Diet

Ginger is Soothing

Deanne Stein Health Guide March 08, 2007
  • I forgot how miserable pregnancy is. Yes, I’m finally pregnant.  And while I know if all goes well I’ll be happy in the end, right now I’m seriously wondering why I’m doing this.  The first few weeks were great, I didn’t feel any different.  But about a week ago, it all changed.  I still look the same.


    I’m only 6 weeks along, so I’m not showing, but I’m just sick as a dog.  Whoever thought up the term “morning sickness” is way off base, in my opinion anyway.  I have this nauseas feeling 24/7 these days.  It’s especially bad in the evening. Actually, the “morning” is when I feel best, if only for a couple of hours.

     

    Since I’m a stroke survivor and now pregnant, I have a much higher risk of having another stroke.  That’s why my OBGyn has transferred my care to a “high risk” OB.  The only difference so far between this pregnancy and my first (which was 13 years ago) is the fact I have to stay on blood-thinners to lessen my risk of having a stroke. 


    Since the Coumadin I was taking is dangerous for the baby, I’ve had to switch to an injectable medication called Lovenox.  It’s prescribed to patients, especially pregnant women to prevent blood clots.  That’s no picnic either, since I have to give them to myself twice a day in the belly.  I had a lot of bruising at first, but now, I can do it all by myself.  The bruising is getting better, mainly because I’m keeping a steadier hand while doing it.  Now if I could just get rid of this sour stomach.

     

    One thing that has helped a little is ginger, which is also an important herb for a healthy heart.  In fact, some physicians suggest that eating a little bit of ginger every day will help prevent heart attack.  It reduces cholesterol and also reduces blood pressure and prevents blood clots.  Ginger root, which is what I’m using, can help reduce inflammation, which relaxes the muscles surrounding blood vessels, helping circulation.

     

    I researched a little history on the herb and found that in China, for example, ginger was used to aid digestion and treat stomach aches, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years.  Since ancient times, ginger was also used to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea and heart conditions.

     

    When I start feeling nauseas, I cut a slice of raw ginger root and place it between the inside of my mouth and my gums.  I’m not saying it’s a miracle solution or anything, but it does take the edge off and allows me to get through my day.

     

    However, you have to watch what form of ginger you take when you’re pregnant.  The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) gives fresh ginger a class 1 safety rating, which means it is a safe herb with a wide dosage range.  Side effects associated with ginger are rare, but if taken in excessive doses the herb may cause mild heartburn.  The AHPA gives dried ginger root a class 2b rating, which means it should not be used during pregnancy.  Of course, always check with your doctor before ingesting any herb or over-the-counter medication.