Treating pregnancy related nausea and vomiting with ginger

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OBJECTIVE: To review literature assessing the safety and efficacy of the use of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. DATA SOURCES: Iowa Drug Information Service (1966-September 2004), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1971-September 2004), MEDLINE (1966-September 2004), and EMBASE (1966-September 2004) were searched. Key terms included ginger, nausea, vomiting, emesis, and pregnancy. DATA SYNTHESIS: Studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of ginger in the management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy were reviewed. Various doses and forms of ginger were used to treat women during their first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Ginger has been shown to improve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting compared with placebo in pregnant women. CONCLUSIONS: While data are insufficient to recommend ginger universally and there are concerns with product quality due to limited regulation of dietary supplements, ginger appears to be a fairly low-risk and effective treatment for nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. In low doses, this may be appropriate for patients not responding to traditional first-line therapies.

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