For centuries, ginger has been used for its antispasmodic, anti-nausea action and its ability to relieve nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and to calm an upset stomach. There are also reports that ginger can decrease dizziness and vertigo and some studies report that it improves the heart’s overall functioning.
Studies report that ginger can reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol which all help to decrease risk of coronary artery disease. One study showed that ginger is as effective as prescription drugs such as Reglan to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.
We have known for quite a while that ginger ale can help some patients with nausea and vomiting. A study in the British journal Lancet in 1982 showed it was actually more effective than Dramamine® in preventing motion sickness in seasick Danish sailors. In another test conducted at Brigham Young University, 36 students were asked to take either 100 mg. of Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), two capsules of Ginger or a placebo. They had to sit in a special rotating chair. None of the students who took Dramamine or the placebo could do the whole six minutes, but half of the students with ginger could finish. We usually recommend two capsules before your travel and every four hours.
Ginger has also some other interesting effects such as an anti-inflammatory and can help to fight a flu, bronchitis and sore throat because it contains antiviral compounds such as gingerols, shogaolsm and sesquiterpenes which can reduce fevers, pains and cough. Ginger also contains a proteolytic enzyme called zingipain which can help in patients with bunions and arthritis pains. Ginger can be also applied externally as a compress and can reduce pain particular for fibromyalgia, joint stiffness, abdominal cramps and skin inflammations.
We usually recommend preparing a warm ginger tea to help break a high fever and rid mucus buildup in the sinuses by drinking a cup every 2-3 hours.
There is one issue you need to check with your physician: if you have a history of blood-clotting problems, you need to discuss whether you can take ginger. We know that ginger can prevents blood clots, therefore discuss with your oncologists that you are taking ginger because it can influence blood clotting.