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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lena Suhaila

Does the thought of chemotherapy make you nauseous?

Try ginger.

Ginger - when combined with conventional nausea medications - is effective at further reducing nausea and vomiting.

In a study, ginger was given to 644 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and conventional anti-nausea medications. These meds were supplemented with either ginger or placebo at varying doses (0.5 grams, 1.0 grams or 1.5 grams of ginger in capusule form, divided into 2 daily doses starting three days BEFORE they received their traditional meds).

In the largest study to date evaluating the benefits of ginger for patients undergoing chemotherapy, as little as one-quarter of a teaspoon of ginger cut symptoms of nausea by 40%. Ginger, in all doses, significantly reduced nausea more than the placebo. Interestingly, the lower doses of ginger worked even better than the higher doses!

Any form of ginger can be used. If you are using powdered ginger, the conversion is ¼ tsp – ½ tsp ginger powder.

Julie Ryan, MD, PhD, presented at 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO)

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