Ginger for Nausea, Menstrual Cramps, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Ginger for Nausea, Menstrual Cramps, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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Powdered ginger can be a highly effective, cheap, easy-to-use, safer treatment for nausea, migraine headaches, and menstrual blood loss and pain. Does it also work for IBS intestinal cramping?

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Ginger is most famous for its role in preventing and alleviating nausea and vomiting, with so many studies now that there are reviews of reviews. And not just in morning sickness, where just a half teaspoon of powdered ginger is associated with a five-fold likelihood of improvement in nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy; but also for motion sickness; and, also for postoperative nausea and vomiting after surgery; and preventing antiretroviral-induced nausea and vomiting during HIV treatment; and, as a miracle against chemotherapy-induced vomiting.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of ginger for breast cancer chemo, chemo-induced vomiting was relieved in all phases. Meaning, in the acute phase—within 24 hours of the chemo—ginger relieved delayed vomiting two to three days later. And, even in what’s known as anticipatory vomiting, which occurs before chemotherapy sessions. After a few times, the body knows what’s coming, and starts throwing up even at the thought of it approaching. This anticipatory nausea is something drugs can’t seem to control; even the fancy new anti-nausea drugs that can cost 10,000 times more than ginger, which comes in at about 2 pennies per dose. And, in certain ways, may work even better.

I’ve also talked about ginger and pain. An eighth teaspoon of powdered ginger—one penny—found to work as well as the migraine headache drug, Imitrex, without the side effects.

And, speaking of pain, ginger may also be as effective as ibuprofen for alleviating menstrual cramps. Painful periods are exceedingly common, and can sometimes cause severe suffering; yet, have been virtually ignored by pain management researchers and practitioners. But four randomized controlled trials have been published on ginger for menstrual pain, and all four showed significant benefit when taken just the first few days of your period. Effective doses ranged from a third of a teaspoon a day, to a full teaspoon a day. But since they all seemed to work about the same, might as well start with the penny-a-day dose.

And, as a side benefit, ginger can dramatically reduce heavy flow, which is actually one of the most common gynecological problems for young women. We know that there are pro-inflammatory foods that may contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding. So, how about try an anti-inflammatory food, like ginger? Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as more than a third of a cup, or 80 milliliters. All the study subjects started out much higher than that, but just an eighth teaspoon of powdered ginger, three times a day, starting the day before their period, cut their flow in half. And it seemed to work better each month they tried it, providing a highly effective, cheap, easy-to-use, safer treatment for menstrual blood loss and pain.

So, works for migraines and menstrual cramps. But just because it’s effective for many types of pain, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily efficacious for all pain. For example, how about intestinal cramps? Is ginger effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome? And the answer is, yes, dropping IBS severity by over 25%. But so did the placebo.

And so, the real answer is, no, ginger is not effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Yet, ginger is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines for irritable bowel syndrome. Silly people, don’t they know it doesn’t work any better than a sugar pill?

Or, from another perspective: smart people, using something that offers relief 53% of the time, and doesn’t risk the adverse effects of some of the drugs—with which doctors may harm one person for every three they help.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Basti93 via Pixabay.

Ginger is most famous for its role in preventing and alleviating nausea and vomiting, with so many studies now that there are reviews of reviews. And not just in morning sickness, where just a half teaspoon of powdered ginger is associated with a five-fold likelihood of improvement in nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy; but also for motion sickness; and, also for postoperative nausea and vomiting after surgery; and preventing antiretroviral-induced nausea and vomiting during HIV treatment; and, as a miracle against chemotherapy-induced vomiting.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of ginger for breast cancer chemo, chemo-induced vomiting was relieved in all phases. Meaning, in the acute phase—within 24 hours of the chemo—ginger relieved delayed vomiting two to three days later. And, even in what’s known as anticipatory vomiting, which occurs before chemotherapy sessions. After a few times, the body knows what’s coming, and starts throwing up even at the thought of it approaching. This anticipatory nausea is something drugs can’t seem to control; even the fancy new anti-nausea drugs that can cost 10,000 times more than ginger, which comes in at about 2 pennies per dose. And, in certain ways, may work even better.

I’ve also talked about ginger and pain. An eighth teaspoon of powdered ginger—one penny—found to work as well as the migraine headache drug, Imitrex, without the side effects.

And, speaking of pain, ginger may also be as effective as ibuprofen for alleviating menstrual cramps. Painful periods are exceedingly common, and can sometimes cause severe suffering; yet, have been virtually ignored by pain management researchers and practitioners. But four randomized controlled trials have been published on ginger for menstrual pain, and all four showed significant benefit when taken just the first few days of your period. Effective doses ranged from a third of a teaspoon a day, to a full teaspoon a day. But since they all seemed to work about the same, might as well start with the penny-a-day dose.

And, as a side benefit, ginger can dramatically reduce heavy flow, which is actually one of the most common gynecological problems for young women. We know that there are pro-inflammatory foods that may contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding. So, how about try an anti-inflammatory food, like ginger? Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as more than a third of a cup, or 80 milliliters. All the study subjects started out much higher than that, but just an eighth teaspoon of powdered ginger, three times a day, starting the day before their period, cut their flow in half. And it seemed to work better each month they tried it, providing a highly effective, cheap, easy-to-use, safer treatment for menstrual blood loss and pain.

So, works for migraines and menstrual cramps. But just because it’s effective for many types of pain, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily efficacious for all pain. For example, how about intestinal cramps? Is ginger effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome? And the answer is, yes, dropping IBS severity by over 25%. But so did the placebo.

And so, the real answer is, no, ginger is not effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Yet, ginger is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines for irritable bowel syndrome. Silly people, don’t they know it doesn’t work any better than a sugar pill?

Or, from another perspective: smart people, using something that offers relief 53% of the time, and doesn’t risk the adverse effects of some of the drugs—with which doctors may harm one person for every three they help.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Basti93 via Pixabay.

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