Ginger may spice up the lives of pregnant women

August 16, 2000

Researchers at the Women's and Children's Hospital and Adelaide University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology are embarking on new research which aims to provide relief for nausea and vomiting experienced by many pregnant women.

The trial, which will involve 288 women who are eight or more weeks pregnant, will establish whether ginger is indeed useful to reduce or eliminate these unpleasant side effects of pregnancy.

Study Coordinator, Ms Caroline Smith says, " Nausea is experienced in early pregnancy by 70 -85% of women and vomiting by 50% of women.

"These women can have a poor quality of life - they feel lousy and may be low in spirits and anxious and find it hard to do everyday things.

"The herb ginger has been used for centuries as a digestive aid for nausea and vomiting. Although widely used, it has not been properly evaluated," she says.

There was a small study in Denmark in 1990,with pregnant women who had extreme dehydration due to vomiting. These women found ginger very helpful, considerably reducing both nausea and vomiting. Very importantly, there were no side effects for mother or baby.
Women who enrol in the Adelaide trial must be eight or more weeks pregnant. They will either receive ginger or vitamin B6 three times daily for three weeks. Vitamin B6 is an active control which in some women does improve nausea.

Participants will be required to visit the hospital once when they will receive their tablets. They will be asked to fill in a daily questionnaire to record the effects of the treatment. At the end of the three weeks they mail back the completed questionnaire. There is no cost to participants.

Adelaide women wishing to enrol in the trial or those who require more information should contact Caroline Smith on 618-8204-7565.

Add'l media contact:
Ms Chris Ostermann mobile 0417-807-690

University of Adelaide

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