Ginger & Sea Bands For Nausea

Last Modified: February 11, 2011

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Can massage be done during your chemo treatment? Will "sea bands" or ginger gum help with nausea?

Answer

Jun Mao, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at Penn Medicine, responds:

You can definitely incorporate massage during treatment and there are some studies to suggest massage helps distress, pain, insomnia and fatigue.

The research on "sea bands" and "ginger gum" are inconclusive. Ginger probably has the most research and has been shown to help with nausea in general, so it may be helpful for nausea related to cancer treatment as well. The ACS has a nice article on it. It can be found in teas, gum, candies, drinks and supplements.

Sea bands work with acupressure- that is they apply pressure to an area on the wrist, known as PC6, that has been shown to help with nausea relief. They are helpful for some women during pregnancy and may be helpful for cancer treatment related nausea.

With that said, given both are so cheap and easy to implement and safe, my recommendation is try it. If it is helpful, that's great.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript of Integrating Complementary Therapies into Your Cancer Care.

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