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Next time you’re on an airline flight, look around and count how many people order ginger ale. A bunch of ‘em, right? That’s because a lot of people know, and we’ve talked about it on this show, that ginger can relieve nausea and motion sickness. But the fact is, conventional ginger ale doesn’t contain any ginger… Or if it does, it’s trace amounts of ginger-concentrate, for flavoring. So it’s not providing the medicinal benefits. So then…why pick ginger ale?

Experts say it’s more likely the placebo effect at work. We believe it’s going to make us feel better, so it does. But really, any carbonated drink would make us feel better. According to neurobiologist Dr. E. Carstens from UC Davis, when the carbon dioxide bubbles pop on your tongue, they react with an enzyme on your taste buds to create carbonic acid. Like most acids, carbonic acid stings just a little, but it’s a good, fizzy sting. And Dr. Carstens says the mild pain makes your brain send feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream. So you do, in fact, feel better… And since we believe it’s the ginger doing the work, the feeling is enhanced that much more.