Ginger Relief

On a recent flight to an out-of-town meeting, I found myself unnerved by the considerable turbulence we experienced as we landed in Chicago. A fellow traveler shared that she was also experiencing travel problems in the form of motion sickness. I was interested to learn about her personal cure for this malady: ginger.

I was intrigued, since I had not been aware of this use for ginger even though in hospitals we sometimes give ginger ale to patients to combat nausea and upset stomach. Here's what I learned when I researched this further.

The active ingredients in ginger that assist digestion are gingerols and shogoals, and it is these components that are believed to relieve nausea and vomiting. Ginger products are typically made from fresh or dried ginger root. Ginger is sold in many forms, including extracts, tinctures, capsules and oils, at health food and grocery stores. In addition, ginger can be found more commonly in tea, as a cooking spice, and in a variety of foods and drinks.

Ginger has been reported to provide relief from the following conditions:

  • nausea
  • motion sickness
  • dizziness
  • flatulence
  • symptoms of the common cold, allergies, and other respiratory conditions

As with all other herbs and supplements, check with your health care provider before taking ginger for any of these problems. Ginger is one of the herbs linked to interactions with warfarin (Coumadin), a medication prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots.