The herb ginger, often called ginger root, is the underground stem of the ginger plant. For centuries it has been used in herbal medicine to treat a number of conditions such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. It has also been a very important herb in treating morning sickness and infant intestinal discomfort, which is often referred to as colic. However, is this practice safe for expecting mothers and infants?
Is ginger safe during pregnancy?
Ginger tea and ginger products (ginger snaps, ginger ale etc) have long been promoted as a cure for morning sickness during pregnancy. There have also been some human studies that show ginger to be an effective relief for pregnant women. Just 1 gram of ginger a day has been shown to reduce severe morning sickness and vomiting. These studies have also shown ginger to be safe for the developing fetus, but you should still consult your doctor before taking ginger and never take more than 1 g (0.035 oz) in a single day.
Is ginger safe for babies?
Ginger has also been used to treat colic. Even though the condition is still not fully understood one of the causes of colic is thought to be intestinal discomfort. Many herbal colic formulations contain ginger as an ingredient. However, ginger is not recommended for children under the age of 2 and should only be given to a child under this age with medical approval.
Ginger is generally safe when used correctly, but doses over 4 g (0.14 oz) can cause unwanted side effects. Ginger allergy is also quite common and causes a rash. Ginger can also causes heartburn, bloating, nausea and gas in some people. If you experience any side effects stop taking ginger immediately and consult with your doctor.