In six studies that examined the effects of ginger in reducing nausea and vomiting in expecting mothers, ginger worked better than a placebo, or inactive drug, and as well as vitamin B6, which has been shown to improve nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women.
None of the women who took ginger had problems with their pregnancies, the authors report in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
To review what has been studied about ginger, Borrelli and colleagues scanned the medical literature, and found six trials that tested ginger in 675 women with nausea in pregnancy.
In four studies that involved a combined total of 246 women, ginger consistently beat out placebo in quelling nausea and vomiting, even in women with a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
In the most recent studies, participants were randomly assigned to take a capsule containing 350 milligrams (mg) of ginger or one containing 25 mg of vitamin B6 three times a day for three weeks.
Ginger was equally effective as vitamin B6 at relieving nausea, vomiting and dry retching. Symptoms of morning sickness improved in a little more than half of the women in each group.
SOURCE: Obstetrics & Gynecology, April 2005. Courtesy of Reuters Health 4/4/05