Prospective comparative study of the safety and effectiveness of ginger for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Nov;189(5):1374-7. doi: 10.1067/s0002-9378(03)00649-5.


Objectives: The primary objective of our study was to examine the safety and the secondary objective was to examine the effectiveness of ginger for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP).

Study design: Pregnant women who called the Motherisk Program who were taking ginger during the first trimester of pregnancy were enrolled in the study. The women were compared with a group of women who were exposed to nonteratogenic drugs that were not antiemetic medications. The women were followed up to ascertain the outcome of the pregnancy and the health of their infants. They were also asked on a scale of 0 to 10 how effective the ginger was for their symptoms of NVP.

Results: We were able to ascertain the outcome of 187 pregnancies. There were 181 live births, 2 stillbirths, 3 spontaneous abortions, and 1 therapeutic abortion. The mean birth weight was 3542+/-543 g, the mean gestational age was 39+/-2 weeks, and there were three major malformations. There were no statistical differences in the outcomes between the ginger group and the comparison group with the exception of more infants weighing less than 2500 g in the comparison group (12 vs 3, P < or =.001). There were a total of 66 completed effectiveness scores with the mean score of 3.3+/-2.9 SD.

Conclusion: These results suggest that ginger does not appear to increase the rates of major malformations above the baseline rate of 1% to 3% and that it has a mild effect in the treatment of NVP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nausea / therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / therapy*
  • Zingiber officinale*


  • Plant Preparations