Ginger Root

Ginger Root

"Researchers at the University of Minnesota determined that mice fed the main active component in ginger root three times a week had slower rates of cancer growth than control animals did."

ask the doctor

I have two questions: 1. Does ginger help with nausea/stomach virus symptoms? 2. What are your thoughts on natural progesterone cream?

— Kendra Davidson

If you're experiencing nausea as part of a viral infection, ginger is one of the best home remedies you can choose. It's one of 12 herbs that have been scientifically proven to work, and I use it in my hospital practice for chemotherapy-induced, post-surgical and pregnancy-related nausea.

The Chinese have used ginger as a flu remedy for 2,300 years. Their medical system classifies colds and flu as an invasion of a heat pathogen or a cold pathogen in the body. If you have a fever and yellow mucus, you have a heat pathogenic invasion. If you have only a slight fever, chills, nausea and clear mucus, you have a cold pathogenic invasion.

Ginger is classified in Chinese medicine as a "warm" herb that can improve digestion and soothe the stomach. So Chinese herbalists would say that if you have a flu with nausea and clear mucus, then warm ginger should drive out the cold pathogen and eliminate nausea and other symptoms. The compounds 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol are known to exhibit analgesic, antipyretic (lowers fevers), antitussive (calms cough), and hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) properties.

Dosages range from 1 gram of fresh or dried herb 3 times per day to 170 grams of encapsulated extract 3 times per day. Ginger tea made from fresh roots works best for pregnancy. When buying preparations in your health food store, follow the manufacturer's recommendation.

Progesterone creams have become increasingly popular over the past decade, these are authors who claim that these creams are useful for everything from prostate cancer to menopause symptoms. Personally, I've seen progesterone creams work, but — other than a few studies tracing their effects on menopausal symptoms — there hasn't been a lot of clinical research done on them.

We do know that progesterone is secreted during the menstrual cycle, and it promotes changes in the uterine endometrium and the Fallopian tubes. It also causes the breasts to swell by increasing fluid in subcutaneous breast tissue and by promoting development of the lobules and alveoli of the breasts. Progesterone also increases sodium and water excretion in females because of competition between progesterone and aldosterone, a kidney hormone that regulates water balance.

I feel that there is a definite future for the use of progesterone creams for women who pursue more natural solutions to their health problems. But more research has to be done on topical progesterone before we have a definitive answer.
Dr. Ervolino is happy to answer your health questions.

By Frank Ervolino, ND

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