Tag Archives: nausea

Nausea Remedy — Ginger Ale and Saltine Crackers

Context :

SM is a 20 year old environmental studies major at USC. She grew up in Dallas, Texas. Although her family took to modern medicine, dabbling in home remedies wasn’t uncommon.

Text :

“If I had any sort of stomach problem as a child, my dad would make me drink ginger ale and eat saltine crackers because it would cure my nausea. I can’t get over that nauseous feeling without living off of ginger ale and saltine crackers anymore.”

Analysis :

Folk medicine is actually a really strong type of folklore. Although the remedies don’t always work, they have been around for hundreds of years and have implemented themselves into everyday practices. SM, like many other Americans, were told to drink ginger ale or eat saltine crackers when they felt nauseous because it would help soothe their stomach. In a way, folk medicine “works” because it evokes the placebo effect. When someone truly believes they are getting better because they did something, even though it actually has zero effect on them, that’s the placebo effect. SM’s brain tricked her into believing that one of the only remedies for her stomach ache was to drink ginger ale and saltine crackers, even though that is medically proven to help.

Folk Medicine – Ginger Ale and Crackers


“Ginger ale and crackers…mainly the Canada Dry ginger ale and specifically the saltine crackers. I forgot the brand but something premium… specifically those crackers. We use it I think more for nausea or if you’re vomiting and stuff but if you’re sick in general, like any type of sickness, and you can eat that’s going to be the first thing that your mom mainly is going to give to you…ginger ale and crackers”


One of my friends who is a part of the black community shared one of her folk medicine recipes. She does not remember where she came to learn of eating ginger ale and crackers, but she remembers it being passed down from her mom to her. She also mentioned how “it might be in the black community because [she] feels like if they’re black then they will know what [she’s] talking about.” She talked about how this technique “doesn’t really cure anything but it’s light on the stomach” and she thinks people continue to use this technique because “it’s comforting every time you receive it from someone.”


Folk medicine is often passed down from generation to generation. People enjoy sharing their little remedies to help cure some illnesses. Whether or not it cures anything is beside the point. I have not really heard of this technique of using ginger ale and crackers for an upset stomach, but I have heard of similar remedies. Oftentimes you’ll hear about eating bland foods for an upset stomach or that any carbonated drink could also help rid any feelings of nausea. Even though we have no scientific proof of these techniques we still use them because we hear the stories people tell us. We hear these stories of how someone used this technique and felt instantly better, so we want to try it out for ourselves. This is also because we usually hear these stories from people we trust, so that compels us to try these different remedies even more.