A randomized clinical trial has confirmed what many people suspect — that ginger can decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy. The effect goes beyond that provided by standard anti-vomiting drugs. The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which begins May 29 in Orlando, Fla.
The trial, financed by the National Cancer Institute, involved 644 patients, mostly women with breast cancer, who were undergoing chemotherapy at 23 oncology practices in the United States. All patients took a standard anti-vomiting drug on each day of chemotherapy. They also took specially made capsules containing either extracts of ginger root or a placebo for six days, starting three days before each round of chemotherapy. They then rated the severity of their nausea four times a day. Those taking the ginger had a reduction of about 45 percent in severity compared with a previous round of chemotherapy in which they did not take the ginger. Those on the placebo had almost no change. A quarter to a half teaspoon of ground ginger was given before chemotherapy.
Bonnie - for those of you who have followed our data tracking for a while, you should already be aware that ginger reduces nausea.