Should pregnant women avoid ginger? Or is it a puke-busting miracle food?

Posted in Pregnancy Health.

There’s a lot of conflicting chatter about whether pregnant women can benefit from using ginger to ease nausea and vomiting during their first and second trimesters.

While lots of women have been advised to drink ginger tea or take ginger capsules to stave off morning sickness, there are also health warnings associated with taking too much ginger.  So let’s break it down.

Why is ginger helpful during pregnancy?

Ginger contains a bunch of chemicals – shogaols, gingerols, bisapolene, zingiberol, sesquiphellandrene, essential oils and resins – and has been scientifically found to reduce morning sickness during pregnancy for many women.

Are there risks associated with taking ginger during pregnancy?

It’s suggested that large doses of ginger may increase the risk of miscarriage, with Norwegian researchers warning pregnant women against ingesting too much ginger. Granted they had only tested the effects of ginger on pregnant rats, but were concerned that larger doses of ginger were harmful to pregnant animals, and may thus be harmful to pregnant humans too. #BetterSafeThanSorry

How much is too much?

The jury is still out on how much is too much, but research suggests that pregnant women should do well on 1000mg of dried ginger a day. That said, ginger capsules that contain dried ginger sometimes vary in potency. It can be difficult to determine just how much ginger you might be ingesting. 

ginger tea

How should pregnant women take ginger?

Given that those capsules can vary in their strength, starting with good old fresh ginger from the greengrocer seems like a much better idea. 

Research suggests that consuming up to 1 gram of ginger per day appears to be a safe way to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

This equates to 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger or two 1 inch pieces of crystallised ginger. 

In the case of crystallised ginger, you can simply pop it in your mouth before you get out of bed, and hope for a less pukey day.

If you’re not into the Nanna charm of crystallised ginger, one teaspoon of fresh ginger can be combined with one litre of boiling water to make nausea-fighting tea. Sip it as is or with a slice of lemon and some honey if you prefer.

Also? Before you get started, be sure to consult your doctor or midwife before you begin taking anything during pregnancy.


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