Ginger to reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: evidence of effectiveness is not the same as proof of safety

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Feb;18(1):22-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2011.08.007. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


Ginger is a common traditional remedy taken by numerous women experiencing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP). There is considerable evidence to support its effectiveness as an anti-emetic, but also increasing concern over its safety. Ginger is a powerful herbal medicine which acts pharmacologically and thus has specific indications, contraindications, precautions and side-effects, the most notable of which is an anticoagulant action. Midwives and other professionals advising women in early pregnancy about strategies for coping with NVP should be aware of the risks and benefits of ginger in order to provide comprehensive and safe information to expectant mothers. This paper reviews some of the contemporary research evidence which demonstrates that ginger is not a universally appropriate or safe choice for women with NVP and offers a checklist for professionals advising expectant mothers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*
  • Zingiber officinale*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Plant Preparations