Q:

Why does ginger ale help stomach aches?

A:

Researchers attribute ginger root's effectiveness to its phenol compounds and volatile oils. Some health professionals recommend consumption of ginger extract, which is available in ginger ale, for patients who suffer from mild stomach upset and nausea related to motion sickness, chemotherapy and pregnancy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that ginger extract is effective for nausea and upset stomach regardless of whether it is consumed in fresh, dried or steam distilled form. The extract is found in ginger ale, as well as foods that include gingerbread, teas, capsules and oils.

However, Clinical Correlations cautions that not all commercially available ginger ale contains ginger extract. It also indicates that ginger has mixed results when mixed with pharmacologic anti-emetics in studies, but dosages of drinks with 250 milligrams to 1 gram of ginger extract taken four times daily are effective. The University of Cincinnati Clermont College offers a recipe for making authentic ginger ale at home. There are also organic brands of ginger ale that contain real ginger root.

The Chinese have been cooking with ginger root for more than 4,400 years, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The Chinese regard the root as a treatment for stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea, among other conditions.


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