Senior Care
Login Register List Your Business Advertise   
Forum Health Care Options Relationships Grandparents Retirement Entertainment Money Contact Us


Ginger For Motion Sickness
Written By : Bruce Kaler, MD 
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

As old a remedy for nausea and motion sickness as ginger is, the exact mechanism of action is not known. It has been recommended for ages to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

It has only been in the last few years that a number of good studies have shown clear benefit of ginger compared to placebo. These studies looked at a number of people before and during episodes of motion sickness at sea and on land. Nonetheless, the reason for a favorable outcome remains unclear. For that matter the exact mechanism of motion sickness itself is not understood. It is thought that the disparate signals to the brain of what feels like motion to the inner ear and what may or may not look like motion to the eye confuses and alarms a portion of the brain. Speculation about how this is sorted out has to do with which signal is stronger and how an individual can choose to ignore one signal over the other. For instance, trying to focus on the horizon or a fixed point to convince the brain there is stability, while ignoring the signal of motion which is triggering the obligatory nausea can alleviate the feeling.

Ginger has active compounds, 6-gingerol, a type of phenolic compound found in some plants. Speculation is that it promotes forward "gastrointestinal transport." This means: it keeps things moving forward instead of coming back up. The anti-emetic drug Reglan or metoclopramide works in a similar manner. The drug increases the upper esophageal sphincter pressure to close off the lower esophagus at the top of the stomach helping to prevent reflux, while enhancing forward movement through the stomach and gastric emptying in the correct direction. The mechanism of how the drug works may be how ginger creates a similar effect. Unfortunately its all speculation about how ginger actually seems to help.

The benefit of ginger has not only stood the proverbial test of time but recent scientific studies as well. One common misconception is that ginger ale is helpful for nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, the carbonation being mildly acidic and so gaseous actually makes the nausea worse. Moreover there hasn't been anything more than "ginger flavoring" in most of these beverages for over fifty years. 
Sucking on true candied ginger or powdered ginger in capsule form, would definitely be preferable if you choose that route.

  About Author
  More from Bruce Kaler, MD
A Different View of Food and Diets
Health : Nutrition
I Spy Melanoma?
Health : Cancer
5 Steps to Seasonal Allergy Relief
Health : Allergies
View More

Popular Articles
Redefine Yourself for Retirement How to Avoid Ruining Retirement Living at Home With Dementia Misunderstanding Home Care
If you're like most folks, you have your doubts about retiring. On one hand you may be elated. On the other hand, you may be a bit frustrated because you have no idea what... Wealth seems to be everyone's dream; the ability to relax a little more, to not stress so much about finances and to enjoy the "good life." So often it is believed that wealth... For adult children the recognition of dementia can either be a slow process or it can be "WOW! Things have changed!" This coupled with honoring the loved ones wishes about staying at home can... There is so much misunderstanding about homecare that I want to help clarify the misunderstandings. Many refer to homecare as home health or just homecare without ever...

Read More>>>   Read More>>>   Read More>>>   Read More>>> allows the elderly to find local senior care services including home care agency, assisted living facility, retirement community, adult day care, hospice, elder law attorney, funeral homes, area agency on aging and more. Read senior care articles about medical alarms, senior lifestyle and care options.