Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is often advocated as beneficial for nausea and vomiting. Whether the herb is truly efficacious for this condition is, however, still a matter of debate. We have performed a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials for or against the efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting. Six studies met all inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Three on postoperative nausea and vomiting were identified and two of these suggested that ginger was superior to placebo and equally effective as metoclopramide. The pooled absolute risk reduction for the incidence of postoperative nausea, however, indicated a non-significant difference between the ginger and placebo groups for ginger 1 g taken before operation (absolute risk reduction 0.052 (95% confidence interval -0.082 to 0.186)). One study was found for each of the following conditions: seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea. These studies collectively favoured ginger over placebo.