I was pregnant. I was nauseous. I wasn't so nauseous that it would have gone any farther (you know what I mean!), but I was nauseous enough that I was dying for some relief!
I had always heard that ginger was good for morning sickness (and why do they call it that? It's not just in the morning!). I heard this both before going to school to become an acupuncturist and herbalist and while in school. Ginger is the miracle herb for mothers-to-be!
So I went to the store and got myself some really good, natural-ginger ginger ale. That stuff was good! So tasty and it really did help the nausea!
What I didn't think about was the possible consequences of all of my ginger ale guzzling. All of a sudden I was having insomnia! I was physically exhausted, but was absolutely unable to sleep. What the heck?? At first I assumed that it was just another side effect of being pregnant. But later the dots were finally connecting (it actually took a couple weeks to figure out what was going on!).
In Chinese medicine, ginger is a "hot" herb. It has properties that will help warm the body. If you've ever thought about the flavor of ginger, you've probably realized that there is some spice to it that most would call warm, right? Unfortunately, for me at the time, pregnancy will also help warm the body! So what was happening was that I was getting super-heated. You know how it is in the summer when it's super hot and you have trouble sleeping? The same thing was happening to me internally, even though I didn't feel overly warm. As soon as I made the connection between ginger ale and my insomnia, I stopped drinking the ginger ale and was able to sleep again.
Not all herbs are right for all people all the time. Consider if a woman in peri-menopause with hot flashes was to take a "hot" herb - how much more miserable could that make her? It's important to consult with an herbalist prior to starting an herbal remedy. It may be a great choice, or it could lead to unforeseen and uncomfortable, if not dangerous, side-effects.