Ah, chew Ginger gets good marks as a nausea reliever. But if you don't fancy gnawing on a knob of the fresh stuff, there's a new option. Sea-Band, a maker of pressure-point wristbands to relieve motion sickness, has begun selling a ginger gum that delivers the herb without need for a peeler. The gum is being billed as a way to relieve motion and morning sickness.
Fortune and science Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Herbs and Botanicals Web site cites four studies that show ginger more effective than placebo in relieving nausea. One study, in the journal Anesthesia, found it better than placebo at relieving postoperative nausea. Another, in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found it better at relieving morning sickness. Earlier this year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said there were enough data to recommend the herb as a morning sickness remedy. And Germany's Commission E, which regulates herbs, has approved the herb as a motion sickness preventative.
Fast relief Sea-Band president Leonard Nihan said his firm's product works fast because "gum utilizes one of the quickest ways of releasing an agent into the system" -- sublingual (under the tongue) delivery. Most studies have used ginger in capsules, which must be digested then delivered through the bloodstream. Sea-Band also says increased saliva production stimulated by the gum naturally alleviates nausea -- a claim that Robert Hardi, a gastroenterologist at George Washington University Medical Center, disputes.
The gum, available at drugstores and supermarkets in 24-piece blister packs, costs $4.99 per pack; it can also be ordered from www.sea-band.com.
-- Francesca Lunzer Kritz