European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Safety of ginger use in pregnancy: results from a large population-based cohort study

  • Kristine HeitmannEmail author
  • Hedvig Nordeng
  • Lone Holst
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



The objective of the study was to examine the safety of ginger use during pregnancy on congenital malformations and selected pregnancy outcomes.


The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study, a large population-based cohort, provided the data used in this study. Our study population consisted of 68,522 women. Data on ginger use and socio-demographic factors were retrieved from three self-administered questionnaires completed by the women during weeks 17 and 30 of the pregnancy and when their child was 6 months old. Data on pregnancy outcomes were provided by the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.


Among the 68,522 women in the study, 1,020 (1.5 %) women reported using ginger during pregnancy. The use of ginger during pregnancy was not associated with any increased risk of congenital malformations. No increased risk for stillbirth/perinatal death, preterm birth, low birth weight, or low Apgar score was detected for the women exposed to ginger during pregnancy compared to women who had not been exposed.


Use of ginger during pregnancy does not seem to increase the risk of congenital malformations, stillbirth/perinatal death, preterm birth, low birth weight, or low Apgar score. This finding is clinically important for health care professionals giving advice to pregnant women with NPV.


Pregnancy Ginger Nausea Herbal medicine Congenital malformations Pregnancy outcome 



The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Research, NIH/NIEHS (contract no NO-ES-75558), NIH/NINDS (grant no.1 UO1 NS 047537-01), and the Norwegian Research Council/FUGE (grant no. 151918/S10). We are grateful to all of the participants and their families for taking part in this study. We thank Gro C Havnen and Ingebjørg Sandøy Rødahl for their help identifying and classifying the herbal products.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine Heitmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hedvig Nordeng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lone Holst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care and Centre of PharmacyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, School of PharmacyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Division of Mental HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HeathBergenNorway

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