A comparison between the effects of ginger, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and placebo for the treatment of the first trimester nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP)

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Oct;31(19):2509-2514. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1344965. Epub 2017 Jul 7.


Introduction: Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) are one of the most common complains of the early pregnancy period and are bothersome for pregnant women. Some prefer to use herbal medicine instead of chemical agents.

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of ginger, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and placebo for the treatment of NVP.

Method: The study was performed as a triple blind clinical trial on pregnant women suffering mild to moderate NVP between 6 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. In these women ginger, 500 mg twice daily, vitamin B6 40 mg twice daily and placebo twice daily were administered for 4 d. Rhodes questionnaire was used for evaluation of the severity of symptoms. The severity of NVP was evaluated 24 h before entering the study and up to 4 d after using medications and results were compared among the three groups.

Results: Seventy-seven women finished the study (28 in the Ginger group, 26 in the B6 group, and 23 in the placebo group). The women of the three groups did not have significant differences according to age, gestational age, parity, and severity of each symptom before treatment and educational status. Total score of Rhodes questionnaire for nausea was decreased significantly in three groups after treatment. (p < .001, p = .012, and p = .03 for ginger, vitamin B6, and placebo, respectively.) Also total score of Rhodes questionnaire for vomiting was decreased in three groups (p = .03 for ginger, p = .02 for B6, and p = .04 for placebo). Ginger and vitamin B6 could reduce the severity of all items of Rhodes questionnaire significantly; however, placebo was significantly effective only on the frequency of nausea, intensity of vomiting and frequency of retching. Ginger and vitamin B6 were more effective than placebo (p = .039 and p = .007, respectively); however, total score of Rhodes did not show significant difference between ginger and vitamin B6 (p = .128). Ginger was more effective for nausea (intensity and distress) and distress of vomit.

Conclusion: Ginger is more effective than placebo for the treatment of mild to moderate NVP and is comparable with vitamin B6. Trial registration number and registry website: IRCT2015020320923N1.

Keywords: Ginger; NVP; Rhodes questionnaire and Likert scale; placebo; vitamin B6.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Ginger*
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pyridoxine / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Preparations
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Pyridoxine