NYS Certified Nutritionist

An Ancient Herbal Remedy…Ginger

Years ago, after suffering bouts of benign positional vertigo, I happened to read about the value of ginger root as a treatment for my miserable symptoms, including nausea.  Eager to find relief, I purchased Nature’s Way ginger root capsules containing 550mg of the herbal powder.  The instructions said to take 2 capsules, and some studies recommend taking that dose hourly.  I would take a dose as needed, or every 2-4 hours.  I became a believer in this approach as my symptoms abated, and I became much more comfortable.

Then I read that the US Navy had begun recommending some sailors take ginger root capsules instead of prescription medications for sea-sickness.  Drugs like Dramamine can cause drowsiness, making it impossible for the sailors to perform their duties aboard ship.  The ginger treatment has no such side-effects.  But, it is recommended that the capsules be taken with enough fluid to prevent a burning sensation in the esophagus or stomach from the ginger itself.

Reading many studies on this subject has led me to take ginger root capsules for motion sickness of all kinds- caused by the movement of cars, airplanes, amusement park rides, and boats.  And, with the mounting evidence of the effectiveness and safety of this treatment, I began recommending it to clients, including women suffering from morning sickness, with the approval of their obstetricians.   It should be noted some oncology practices recommend ginger as an anti-nausea strategy for patients on chemotherapy.

Mom was on the right track when she recommended flat ginger ale for her nauseated children.  I also recommend sipping cold, flat Canada Dry Ginger Ale- not the sugar free kind- to my clients.  In addition, munching dry ginger snaps, eating candied ginger root slices, drinking ginger tea, and sucking Gin-Gins [the traveler’s ginger candy] can help with nausea and motion sickness.

Of course, if the nausea persists, if you have a chronic illness, or if you are on any medication, it is important to check with your physician and/or pharmacist about the wisdom of self treatment with ginger root.  Herbal remedies are medications, and sensible precautions need to be a part of every patient’s approach to self care.