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Finland Warns Women Not to Take Ginger for Morning Sickness

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The May 5, 2009, issue of “Pulse of Health Freedom” reported a Finnish proposal that alternative therapies should be offered to cancer patients, diabetics, pregnant women and those with mental illness only under the care of a doctor. Now, the Finnish food safety agency Evira has recommended warning labels for ginger supplements, specifically cautioning pregnant women against consuming ginger to treat morning sickness.
And yet, the September/October 2002 issue of “Alternative Therapies in Medicine” published the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial concluding that ginger is a safe and effective way to control the symptoms of morning sickness. In the April 2005 issue of “Obstetrics and Gynecology,” Italian researchers published a separate study confirming the effectiveness of ginger and its safety for both the mother and her unborn child. Other published studies mirror these results.
The Finnish food safety agency seems to focus on elements in ginger that may be harmful to fetal development if consumed in great quantities. But dosage is often key to the safety of any substance, whether natural or prescribed by a doctor.  Jay Cohen’s book Over Dose argues that in conventional medicine the least dosage of a medication known to have a beneficial effect is often not the dose prescribed, exacerbating side effects and risking the patient’s safety.
This most recent pronouncement by Evira, which also states ginger supplements must not be marketed to pregnant women, is worrisome indeed.

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