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Ginger To Treat Vertigo

Ginger is a centuries old remedy for nausea and motion sickness, so it comes as no surprise that some have found it helpful to treat vertigo.

Vertigo is an extremely disruptive sensation. Having the world seem to spin around you makes it difficult to walk without fear of falling. On the other hand, sometimes doctors are challenged to figure out how to treat vertigo. What works?

Non-Drug Approach to Treat Vertigo:

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?

Ginger as a Way to Treat Vertigo:

A. Chinese sailors have used ginger for centuries to ease or prevent symptoms of motion sickness, so we’re not surprised it might help treat vertigo. In high doses, ginger might cause heartburn or other digestive distress.

We cannot speculate about whether ginger will cure your vertigo completely or just relieve the symptoms. There are relatively few studies of ginger for vertigo, although a tiny trial in 1986 indicated that ginger could be significantly better than placebo (Grøntved & Hentzer, ORL: Journal for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and its Related Specialities). At some point, you and your physician should evaluate your progress to see whether you can discontinue the ginger.

Learn More:

We discussed how to treat vertigo with Dr. David Kaylie of Duke University Medical School in our Show 992: Overcoming Vertigo. It is worth a listen.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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