Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few of its purposes. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bio active compound in ginger. It’s responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body. Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. It may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery. Ginger may also help chemotherapy-related nausea, but larger human studies are needed. However, it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness. According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1–1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea. However, this review concluded that ginger had no effect on vomiting. Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you’re pregnant. It’s recommended that pregnant women who are close to labor or who’ve had miscarriages avoid ginger.