Those of you that have ever been to a hospital for a major or minor surgery that required the use of anesthesia might be able to relate to a nurse or a medical practitioner placing a can of Canada Dry next to your bed and saying something along the lines of “Here is some ginger ale in case you feel nauseous from the anesthesia.”
But is there any validity to this claim? Can ginger ale really help reduce the effects of nausea?
Some people argue that just the psychological aspect of thinking that it can be more than enough to actually help. After all, your body is completely controlled by your brain. So if we think really hard that ginger ale can make us feel less nauseous, then it should.
Ginger ale was first invented in the mid-19-hundreds. Somehow, ginger ale quickly gained a reputation of being able to counter the feelings of nausea.
This made total sense since ginger ale is thought to contain ginger in it. Ginger has anti-emetic properties; it has been shown to reduce pregnancy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Ginger has been used as a spice for centuries now. Many ancient civilizations cultivated it and nearly instantly started using it to treat nausea and help with digestion.
Throughout the years, it has also developed many other medical properties which were used to treat other sicknesses and conditions.
Bubonic plague was thought to be curable by ginger. Fever, headaches, and cholera were all thought to be curable by ginger at one time or another. Apothecaries and pharmacists played a huge role in the development of ginger ale and its healing abilities.
The original version of ginger ale was invented in Ireland around 1851 and imported to the US shortly afterward, where it became a preferred drink for many Americans.
However, the ginger ale we all know today by the name of Canada Dry was actually invented by John McLaughlin, a Canadian who changed the original drink in 1907 to create a less pungent beverage, resulting in the modern day ginger ale.
Two versions of the drink became available, golden and dry ginger ale. The golden ale had more ginger in it and the dry ale had less ginger. These drinks became Americans’ favorite beverages from the late 19th century all the way up to World War II.
Be association, just as ginger was being used for all sorts of ailments in the past, ginger ale started to become the drink of choice for those who were feeling under the weather.
Even though the use of ginger in Canada Dry is very loosely based on the bottle label stating “made with real ginger,” Americans still continued to drink ginger ale in an attempt to reduce nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting.
About Ginger Ale for Nausea
So the thought of ginger ale as a remedy for many nausea-related problems stuck. The thing is that we aren’t entirely sure if there is any ginger in Canada Dry or how much of it is in there.
The spokesman for the company claims it is made with real ginger and it does contain ginger in it, but they refuse to comment on the quantity of ginger used due to the secrecy of their unique Canada Dry proprietary formula.
There has been very little scientific research done regarding the effects of ginger on the human body, simply because researching natural solutions to nausea-related issues isn’t advantageous for the scientists since it there is no money in it.
It is far more beneficial to work on producing a synthetic drug that does the same thing. The little research that has been done in the past points to gingerol, a compound which can be converted to another type of compounds known as shogaols.
The shogaols help your gastrointestinal tract by blocking receptors which are responsible for making your feel nauseous. If ginger ale does contain enough ginger in it then the remedial effects it has on nausea could be validated.
The Reason Behind Lack of Proof
The problem is that none of the companies are willing to invest the research time, money, and FDA approval to stick a label onto their soda showing that it can help with nausea.
The reason is that even though most soda sales have dropped slowly throughout the years, ginger ale has actually been going up and the amount of money needed to get through all the regulations and requirement would far outweigh the resulting benefits.
It isn’t too difficult to see that ginger ale sales throughout the flu and cold seasons are always up, so the companies that produce it don’t need to commercialize it as a medicine; they are completely content with having the public do it for them.
Although, some companies like Reed’s Inc. have absolutely no problem embracing the health improving claims that we bestowed upon ginger ale.
Chris Reed, the man who formed Reed’s Inc. in 1987, says that “It’s like an aspirin a day. I think about a third of our customers use my product for a condition, like digestive issues.”
He knows that some of his customers prefer to let the soda go flat and then drink it to reduce the amount of carbonation in their belly.
No one wants to feel bloated while ill. But even though he tried to offer non-carbonated ginger products, he figured out that we sure do love our bubbles.
Ginger Ale for Nausea Review Summary
In conclusion, no matter if ginger ale has an adequate amount of ginger in it or not to effectively counteract the feeling nausea, if it makes you feel better then you should just drink it. We know one thing for sure, there is no way it can hurt you.
It might be a long time before anyone can determine for sure the amount of ginger actually present in today’s classic ginger ale, but one thing is certain. Our minds are capable of amazing things.
Perhaps our collective belief in ginger ale’s remedial properties is what actually gives it the capability to reduce nausea and vomiting.
On the other hand, maybe we are just thinking far too deeply about this and should just give ginger the credit that it deserves.