Q. I had vertigo for 17 months, a very severe case. The doctor put me through tests, including an MRI, a test that put me in a black cabinet and spun me around while I answered questions and one that squirted water into my ear.
Then a friend suggested ginger capsules. I took the recommended two capsules four times a day. The vertigo was nearly gone, but it gave me a terrible stomachache. I couldn’t eat or even sit up.
I now take one capsule a couple of times a day. The stomach pain is mostly gone, and so is the vertigo. I can walk up and down stairs without holding onto something and I can turn around to see something behind me without my head spinning. Will I need to take the ginger the rest of my life, or will the vertigo stop eventually? In other words, is this a cure or just treating the symptoms?
A. Chinese sailors have used ginger for centuries to ease or prevent symptoms of motion sickness so we’re not surprised it might help vertigo. In high doses ginger can cause heartburn or other digestive distress.
We cannot speculate about whether ginger will cure your vertigo completely or just relieve the symptoms. At some point you and your physician should evaluate your progress to see whether you can discontinue the ginger.