New study finds ginger proven to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis

May 10, 2018

(Geneva, 11 May, 2018) Researchers presenting at the 51st ESPGHAN Annual Meeting have today revealed the results of a new study which proves the efficacy and effectiveness of using ginger to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis [1] - one of the most common conditions resulting in admission to paediatric emergency departments.

All children are expected to suffer from acute gastroenteritis within the first three years of life [2] and globally there are between 3-5 billion cases each year [3]. Vomiting is reported in three quarters of children suffering the condition [4] contributing to fluid loss and oral rehydration failure - which can be life threatening. While mortality rates in Europe are low, gastroenteritis is a major cause of hospital visits and has a substantial economic impact; it accounts for over 87,000 hospital visits a year and almost 700,000 outpatient visits [5]. Globally, acute gastroenteritis is one of the leading causes of childhood mortality, accounting for 1.34m childhood deaths a year - approximately 15% of all childhood deaths [6].

Dr Roberto Berni Canani and his team of researchers have proven that ginger is effective at reducing both the duration and the severity of vomiting, leading to fewer lost school days and suggest that the findings have the potential to reduce hospitalisations and missed work days by parents.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial looked at 141 children between the ages of 1 and 10 with acute gastroenteritis and compared the effectiveness of ginger with a placebo in treating the condition. The results showed that the number of vomiting episodes was 20% less in the group treated with ginger and the number of children missing school for at least one day was 28% less in the group treated with ginger.

Whilst previous studies have found ginger to be effective in treating vomiting in pregnant women and adult patients undergoing chemotherapy, this study is the first time the effectiveness of ginger has been tested in children.

Commenting, Dr Berni Canani, said: "Acute gastroenteritis is not just an unpleasant condition for children. It has a significant burden on parents, schools and healthcare systems. We anticipate that the results will have a great impact on future clinical practice and the advice given to parents in the treatment of acute gastroenteritis and could potentially save lives across Europe and the globe. Research should now focus on whether ginger could also be effective in treating vomiting children who are not affected by acute gastroenteritis."
Notes to Editors

For further information, or to speak to Dr Roberto Berni Canani or a ESPGHAN expert, please contact Luke Paskins at or James M. Butcher at or call +44 (0) 1444 811 099.

To view the abstract, please visit:

To watch ESPGHAN's advice video on acute gastroenteritis, please visit:

To watch ESPGHAN's advice video on acute gastroenteritis for parents and families, please visit:

About the Expert

Prof.Dr.Roberto Berni Canani, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Translational Medical Science - Section of Pediatrics
European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases
Chief, Immunonutrition Lab - CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies
Task Force on Microbiome Studies,
University of Naples "Federico II", Italy


The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) is a multi-professional organisation whose aim is to promote the health of children with special attention to the gastrointestinal tract, liver and nutritional status, through knowledge creation, the dissemination of science based information, the promotion of best practice in the delivery of care and the provision of high quality education for paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition professionals in Europe and beyond. Find out more by visiting

About the 51st Annual Meeting of ESPGHAN

The 51st Annual Meeting of ESPGHAN is taking place from Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 May 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Every year the ESPGHAN meeting attracts the key opinion leaders in the field of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition from across Europe and all five continents, turning it into the largest conference of its kind worldwide. The Annual Meeting attracts over 4,500 experts from over 90 countries, all operating in the fields of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, turning it into the largest conference of its kind worldwide.


[1] Berni Canani, R. Therapeutic efficacy of ginger on vomiting in children affected by acute gastroenteritis. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Geneva, Switzerland, 11 May 2018.

[2] Guarino, Alfredo, et al. "European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition/European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases evidence-based guidelines for the management of acute gastroenteritis in children in Europe: executive summary." Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 46.5 (2008): 619-621.

[3] Elliott, Elizabeth Jane. "Acute Gastroenteritis in Children." BMJ : British Medical Journal 334.7583 (2007): 35-40. PMC. Web. 30 Apr. 2018.

[4] Marchetti F, Bonati M, Maestro A, Zanon D, Rovere F, Arrighini A, et al. (2016) Oral Ondansetron versus Domperidone for Acute Gastroenteritis in Pediatric Emergency Departments: Multicenter Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165441.

[5] Soriano-Gabarrò M, Mrukowicz J, Vesikari T, Verstraeten T. Burden of rotavirus disease in European Union countries. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006;25: S7-S11.

[6] Black RE, Cousens S, Johnson HL, Lawn JE, Rudan I, Bassani DG, Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis. The Lancet. 2010. Jun 5. 375(9730):1969-87.

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