Effect of ginger tea on the fetal development of Sprague-Dawley rats

Reprod Toxicol. Nov-Dec 2000;14(6):507-12. doi: 10.1016/s0890-6238(00)00106-4.


This study investigated the effect of ginger, a common morning sickness remedy, on fetal development. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were administered, from gestation day 6 to 15, 20 g/liter or 50 g/liter ginger tea via their drinking water and then sacrificed at day 20. No maternal toxicity was observed, however embryonic loss in the treatment groups was double that of the controls (P<0.05). No gross morphologic malformations were seen in the treated fetuses. Fetuses exposed to ginger tea were found to be significantly heavier than controls, an effect that was greater in female fetuses and was not correlated with increased placental size. Treated fetuses also had more advanced skeletal development as determined by measurement of sternal and metacarpal ossification centers. The results of this study suggest that in utero exposure to ginger tea results in increased early embryo loss with increased growth in surviving fetuses.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced*
  • Animals
  • Beverages*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / embryology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / chemically induced
  • Fetal Weight / drug effects
  • Ginger / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Water Supply