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Ginger Heliconia and Fertility

Because of a family history of colon polyps, I had to have a colonoscopy at 37 years old. Until I took the colonoscopy prep medications, I liked ginger ale. Even now, a few years later, I still have flashbacks when I drink ginger ale. My recommendation is this: when you have to have a colonoscopy, don't pick your favorite beverage to take with the prep or it will not longer be your favorite!

Well, enough about that. But that points out the primary medicinal use of ginger--easing dyspepsia. I have had many girlfriends who drank it and ate saltine crackers for morning sickness. It is also known for relieving motion sickness, and it may help with cramps, too. It is promoted for arthritis and flu, but the evidence for those uses is lacking.

Ginger is not a plant, per se, but the root of a plant, Zingiber officinale. It is a common cooking spice, and, of course, everyone is familiar with ginger snaps, gingerbread and ginger ale.

I have yet to mention conception. That's right. That's because I cannot find one lick of evidence that it is helpful for conception. Probably not harmful to conceiving, but not a conception-promoter. And, in higher quantities, it may cause a miscarriage by stimulating uterine contractions. A small amount used in foods is not likely to be a problem, so don't drop that gingersnap or glass of ginger ale!

Some of the herbs discussed as fertility aids are not used as single herbs. They are combined with others into concoctions that have been given Chinese names, so sometimes figuring out what is truly the active ingredient is impossible.

In the case of ginger, I do not find any information that links it to fertility at all. It has been studied in morning sickness, and it would found effective. The doses vary, and if you are pregnant, check with your doctor before you load up on ginger. It appears to be safe in low quantities. Toss in some B6, and your morning sickness should improve! Or usually time takes care of it, too.

As always, I hope this month is your lucky month!

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