The efficacy of ginger for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting was studied in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial in 108 ASA 1 or 2 patients undergoing gynaecological laparoscopic surgery under general anaesthesia. Patients received oral placebo, ginger BP 0.5g or ginger BP 1.0g, all with oral diazepam premedication, one hour prior to surgery. Patients were assessed at three hours postoperatively. The incidence of nausea and vomiting increased slightly but nonsignificantly with increasing dose of ginger. The incidence of moderate or severe nausea was 22, 33 and 36%, while the incidence of vomiting was 17, 14 and 31% in groups receiving 0, 0.5 and 1.0g ginger, respectively (odds ratio per 0.5g ginger 1.39 for nausea and 1.55 for vomiting). These results were essentially unchanged when adjustment was made for concomitant risk factors. We conclude that ginger BP in doses of 0.5 or 1.0 gram is ineffective in reducing the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting.