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.