How might ginger settle your stomach?

A cup of ginger tea might settle an upset stomach, but little is known about how it actually works.

First, the details.

  • 24 healthy volunteers were studied.
  • After an 8-hour fast, they swallowed 3 ginger capsules (total 1200 mg) or placebo, followed after 1 hour by 500 mL of a low-nutrient soup.
  • All volunteers took both treatments.

And, the results.

  • Antral area (related to the sense of feeling full) decreased significantly more rapidly with ginger.
  • The gastric half-emptying time (time to pass half of a meal through the stomach) was significantly less after ginger.
  • The frequency of antral contractions was significantly greater with ginger.
  • Fundus dimensions (bottom of the stomach) did not differ.
  • There was no significant difference in any gastrointestinal symptoms.

The bottom line?
Ginger accelerated gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers. The authors concluded, “These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient groups.”

Maybe, but not in this group.

6/12/08 21:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.