Meta-analysis links ginger to significantly decreased migraine pain

  • Chen L & al.
  • Am J Emerg Med
  • 17/11/2020

  • Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Patients with migraine treated with ginger reported significantly greater decreases in pain, nausea, and vomiting compared with those receiving a placebo.
  • Results are from a meta-analysis of 3 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Why this matters

  • Prior studies of ginger have demonstrated its analgesic efficacy for osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and muscle pain, but research on its use to reduce migraine pain has yielded conflicting results.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 3 RCTs with 227 migraine patients treated with ginger or placebo.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Compared with the placebo group, patients treated with ginger reported a significantly greater decrease in migraine pain:
    • Risk ratio (RR), 1.79 (P=.04).
  • They also had lower pain scores at 2 hours:
    • Mean difference, −1.27 (P<.00001>
  • Ginger showed no notable effect on treatment response (RR, 2.04; P=.43).
  • It was associated with a significant decrease in nausea and vomiting:
    • RR, 0.48 (P=.002).
  • Adverse events did not differ significantly between groups.

Limitations

  • Small number of studies with small sample sizes.