Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ginger Ale, Stomach Aches, and Placebos

Over the weekend and through the first part of this week I was stricken with a flu-like bug that had me doing nothing more than sleeping and occasionally throwing up. As you might guess, I ate a lot of saltines and drank a lot of ginger ale to settle my stomach. It worked, but it also got me wondering about why ginger ale is effective relieving an upset stomach. A quick search of that question on YouTube led me to a Mental Floss video titled Does Ginger Ale Really Help With Stomach Aches?


If you watched the video above, you know that the evidence that ginger ale truly does settle your stomach is inconclusive. That said, if it makes you feel better when you're sick, drink it. And that is a good lead-in to this TED-ED lesson about the power of the placebo effect.