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PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Preventing nausea

How does eating ginger prevent nausea?

SRIRAM G.

Bangalore

Nausea is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper abdomen with an involuntary urge to vomit. Nausea can happen in many situations like food poisoning, motion sickness, certain medications etc. But in all these situations, the sensation is finally caused by chemical mediators called neurotransmitters that act on the vomiting centres in the brain. The common neurotransmitters involved are dopamine, histamine, serotonin, acetyl choline etc. The various medications used to treat nausea and vomiting acts on these neurotransmitters.

Ginger has been traditionally used for treatment of nausea, seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy. It has also been given for dyspepsia, constipation, and colic. Research indicates that many compounds found in ginger may bind to human serotonin receptors which reduce nausea and also influence gastrointestinal function. The characteristic odour and flavour of ginger are caused by a mixture of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols. Gingerols increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract.

Ginger is generally safe but very rarely allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash. Although generally recognised as safe, ginger can cause heartburn, bloating, gas, belching and nausea, particularly if taken in powdered form.

DR. S. SELVA SEETHARAMAN

Consultant Plastic surgeon

SRM Institutes for Medical science


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