Adding ginger capsules to standard treatment for chemotherapy nausea reduced nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
Patients who got ginger (Zingiber Officinale) in capsules twice a day for three days before chemo and three days after reported significantly less nausea that those who were treated with placebo. All patients in the study also received standard anti-nausea therapy on the day of chemo.
Almost 650 patients, mostly women, were randomly assigned to ginger supplements or a placebo in a blinded trial that will be reported at the 2009 ASCO annual meeting.
Julie Ryan, PhD, MPH, who headed the study at the University of Rochester, told reporters at an ASCO press briefing,
As many as 70 percent of patients who undergo chemotherapy experience nausea and vomiting. We found that patients who received traditional anti-nausea drugs along with ginger supplements prior to chemotherapy experienced significantly less nausea associated with their chemotherapy. However, as with all supplements, patients should speak with their doctors first before taking ginger.
SOURCE: Ryan et al., Ginger for Chemotherapy-related Nausea in Cancer Patients, ASCO 2009 Abstract #9511.