Ginger is ineffective for hyperemesis gravidarum, and causes harm: an internet based survey of sufferers

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Ginger is commonly suggested to women experiencing nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). Evidence for the efficacy of ginger for hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is lacking despite its well-known status. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of ginger for controlling symptoms of HG and to investigate possible negative side effects.


A self-selected internet-based survey.


Participants were recruited principally through social media and were predominantly UK-based.


512 women who had been hospitalised for HG within the past five years.


Internet survey platform Survey Monkey.

Main outcome measures:

Questions were mostly asked using Likert-Type scales with the option for additional free text responses.


Women reported that ginger is often suggested for HG and 87% of respondents have tried it. Eighty-eight per cent of those report that it is completely ineffective. Fifty-one per cent of respondents who tried ginger reported that it actually exacerbated symptoms. Eighty-two per cent of women reported that suggestions of ginger caused a worsening of their mood, inducing feelings of anger, lack of validation, isolation, guilt and exacerbating the feeling that they are misunderstood. Seventy-nine per cent of women who had ginger suggested by a health care professional (HCP) reported that it eroded their trust and confidence in the HCP.


HCPs should stop suggesting ginger to women with hyperemesis. Not only is it ineffective, but it can cause harm to the sufferer and damages the patient-HCP relationship.

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