In spite of the use of anti-nausea medication, 70% of patients undergoing chemotherapy complain of nausea. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2009 ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings Vol 27, No 15S (May 20 Supplement), 2009: 9511) looked at the effect taking ginger had on nausea experienced by chemotherapy patients.

The subjects of the study were 644 cancer patients who had experienced nausea from their chemotherapy and who were scheduled to receive at least three additional cycles of chemotherapy treatment. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo, 0.5 grams of ginger/per day, 1.0 grams of ginger per day, or 1.5 grams of ginger per day.

The subjects rated their nausea on a seven point scale for the first four days of each chemotherapy cycle. Nausea scores were significantly lower in all of the groups receiving ginger (especially in the groups receiving 0.5 grams and 1.0 grams) compared to the placebo group. The authors concluded, ” Ginger supplementation at daily dose of 0.5g-1.0g significantly aids in reduction of nausea during the first day of chemotherapy.”