Ginger in the prevention of nausea and vomiting: a review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):659-69. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.553751.


Nausea and vomiting are physiological processes experienced by every human being at some stage of their life. They are complex protective mechanisms and the symptoms are influenced by the emetogenic response and stimuli. However, when these symptoms recur frequently, they can significantly reduce the quality of life and can also be detrimental to health. The existing antiemetic agents are ineffective against certain stimuli, are expensive, and possess side effects. Herbal medicines have been shown to be effective antiemetics, and among the various plants studied, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, has been used as a broad-spectrum antiemetic in the various traditional systems of medicine for over 2000 years. Various preclinical and clinical studies have shown ginger to possess antiemetic effects against different emetogenic stimuli. However, conflicting reports especially in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and motion sickness prevent us from drawing any firm conclusion. The current review for the first time summarizes the results. An attempt is also made to address the lacunae in these published studies and emphasize aspects that need further investigations for it to be of use in clinics in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiemetics / pharmacology*
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Rhizome / chemistry
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*
  • Zingiber officinale / chemistry*


  • Antiemetics
  • Plant Extracts