Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and a fragrant underground stem (called a rhizome). It is widely used as a flavoring or fragrance in foods, beverages, soaps, and cosmetics.
Ancient Sanskrit, Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Arabic texts discussed the use of ginger for health-related purposes. In Asian medicine, dried ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat stomach ache, diarrhea, and nausea.
Today, ginger is used as a dietary supplement for postsurgery nausea; nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, or pregnancy; rheumatoid arthritis; and osteoarthritis.
Common forms of ginger include the fresh or dried root, tablets, capsules, liquid extracts, and teas.
Some evidence indicates that ginger may help relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Ginger may help to control nausea related to cancer chemotherapy when used in addition to conventional anti-nausea medication.
It’s unclear whether ginger is helpful for postsurgery nausea, motion sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.
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