Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
How can I treat this nausea I feel every morning with morning sickness?
A: Ginger is used for the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, and some conventional medical textbooks mention it. However, physicians are hesitant to recommend any treatment during pregnancy until full safety studies have been performed.
A preliminary study performed in Denmark concluded that ginger can significantly reduce the nausea and vomiting that often accompany pregnancy. Effects became apparent in 19 of 27 women after 4 days of treatment.
In the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, the best form of ginger is probably freshly brewed tea made from boiled ginger root or powdered ginger and diluted to taste. If chilled, carbonated, and sweetened, this would become the original form of ginger ale, a famous anti-nausea beverage.
A large study suggests that vitamin B6 can reduce the sensation of nausea in morning sickness.
Diets high in saturated fat (animal fat) can increase morning sickness in some people. I recommend you consult with your physician before you begin taking ginger to be certain that it is an appropriate treatment for your needs.