea from cancer treatment

Taking ginger capsules before and after chemotherapy for cancer can ease nausea when anti-vomiting drugs aren't enough, according to a new study.

Nausea and vomiting are common and distressing side effects of chemotherapy. Anti-vomiting drugs (called anti-emetics) can reduce these symptoms, but many people find their nausea lingers.

Ginger is a spicy root used to flavour food and beverages such as gingerbread, stir-fried vegetables and ginger beer. It is also used in herbal medicine to relieve various types of nausea, including morning sickness and motion sickness. Researchers don't know for sure how it might reduce nausea, but it may help relax the muscles in the stomach and prevent them going into spasm. Some people eat fresh or candied ginger, but many take ginger capsules, which are more concentrated. Previous small studies have suggested ginger may be able to help reduce nausea after chemotherapy.

Researchers have now looked at ginger's effects among a large group of patients having chemotherapy. In an interesting twist, they gave ginger to people before as well as after chemotherapy, as research on motion sickness suggests that early treatment can maximise effects later on.



The study was done by US researchers with the University of Rochester Medical Center and was funded by the National Cancer Institute. The research will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting at the end of May.

Source - Guardian


  1. I always make a cup of green tea with fresh ginger in it if I'm feeling queasy.