5 home remedies for common ailments—do they work?

"I agree w/ the ginger for nausea, but ginger ale soda is NOT the way to get it. Ginger ale soda does NOT usually even contain "real" ginger, but flavoring. Go to a local Jamaican/Caribbean market or restaurant and get Ginger Beer (...

1. You’ve heard: “If you’re feeling queasy, sip some ginger ale.”

Scientific research shows that ginger may help control nausea related to pregnancy, surgical anesthesia and, yes, even sailing the high seas. In one study out of Denmark, consuming 1 gram of gingerroot reduced the severity of naval cadets’ seasickness. How does the spicy root alleviate queasiness? Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that, like anti-nausea medications, “help block serotonin receptors in the stomach,” says Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., assistant research professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. (Serotonin, that famous “feel-good’ brain chemical, is also associated with vomiting.) Zick recommends steeping 1 to 2 grams of fresh gingerroot (1 gram is about the size of a quarter) in boiling water to make a tea or eating about 2 teaspoons of candied ginger. Don’t go overboard, Zick warns: consuming more than 6 grams of ginger in one sitting can irritate the stomach.

As for ginger ale: only a few companies use real ginger in their brews—and since most manufacturers don’t disclose amounts of ingredients it’s hard to know whether even those drinks have enough ginger to provide anti­nausea benefits, says Zick.

Next: 2. Cranberry Juice »

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