For thousands of years ginger has been used as a food and a medicine by Arabic, Indian, and Asian healers. This tropical plant, in the same botanical family as turmeric and cardamom, is effective used to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by illness and seasickness.
Modern research shows that ginger reduces nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness, postoperative upset, chemotherapy treatments, and motion sickness.
The studies on whether or not ginger prevents motion sickness are mixed. One study found ginger to be as effective, with fewer side effects, as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine). Other studies indicate that, when added to antinausea medications, it further reduces nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
While the best-researched use of ginger is in combating nausea and vomiting, studies have shown that ginger is a multi-faceted remedy with at least six more healing effects:
- It reduces pain and inflammation, important for managing arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps.
- It has a warming effect and stimulates circulation.
- It inhibits rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold.
- It inhibits such bacteria as Salmonella, which cause diarrhea, and protozoa, such as Trichomonas.
- In the intestinal tract, it reduces gas and painful spasms.
- It may prevent stomach ulcers caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
- You can take ginger in whatever form appeals to you.
Aside from all the health benefits associated with ginger, it is a great flavoring agent in many Asian recipes.