The sweet, citrusy fragrance of ginger and its spicy taste accompany a multitude of therapeutic benefits. The Food and Drug Administration classifies ginger as “generally recognized as safe” and ginger has been used as a common remedy for morning sickness during early pregnancy. Ginger root has natural compounds which increase digestive secretions, thus helping calm nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
How Much Ginger is Needed to Be Effective?
It is important to know how much ginger should be consumed (or is needed) to be effective. Four double-blind randomized studies explored pregnant women treated with ginger for alleviating nausea and vomiting1,2,3,4. The dose used in the studies was a total of one gram, or 1000 milligrams, of ginger per day, divided among four doses daily for three weeks. One dose, or 250 milligrams is the equivalent of about half a teaspoon of ginger powder. The University of Michigan Health System reports that pregnant women are typically advised to take 1 gram of ginger root per day, which is about 250 milligrams of ginger four times daily to reduce pregnancy-related nausea.
Ways to Include Ginger
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests foods to help relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, such as candied ginger, ginger ale made with real ginger, and ginger tea made from freshly grated ginger. Ginger is also available as juice, capsules, and chewable tablets. Ginger candies, chews and tablets are convenient to carry with you wherever you go, so you are prepared if that wave of nausea strikes. It is important to keep in mind that many ginger ale brands don’t contain ginger, but rather chemical flavoring, so be sure to read the ingredients list and choose those with real ginger.
Additional tips to include ginger:
- Substitute 1 tablespoon fresh ginger for 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder.
- Make your own ginger infusion at home by steeping 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes.
- Toss fresh minced ginger into stir-fries, soups, and smoothies.
- Lengthen the shelf-life of fresh ginger root by storing it in a plastic bag in the freezer and grate it as you need it
Ginger is an effective remedy and frequently mentioned in the literature as a treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy with no evidence to suggest it is unsafe for the fetus. The only professional source that does not consider ginger to be safe is the German Commission E, a governmental regulatory agency in Europe, mainly due to lack of data rather than any adverse data. As long as it is taken in the recommended amounts over a short period of time in an uncomplicated pregnancy, ginger can be a pregnant woman’s best friend if she has morning sickness.
1.A randomized controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004; 103(4):639-45.
2.Prospective comparative study of the safety and effectiveness of ginger for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Portoni et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003; 189(5):1374-7
3.Ginger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Vutyavanich et al. Obstet Gynecol 2001; 97:577-82.
4.Effects of ginger capsules on pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting. Ozgoli G, Goli M. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(3):243-6.