So, I finally got started in carving out my little corner of the internet. My boyfriend, sisters, mum and friends have always told me to start a blog – so here it is!
I am a recently qualified Nutritionist with a passion for all things health, cooking and interesting facts about the body. I always wished I studied medicine – not for the doctor’s title but for what they learn about the human body and how drugs work. My degree was invaluable for giving me a lot of this knowledge but not to the extent by which med students get taught.
This might sound a bit alternative, but before I ever take something prescribed or over the counter, I like to do extensive research on how the substance works in the body. Down to every. little. detail. I want to know what receptors they work on in the brain to what cells they target in the rest of the body and, of course, what better natural alternatives there are.
For example, I researched stemzine; also known as prochloroperazine, the other day (I have had the worst nausea in the world for the past couple of weeks) and found that in high doses it actually treats psychiatric disorders and in low doses, of course for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. For those interested, it works on dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which passes information from one neuron to another and is most commonly associated with our ‘reward’ centre of the brain. It helps to regulate mood and behaviour amongst a myriad of other things. Dopamine receptors are found in the part of our brain which controls nausea and vomiting, so by blocking these receptors, you should feel a lot less queasy. Pretty cool, huh? Well, maybe for some people who like to know that type of thing.
But what is a natural alternative to a drug like this? What has no side effects and something that may be in your pantry or fridge right now?
Answer = Ginger
Ginger has a long history of medicinal use for reducing feelings of nausea and soothing an upset stomach. It’s only now that modern medicine is starting to realize how amazingit is! It has antiemetic properties, by which the mechanism is still being researched. It is safe to use and effective. A recent review article in the Journal of American Board of Family Medicine, 2014, showed that 1 gram of ginger per day for 4 days was effective in reducing morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy and is associated with a 5-fold likelihood of improvement in symptoms. Studies on cancer patients have also shown the root to be effective in reducing nausea caused by chemotherapy drugs (Marx et al, 2013). Ginger is also found to be as equally effective as the anti-nausea drug, Metoclopramide, used for some cancer patients (the drug speeds up the rate by which food moves through the stomach and intestines) (Sontakke, Thanwani & Naik, 2003).
It’s pretty amazing that we have something so powerful available in the produce section of our local supermarket!
So, next time you’re feeling a bit queasy – take some ginger. Use it in a lovely Asian soup, try some of your nan’s crystallized ginger chews or try my recipe for ginger tea to help soothe your stomach woes.
1 6cm knob ginger
1tsp raw organic honey
250ml boiling water
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Finely grate peeled ginger into a tea cup and pour over boiling water. Add honey, stir well and let sit for 5 minutes. You can strain the ginger out if you don’t like bits floating around in your tea, but keeping it in there would be much more beneficial – it won’t hurt to swallow it, it’s just a bit stronger. Add the lemon juice when it cools a little (boiling hot water can destroy the vitamin C in the lemon). Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed my first post. If you have any feedback or questions, I would love to hear from you!
Love Stace x