Natural Foods Merchandiser

Ginger Safe for Pregnant Women
There?s good news for pregnant women who use ginger to quell nausea. The root does not harm the fetus, says a study published in American Obstetrics and Gynecology (November 2003). When 187 pregnant women took ginger during their first trimester, the rate of babies born with birth defects was no higher than the control group. Based on self-report, the researchers also found that ginger had only a mild effect at reducing nausea, which may be because the subjects took different forms of ginger. A study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2002) reported that 77 percent of the pregnant women who took a tonic containing 1 gram of ginger during their first trimester experienced a dramatic 4-point or greater improvement on the nausea scale.

Herbal Refresher
Health and beauty care department employees looking to enhance their breadth of herbal knowledge may want to attend the Ninth Annual Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine, April 2 to 3, in Tempe, Ariz. Seminar presenters include herbalist David Winston, who will discuss Harmony Medicines: An Overview of Adaptagens; Deborah Frances, N.D., who will cover Botanicals for Depression: Addressing the Thyroid, Adrenals and Liver; and panelists who will discuss Strategies for Herbal Prescribing: Determining Correct Delivery Systems, Dose and Synergistic Actions of Botanical Medicines. Continuing education credits are available. For more information, call 800.252.0688.


A study to be published in 2004 in the Journal of International Medical Research found that in a group taking elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) influenza symptoms disappeared an average of four days earlier than in a group taking a placebo. The work, which was first presented at the 15th Annual International Conference on Antiviral Research in Prague, Czech Republic, was conducted at the University of Oslo [Norway] School of Medicine.

Sixty people received a proprietary black elderberry extract, Sambucol, and had either type A (54 patients) or type B (6 patients) flu virus. Those receiving Sambucol showed pronounced improvement after 3.1 days on average compared with 7.1 days for the placebo group.

This study mirrors one published in 1995 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that found 90 percent of flu study patients were free of symptoms in two to three days compared with six for placebo.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 2/p. 46

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