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Old 07-27-2002, 04:04 PM
jdl jdl is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 154
Why ginger ale when you're sick?

So, it seems like mothers and grandmothers recommend that children with colds/flu drink ginger ale. I want to know why. To this day, I can't drink the stuff when I go out because it reminds me of being sick in bed, having my head helped up as I drank the colorless carbonated beverage.

What was so special about ginger ale? Why not Pepsi or root beer?
Old 07-27-2002, 04:17 PM
QueenAl QueenAl is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London
Posts: 361
I've always heard of ginger as a remedy for nausea. Pregnant women are often recommended to eat foods with ginger in to stave off nausea, although this site errs on the side of caution during pregnancy. As to how it works:

Compounds in ginger might work on the stomach and possibly on the inner ear, where motion sickness originates. Other compounds might have anti-inflammatory effects, although ginger has not proven effective for treating people with osteoarthritis
Or alternatively (npi), from here:

Ginger contains chemicals that are anti-inflammatory and strong anti-oxidants. The list of ginger’s health benefit almost completely overlaps with that of garlic’s. In addition, ginger is known to help reduce fatigue, motion sickness, morning sickness, nausea, dizziness, and swelling.
So, as often turns out to be the case, the old wives' were right.
Old 07-27-2002, 04:19 PM
dwyr dwyr is offline
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Well, speaking as a person prone to motion-sickness, ginger is quite good at calming nausea although I don't know if there is enough in ginger ale to make a huge difference.

(Root beer is no good being vile stuff, ick. )
Old 07-27-2002, 04:36 PM
flodnak flodnak is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: outside Oslo, Norway
Posts: 4,782
I don't think most commercial ginger ale has enough ginger in it to help with nausea, these days. However, it is light and not very sweet compared to other commonly available sodas, both of which are an advantage if you're nauseated. Bubbles seemed to help me when I was feeling sick while pregnant, as though burping relieved the urge to vomit, don't ask me why. So ginger ale doesn't seem like a bad choice.

Root beer is too heavy, and Pepsi too sweet (for me, at least).
An American flodnak in Oslo.
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Old 07-27-2002, 05:37 PM
OldBroad OldBroad is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 1,003
Reed's Ginger Ale, according to the label, has the equivalent of 17 grams of ginger per 12oz bottle. I believe that - it makes Vernor's taste like sugar water.

I get it at Whole Foods.

Ginger is a common remedy for mild sea sickness. Lots of boaters keep a supply of ginger snap cookies on board.
Old 07-27-2002, 07:13 PM
Iteki(actually) Iteki(actually) is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sweden (atm)
Posts: 103
In Ireland its 7-up (like sprite) that is supposed to do the trick.
In Sweden its plain old Coca-Cola. I have no idea why, I always thought it was the carbonation that "helped", the swedes I have talked to claim its the acidity of the drink. The acidity thing I find odd tho, should that not make you feel sicker?
Old 07-27-2002, 07:23 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,110
Our pediatrician (this would be the sixties) told our mother to give us warm 7 up. I think it was just to get fluids and electrolites into us when were were losing both.
Old 07-28-2002, 12:54 AM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Central NC
Posts: 4,656
Now in our house we were given Swiss Creme Soda when we were sick. Other than that, we seldom got carbonated drinks at home; I'm not sure if that was because my parents didn't believe in soft drinks or my dad was too cheap to buy them.
Old 07-28-2002, 10:01 AM
smaft smaft is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 327
OldBroad- Reed's is great stuff; I drink it all the time. But I get it at Trader Joe's- it's even cheaper than Whole Foods, which is cheaper than the regular grocery stores here.

But when I'm under the weather, nothing tastes better than room temperature 7-Up!
Old 07-28-2002, 10:29 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Scientific tests have shown that ginger (Zingiber officinalis) is more effective in preventing motion sickness nausea than Dramamine™. True, the slight amount of ginger in most brands of "ginger ale" is not enough to help much (this may be because the stereotype of White Anglo Americans' "taste" is so bland and recoils from the spicy). OldBroad, Reed's Ginger Ale sounds like it might actually be effective with its boosted ginger content. Roots doctor herbalist Jomo simply keeps some fresh ginger root on hand and uses it whenever nausea threatens. It's the "Real Thing™."


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