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Phytother Res. 2019 Aug;33(8):1957-1965. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6377. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in breast cancer patients: A systematic literature review of randomized controlled trials.

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Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Nutrition, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the leading cause of mortality due to all types of cancers among the female population worldwide. Results of clinical trials investigating the effect of ginger on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in breast cancer patients are inconsistent. This study was aimed at obtaining a comprehensive overview of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of ginger as an antiemetic modality for controlling CINV in breast cancer patients. All published randomized controlled trials in English were systematically searched on Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane search databases up to June 2018. The outcome variable of interest was severity and the frequency of nausea and vomiting in patients. A total of 50 studies were found through search databases. After excluding duplicates, the 42 remaining studies were screened, and finally, nine trials were included, which were published between 2012 and 2017. Two studies have examined the effect of ginger on the frequency of nausea, five studies on the frequency of vomiting, seven studies on the severity of nausea, and three studies on severity of vomiting. A study evaluated the effectiveness of ginger in improving dietary intake in CINV. Our investigation suggests that ginger may reduce nausea in the acute phase of chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. The effect of ginger on nausea and vomiting in other conditions requires more high-quality clinical trials.


CINV; Zingiber officinale; breast cancer; chemotherapy; ginger; herbal therapy; nausea; vomiting


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