Ginger syrup as an antiemetic in early pregnancy

Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Sep-Oct;8(5):89-91.


Context: Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used to ameliorate symptoms of nausea. A beverage containing ginger in a syrup may be easier to consume than a capsule or solid food.

Objective: To determine if ginger syrup mixed in water is an effective remedy for the relief of nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Design: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Subjects were enrolled from the University of South Florida department of obstetrics and gynecology private practice office.

Patients: 26 subjects in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Intervention: Subjects ingested 1 tablespoon of commercially prepared study syrup (or placebo) in 4 to 8 ounces of hot or cold water 4 times daily.

Main outcome measures: Duration and severity of nausea and vomiting over a 2-week period measured on a 10-point scale.

Results: After 9 days, 10 of the 13 (77%) subjects receiving ginger had at least a 4-point improvement on the nausea scale. Only 2 of the 10 (20%) remaining subjects in the placebo group had the same improvement. Conversely, no woman in the ginger group, but 7 (70%) of the women in the placebo group, had a 2-point or less improvement on the nausea scale. Eight of the 12 (67%) women in the ginger group who were vomiting daily at the beginning of the treatment stopped vomiting by day 6. Only 2 of the 10 (20%) women in the placebo group who were vomiting stopped by day 6.

Conclusion: The ingestion of 1 g of ginger in syrup in a divided dose daily may be useful in some patients experiencing nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Ginger*
  • Humans
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antiemetics
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal