Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Treatment Score for Ginger in the Common Cold

In our last column we began structuring the Treatment Scores algorithm to assess the evidence of ginger in the common cold.  After this structure is in place, we are able to search the literature.  A search of PubMed for ginger and ginger root revealed many articles, including 29 reported clinical trials.  These trials ranged from ginger for colonic cancer, hyperemesis gravidarum, motion sickness, vertigo, and asthma, among others.  Unfortunately there were no trials in the common cold.  A search of clinicaltrials.gov again revealed many trials of ginger in other indications, but none in the common cold.  Since no trials were found, we then assessed PubMed for case reports or series.  Again, we were unable to find any published literature to support ginger for the common cold.

You'll see in the Treatment Score Calculator above that we were unable to score ginger for the common cold due to a lack of scientific evidence behind the treatment.  This does not mean the treatment is not effective, it only means that we were unable to locate significant clinical evidence to support it's use.  These trials may have not been done for a myriad of reasons beyond efficacy, such as funding or sponsor interest.

An interesting observation made during our research is that there actually are several controlled trials of ginger for anti-emetic use.  While this is too far astray from the common cold to be included in our current analysis, it opens the question to what the Treatment Score for ginger in nausea or vomiting would be.  Maybe we will assess this in a future analysis.

This blog post does not intend to give medical advice or opinion, it is purely an educational exercise utilizing the literature and all patients should consult their physician (please see disclaimer below).

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