Ginger Candy & Pregnancy
If you're like the vast majority of women, you'll feel queasy or nauseated at some point during your pregnancy. To help reduce the symptoms of morning sickness--which in fact can strike at any time of day or night--many women turn to ginger. There are ginger candies available that can help relieve your symptoms with a few caveats.
In all likelihood, if you find that you experience symptoms of pregnancy-related queasiness, it will be most noticeable at the beginning of your pregnancy and will hopefully taper off as you approach your second trimester. Early pregnancy nausea is caused by high levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and hCG--human chorionic gonadotropin. As your body becomes used to the higher levels of hormones, you won't feel as nauseated.
In their book "What To Expect When You're Expecting," Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel note that ginger has a long history as a pregnancy-approved treatment for nausea in early pregnancy. It's completely safe to use, unlike many pharmaceutical anti-nausea medications, and many women also enjoy the taste. They recommend ginger in any form--as a tea, in a candy, or baked into cookies or crackers.
There are many ginger candies available on the market; they're particularly easy to find at natural food stores. While ginger candies might be a tasty way to get your ginger and satisfy your sweet tooth, it's worth considering that compared to teas, candies have lots of added sugar. This means they also have lots of calories. While candies are fine for occasional use, you may find that if you're using them constantly, you'll gain more weight than you want to during pregnancy.
There are some specific considerations with regard to the chemistry of ginger that may make candies less effective than other sources of ginger. The chemical responsible for ginger's anti-nauseant effect is zingerone, which is related to the spicy chemicals in black and red peppers, explain Jay Bureson and Penny Le Couteur in their book "Napoleon's Buttons." Candies typically contain less zingerone than tea preparations and significantly less of the chemical than you'd get if you stir-fried fresh ginger into vegetables.
In the end, whether you choose to use ginger candies or another form of ginger is going to depend mostly upon what works well for you. In her book "Conception, Pregnancy and Birth," Dr. Miriam Stoppard recommends trying various forms of ginger to see what seems to keep your nausea at bay. Remember that keeping a little food in your stomach and eating dry crackers can also help with your symptoms.
- “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”; Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel; 2008
- “Napoleon’s Buttons”; Penny Le Couteur and Jay Bureson; 2004
- “Conception, Pregnancy and Birth”; Miriam Stoppard, M.D.; 2008