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Can Ginger Combat Chemo-Induced Nausea?

Study to include 180 adults with cancer

THURSDAY, July 7, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- A national trial to determine if ginger can control nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy will be conducted at 10 sites across the United States.

For thousands of years, ginger has been used to prevent or treat nausea. This study will examine whether capsules of a standardized form of ginger can relieve delayed nausea suffered by some cancer patients two to five days after receiving chemotherapy.

The study will include 180 adult patients who will take a ginger or placebo pill twice a day for three days after completing a chemotherapy infusion. The patients will also receive their standard anti-nausea drugs, which vary depending on the type of chemotherapy.

Recent research has shown that ginger is effective at relieving nausea caused by motion sickness, pregnancy and during postoperative recovery.

"In most studies with ginger, it's been shown to be safe and efficacious, so we felt it might be beneficial for cancer patients as well. It appears from previous studies to be very safe with very few side effects, and it tends to be inexpensive, whereas current anti-nausea drugs can be expensive," lead investigator Suzanna Zick, a researcher in the department of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about chemotherapy side effects.

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, June 28, 2005
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