Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “does the addition of ginger decrease migraine pain”.
STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of three peer-reviewed studies published between the years of 2011-2018.
DATA SOURCES: Three double-blinded randomized control trials were chosen from the Cochrane Library and PubMed and selected based on patient oriented outcomes and their relevance to the clinical questions. The study by Martins et al., (Cephalalgia. 2018; 39(1):68-76. doi: 10.1177/0333102418776016) compared the addition of ginger vs placebo. The study by Maghbooli et al., (Phytotherapy Research. 2014;28(3):412–415. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4996.) compared the addition of ginger vs sumatriptan. The study by Cady et al., (Headache. 2011; 51:1078–1086) compared the addition of ginger/feverfew extract vs placebo.
OUTCOME(S) MEASURED: The outcome measured was the reduction of migraine pain 2 hours (2h) post-treatment using patient oriented and reported pain rating using either a four-point scale (0= no pain, 1= mild pain, 2= moderate pain, 3=severe pain) or a visual analogue scale (VAS).
RESULTS: There was an overall decrease in migraine pain 2h post-treatment with the addition of ginger. The study conducted by Martins et al., (Cephalalgia. 2018; 39(1):68-76. doi: 10.1177/0333102418776016) showed the addition of ginger significantly reduced migraine pain compared to placebo after 2h post-treatment reported using a four-point pain scale (p= 0.04). The study conducted by Maghbooli et al., (Phytotherapy Research. 2014;28(3):412–415. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4996.) revealed similar efficacy in reducing migraine pain between the ginger and sumatriptan treatment groups with a reduction of 4.6 units (p<0.0001) and 4.7 units (p<0.0001) in VAS scores respectively. The study conducted by Cady et al., (Headache. 2011; 51:1078–1086) had a significant decrease in migraine pain reported using a four-point scale 2h post-treatment with a decrease from 1.41 to 1.17 (p=0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The evidence presented in this review reveals that the addition of ginger did significantly decrease migraine pain 2h post-treatment. Ginger extract is an affordable supplement that is easily accessible. Further research is warranted to evaluate the effects of ginger on migraine pain as monotherapy and to determine a therapeutic dose.
Nguyen, Stephanie, "Does the Addition of Ginger Decrease Migraine Pain?" (2020). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 563.