Perhaps the most dreaded side effect of chemotherapy is nausea. I know it was for me.
And even though we've come a long way, roughly 70% of people undergoing chemotherapy still experience some degree of nausea. As someone who has had to come to grips with taking pills - something I avoided if at all possible before cancer - I was pleased to hear that something as simple as ginger might help alleviate some of that nausea.
Of course I cleared it with my oncologist. Ginger isn't for everyone, especially people who are on blood thinners. But then we had fun with it.
Friends treated me to a wonderful array of ginger goodies. I was given ginger drinks. Freshly baked ginger cookies. Pickled ginger. Even ginger scented lotions delivered by dear friends in those chemo days.
I thought it helped, but what does the research say?
A recent study added further evidence to earlier studies on the topic. Researchers studied over 500 people who were going through chemotherapy for cancer. Participants were assigned to groups that received either a placebo or one of 3 different doses of ginger. Supplements were given twice a day for 6 days, beginning 3 days before chemotherapy was administered. In addition to the ginger or placebo, patients in the study were also given a medication to reduce chemotherapy related nausea.
People who received ginger in this study experienced less nausea on a scale of 1 to 7 than those who were given a placebo. And more was not better. Of the 3 doses given, 0.5 g, 1.0 g, and 1.5 g, the 0.5 and 1.0 g dose appeared to have the greatest benefit.
Again - it's important to talk with your oncologist before taking any supplement. But this study might be worth discussing with your oncologist if you're facing that dreaded side effect of nausea during chemotherapy.