Clinical Research: Effectiveness of Ginger Essential Oil On Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting
Tori Hudson, ND
Author: Lee YR, Shin HS.
Reference: Effectiveness of ginger essential oil on postoperative nausea and
vomiting in abdominal surgery patients. J Altern Complement Med. March 2017;
Design: The goal of this study was to investigate the use of ginger essential oil for the treatment of post-operative nausea/vomiting over a 24 hour period. Sixty patients were enrolled from 3 surgical units at a hospital in Seoul, South Korea.
Ginger was provided as an inhalation because they were not eating post-surgery. Patients were assigned to 2 groups with 30 in each group. Patients in both groups were given an aromatherapy necklace as soon as they arrived from the post-anesthesia recovery unit. The placebo necklaces were infused with 0.3 mL normal saline and the active group necklaces were infused with 0.3 mL of 100% pure ginger essential oil. Individuals in both groups were asked to wear the necklaces for 24 hours, inhaling the aroma with normal breathing.
Patients assessed their level of nausea and vomiting using the Index of Nausea, Vomiting, Retching (INVR-the Korean version) before transferring to the post recovery unit and at 6,16 and 24 hours after the first aromatherapy treatment.
The INVR consists of 8 items with a 5 point scale about the frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting and retching. Scores range from 0 to 32, and higher scores indicate more severe symptoms.
Participants: Patients were eligible if they were scheduled for major abdominal surgery and anticipating general anesthesia for a minimum of 60 minutes. Patients were between 20 and 70 years.
Primary outcome: Severity of post -operative nausea and vomiting over a 24 hour period.
Key findings: After aromatherapy began, the mean post-operative nausea/vomiting scores were significantly lower for the aromatherapy group than for the placebo group, at all 3 data points. The mean post-operative nausea scores decreased in 24 hours, to an average of 1.14 in the active group, and decreased only to an average of averaged 8.91 in the placebo group. A significant decrease in nausea scores was seen at hour 6 and then throughout the data collection period in the active ginger essential oil group.
Practice Implications: Postoperative nausea and vomiting is a common complication of surgery and occurs in 20-40% of patients at mild to moderate risk and up to 80% of patients at high risk. While this issue is self-limiting and rarely causes serious complications, it can affect surgical recovery.
While there are other non-pharmaceutical interventions, including oral ginger and peppermint and/or essential oils of these and others, there are also numerous pharmaceutical options that are typically used in the hospital setting