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Will ginger calm my nausea?
Q: This is my first pregnancy, and I’m eight weeks pregnant. I have been nauseous most mornings, and a girlfriend suggested I try ginger tea or ginger candy. Will these help my nausea and vomiting, and are they safe during pregnancy?
A: Congratulations on your pregnancy. I’m sorry to hear about your symptoms. You’re not alone. About 70 to 85 percent of pregnant women have nausea in early pregnancy and about half experience vomiting.

Ginger is a remedy that has been utilized by many pregnant women in the form of ginger tea, cookies, candy and capsules. Some studies have shown that taking capsules of ginger (500 to 1500 milligrams a day) may help reduce mild nausea.

A recent review of several studies of the safety and efficacy of ginger supplements concluded that this herbal supplement appears to be safe during pregnancy. In four studies, ginger appeared to be more effective than placebo (sugar) pills and did not cause an increased risk of congenital abnormalities, malformations, perinatal death or preterm birth.

In another study, women who were taking ginger were asked how effective the supplement was at controlling their nausea and vomiting. Ginger capsules were ranked as mildly effective, but ginger tea, lozenges and other preparations were not found to be effective.

Many of my own patients have tried ginger. I usually recommend taking 500-milligram capsules of ginger between one and three times a day. If this isn’t effective, you can try some of the other common remedies: eating dry crackers, sucking hard candy, vitamin B6 (25 milligrams twice a day) or acupressure wrist bands.

Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist