Purpose of review: Nausea and vomiting can pose a significant burden to patients in a variety of clinical settings. Previous evidence suggests that ginger may be an effective treatment for these symptoms; however, current evidence has been mixed. This article discusses recent clinical trials that have investigated ginger as a treatment for multiple types of nausea and vomiting. In addition, the potential mechanisms of action of ginger will be discussed.
Recent findings: This article identified nine studies and seven reviews that investigated ginger for morning sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy-induced, and antiretroviral-induced nausea and vomiting. All studies reported that ginger provided a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting; however, the clinical relevance of some studies is less certain. Common limitations within the literature include the lack of standardized extracts, poorly controlled or blinded studies, and limited sample size. In addition, recent evidence has provided further support for 5-HT3 receptor antagonism as a mechanism by which ginger may exert its potentially beneficial effect on nausea and vomiting.
Summary: The results of studies in this article suggest that ginger is a promising treatment for nausea and vomiting in a variety of clinical settings and possesses a clinically relevant mechanism. However, further studies are required to address the limitations in the current clinical literature before firm recommendations for its use can be made.