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Chemo Side Effects and How Ginger Helps

Updated on July 21, 2014

Chemo Side Effects

Chemotherapy can often feel worse than the disease at the time. The medications used to fight the side effects are often not very effective at all. But there is one spice in particular that has shown amazing results for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The side effects of chemotherapy include:

  1. Acute Chemotherapy Induced Nausea
    The nausea and vomiting as a result of chemo is possibly one of the best known side effects but it's not just the vomiting that is a problem. By not being able to keep down their food, cancer patients can end up being seriously malnourished. This of course has a knock on effect since the body needs enormous amounts of nutrients to build new cells to replace the cancerous cells. Without those nutrients the struggle is even more difficult.
  2. Inflammation - caused by the chemo and cancer
    Inflammation is a double edged sword where it comes to cancer. You see inflammation causes cancer and cancer causes inflammation so it becomes a vicious deadly cycle. And sadly, due to the number of cells killed during chemotherapy and for other reasons, chemotherapy actually adds the inflammation experienced within the body.
  3. Pain as a result of the inflammation
    Inflammation results in pain. inflammation was defined in Roman times by Celsus as being dolor, calor, rubor, tumor and functio laesa. These translate to pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. I find it very interesting though that the Romans associated inflammation with tumors! The bottom line is that inflammation, especially chronic inflammation cause pain. In cancer patients, this is particularly true.
  4. Chemotherapy induced fatigue
    Finally, partly due to the pain, partly due to the lack of nutrients and partly due to cancer stealing glucose from the rest of the body, fatigue is a devastating consequence of chemotherapy.

The combination of are debilitating to say the least. Medications don't always work and often cannot be taken along with the other medications used in chemotherapy. But all is not lost. Ginger is a superhero spice where it comes to chemo side effects.

And ginger can safely be used during, before and after chemotherapy and it can be taken with most other drugs too. And ginger is great for other diseases too like rheumatoid arthritis for example.

Chemo Side Effects and How Ginger Can Help

Ginger Benefits for chemo side effects
Ginger Benefits for chemo side effects

How Ginger can Help with Chemo Side Effects

Ginger has been used for centuries as a spice that settles the stomach. It is well known for its ability to calm the stomach during travel sickness for example. But there are in fact studies that ginger is more than just an ancient tradition.

1. Ginger fights chemo induced nausea

In a study published by the Journal of Supportive Care of Cancer, researchers found that between 0.5 and 1mg of ginger before chemo helped to fight the nausea that is caused by chemotherapy.

This is not the only study of its kind either. There are quite a few studies all pointing to the fact that ginger helps with nausea - for pregnancy, seasickness and chemo.

Considering that cancer patients need all the nutrients they can get to get healthy again, it is important to fight the nausea in any way possible. If that was all that ginger did, it would be worth it. But that isn't all it does.

2. Ginger fights inflammation

As mentioned above, inflammation causes cancer and cancer causes inflammation. The amazing thing is that there are numerous studies that show that ginger actually fights inflammation. In fact, ginger reduces two of the inflammatory markers that create cancer in the first place namely, IL-6 and TNF-α.

In research published by Pharmaceutical bulletin, ginger significantly reduced both IL6 and TNF-α in type II diabetics.

3. Ginger fights the pain caused by inflammation

By reducing inflammation, ginger actually acts as a painkiller because less inflammation means less pain for the patient.

4. Ginger Fights Fatigue

Ginger has also been proved to fight fatigue. In a double blind study, researchers tested ginger on 162 cancer patients, Although they found it didn't help with long term nausea in that case, the study found that patients reported feeling less fatigued.

Ginger is well known for regulating blood sugar and irregular blood sugar levels result in fatigue. Then of course the cancer also thrives in a high glucose environment which just adds fuel to the fire in the case of cancer.

So by regulating blood sugar levels and fighting fatigue, ginger may benefit the cancer patient in more ways than one.

5. Ginger kills cancer cells

And as if the above benefits weren't enough, ginger actually kills cancer cells! Now don't go skipping therapy. It doesn't kill a lot of cells or rather not enough, but let's face it, every bit helps.

In a study published by the Journal of Cancer Prevention Research, scientists found that ginger had "significant tumor growth inhibitory activities."

Ginger for Chemo Side Effects

Have you tried ginger for nausea?

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Ginger is great for Nausea

Ginger is great for any type of nausea not just chemo induced nausea. To take advantage of the benefits of ginger for regular nausea, just steep two teaspoons of freshly grated ginger root in a mug of steaming water for a few minutes. You can add a spoonful of honey to sweeten.

You will be surprised at how fast the nausea subsides. And ginger is safe if your are pregnant. It is safe to sue with most medications, although its best to check with your doctor first.

Benefits of Ginger

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How to Use Ginger for Chemo

  • You can take ginger as a supplement
  • You can steep your own ginger tea
  • Ginger makes a delicious refreshing cool drink
  • Ginger can be added to cooking or even desserts

Adding ginger to your diet

The bottom line is that ginger is a great part of any diet, whether you are trying to prevent cancer or trying to fight off the side effects of cancer treatment.

Ginger is also delicious and there are tons of recipes available on how to prepare your ginger. For ideas on how ginger benefits chemo side effects, you can see the copious research about the topic.

Chemo Side Effects and Ginger

Chemo Side Effects
Fights fatigue
Fights Inflammation
Fights Nausea
Kills cancer cells
Pain & Inflammation
Fights Pain
Much more..

How do you get cancer?

Cancer and Ginger

Cancer has many causes. One of the things that contribute to cancer are thoughts and stress. Stress causes excess cortisol within the body. With excess stress, the immune system is shut down, glucose levels rise within the body, pH becomes acidic.

Cortisol also depletes adrenaline and this means that cells are forced to use fermentation for energy. This makes cells per-cancerous cells.

It is therefore imperative to take control of your emotions and negativity even if you are fighting cancer because stress and negativity are fighting against your ability to fight the disease.

Ginger is great for arthritis too


If you are fighting the battle against cancer, then just know that cancer is NOT a death sentence. There are ways to fight this disease both with mainstream medicine and alternative healing approaches.

The more you know about your enemy the easier he is to fight. This is never more true than in the case of cancer. Cancer is not just the tumor or cancer cells in your body. It affects almost all of the systems, from the immune and digestive system to metabolism and mental attitude.

You need a plan that includes healing all of the systems. Get educated about cancer and treat mind, body and spirit.


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    Post Comment

    • Brigitta Schwulst profile imageAUTHOR

      Brigitta Schwulst 

      4 years ago from Mossel Bay, Western Cape

      Thanks Mekenzie. I really appreciate the comments and sharing

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      4 years ago from Michigan

      Very helpful hub! I'm all for anything natural to help in a health crisis.

      Passing this on - appreciate your research and sharing.

      UP +++ and sharing on my FB page Mekenzie's World.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Superb Hub, well constructed, useful, and interesting, and scored accordingly. Thanks for the efforts you made on this one.


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