When taken in the amounts needed to prevent nausea due to motion sickness, ginger appears to have no adverse effects. However, there is a caveat. As noted in the American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicine, “laboratory studies indicate that consuming very large quantities [of ginger] could depress the central nervous system and cause abnormal heart rhythms.” And, because some studies have shown a possible negative relationship between ginger and blood clotting, there has been a great deal of concern expressed at the use of ginger to control postoperative nausea and/or the nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness.
In addition, ginger may interact with certain drugs, especially warfarin (Coumadin™), a blood thinner. As a result, medical authorities recommend that, until research has definitively shown it to be safe, pregnant women should avoid taking ginger without the advice of their physician. And even if you’re not pregnant, don’t take medicinal dosages of ginger without your doctor’s approval if you are taking any blood-thinning, diabetes or heart medications. Always mention all of your medications – including any herbs or supplements – whenever you visit your doctor or pharmacy.
*Return to our Special Report on Motion Sickness