No, Not Mary Ann

The NCI just issued the results of a study that prove ginger can help reduce nausea for chemo patients.

“We have found that ginger supplementation is an effective tool against chemotherapy-related nausea,” said lead investigator Dr. Julie Ryan of the University of Rochester Medical Center, who discussed the findings at a press briefing last week. All doses of ginger evaluated in the study significantly reduced nausea compared with placebo, she noted.

I’ve read countless articles on the never ending benefits of ginger.  I’m a huge fan of ginger ale and ginger snaps, but I’m not sure there’s actual ginger in either of those things.  Be damned if I can eat the actual food.  I keep buying candied ginger and dried ginger and ginger tea…only to have to give it away.  If it makes me nauseous to put the substance in my mouth, I’m not sure it’s helping me with actual nausea.

Actually, there may be a reason for my aversion to ginger.  Dad’s side of the family is from rural Appalachia.  When we’d visit his folk’s place in North Cove, we’d eat countless Jerusalem Artichokes (they call them sunchokes up here).  They were fairly unusual at the time.  In fact, I didn’t start seeing them in my grocery stores until about two years ago.  (Then again, I could have just not been paying much attention.)  They were quite a delicacy for us and we savored each sweet and earthy bite.  Thom and I simply couldn’t get enough of them.

Fast forward to the family standing  in the Frankfurt train station, trying to find the train to Bonn despite being exhausted, cranky, and rather hungry.  Dad of course was confident he could use his developing German language skills to navigate us flawlessly through the travel mayhem.  We were able to determine that there was some type of delay and we had some time to kill.  We wandered around the shopping area and found a produce stand.  There they were, glowing in earthy brown goodness – Jerusalem Artichokes.  Was it a mirage?  Were are addled and jet-lagged eyes deceiving us?  We consulted Dad.  His eyes rolled back into his head as he tried to translate.  Not surprisingly, he didn’t know the German word for artichoke.  He picked it up, analyzed it, and decreed it sure as hell looked like one.  So we triumphantly carried the ‘choke high as we paraded back to Mom and the luggage.

Thom took the first monstrously huge bite.  His face contorted with pain and confusion, not unlike when I’d break his Transformers.  He shoved the root at me and started hopping around and looking for water.  I took a tiny bite.  It bit back.  Blech.  Apparently Dad also did not know the German word for ginger.  My family was taking turns gnawing on a raw ginger root.  I can still feel that bitterness on my tongue.  So no, I don’t see me being able to embrace the ginger craze as I really should.  Ever tried it?  I don’t recommend it.

Then again, I don’t recommend trying chemo just for kicks, either.