Ginger has been used for thousands of years to prevent or treatnausea, leading researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center to believe that the plant could also help people with cancer avoid the nausea induced by chemotherapy.
Typically, chemotherapy patients take anti-nausea drugs that help them avoid this unpleasant side effect. But for some people, two to five days after receiving chemotherapy, a second wave of nausea may hit.
Researchers are studying whether capsules of a standardizedform of ginger can help relieve this delayed nausea.
The trial, which is currently seeking patients, plans to enroll 180 adultswith any kind of cancer at 10 sites throughout the US. Participants will be randomlyassigned to one of three groups: low-dose ginger, high-dose ginger orplacebo, taking the pill twice a day for three days after completing a chemotherapy infusion.
They also receive their standardanti-nausea drugs, which vary depending on the type of chemotherapy beinggiven.
Recent research has found ginger to be effective at relieving nausea related to motion sickness, post-operative recovery and pregnancy.
"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," said lead investigator Suzanna Zick.
Funding for the trial is from the National Cancer Institute, Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine and theNational Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.