Ginger is the most effective herbal remedy for pregnant women who are struggling with morning sickness, performing as well as Dramamine, a new study published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine has found. But a number of other herbal remedies commonly used by pregnant women, including castor oil to induce labor, raspberry tea to shorten it, and garlic to treat preeclampsia, were found to have no measurable affect beyond, perhaps, a placebo effect in some cases. From The New York Times:
"In their report, published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, they identified more than 500 studies of herbal remedies used during pregnancy. Many studies had design flaws and other problems and, ultimately, only 14 randomized, controlled trials were deemed suitable to include in the report.
The researchers found that ginger was the most thoroughly studied remedy, and the one found most consistently effective. It relieved morning sickness better than a placebo, and was as good as Dramamine at doing so.
But the evidence for other popular herbal options was lacking. Cranberry, often used against urinary tract infections, a common occurrence in pregnancy, was found ineffective. There was no evidence that garlic helps with preeclampsia, or that raspberry leaf shortened labor. And while castor oil appears to be free of side effects, it has no ability to induce labor."
Image: Ginger, via Shutterstock