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Published on 15 May 2009

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Chemo nausea ‘cut by use of ginger’

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Taking ginger to settle an upset stomach has been found to help when treating nausea caused by chemotherapy, according to a study.

Researchers from University of Rochester, in New York, gave cancer patients ginger capsules several days before a chemo infusion and found fewer and less severe bouts of nausea were recorded, compared with a placebo.

Study leader Julie Ryan, from the university, said: “We were slightly beside ourselves” to see how much it helped.”

But people suffering from nausea have been warned that not all ginger-related products can help. Ms Ryan said many drinks and biscuits contain only flavouring – and not the real thing.

Her study, which was released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and will be presented at the group’s annual meeting later this month, tested a drug-like ginger root extract. She said it is not known if people would get the same benefits from ginger teas or the powdered ginger sold as a spice.

Some cancer patients are known to put their lives at risk by cutting treatment short or refuse chemotherapy altogether because of nausea.

Medicines do a good job of curbing vomiting, but nearly three-fourths of chemo patients still suffer nausea, which can sometimes be worse, Ryan said.

Copyright Press Association 2009



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