Zingiber Officinale (Ginger)

ACTION

Antiemetic, Diaphoretic, Carminative, Circulatory stimulant, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic.

Ginger is an excellent remedy for digestive problems, such as flatulence, nausea, indigestion, intestinal infections and certain types of food poisoning.

The combination of sweat and circulatory stimulation allows ginger to move blood to the periphery. This makes it a good remedy for chilblains, high blood pressure and fever. Ginger inhibits platelet aggregation, therefore, should be the ideal condiment for people predisposed to clotting which may lead to either heart-attack or stroke (Srivastava, K.C. et al. 1964).

Ginger is also highly effective for motion and morning sickness.

KEY CONSTITUENTS

Volatile oils (bisabolene, cineol, phellandrene, citral, borneol, citronellol, geranial, linalool, limonene, zingiberol, zingiberene, camphene), Oleoresin (gingerol, shogaol), Phenol (gingeol, zingerone), Proteolytic enzyme (zingibain), Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Linoleic acid.

The pungency of ginger is due to GINGEROL which is the alcohol group of the oleoresin (when resins are associated with volatile oils, they are called OLEORESINS). Ginger owes its aroma to about 1 to 3% of volatile oils, which are bisabolene, zingiberene and zingiberol.

Gingerol

GINGEROL

INDICATION

Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus function together in bone formation, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. The high content of these minerals in ginger makes it a useful candidate for muscle spasms, depression, hypertension, muscle weakness, convulsions, confusion, personality changes, nausea, lack of coordination and gastrointestinal disorders.

The high content of potassium in ginger will protects the body against bone fragility, paralysis, sterility, muscle weakness, mental apathy and confusion, kidney damage, and damage to the heart. In addition to potassium's role in blood pressure regulation, it also regulates heartbeat.

Ginger has a high content of antioxidants. This makes it a free radical scavenger. This means, it has antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties (Lee, I.K. and Ahn, S.Y. 1985; Kikuzaki, H. and Nakatani, N. 1993; Kikuzaki, H. et al. 1994).

RESEARCH

In a study, acetone extract of ginger at 100 mg/kg p.o. significantly inhibited serotonin (5-HT) induced hypothermia. The active responsible was found to be shogoal. Shogoal, [6]-dehydrogingerdione, [8]- and [10]-gingerol were also found to have an anticathartic action (Huang Q, et al. (1990).

The pungent constituents of ginger release substance P from sensory fibres. The released substance P in turn either stimulates cholinergic and histaminic neurons to release Ach and histamine, respectively, or produces direct muscle contraction by activating M and H1 receptors correspondingly. It is proposed that after being excited by substance P, M and H1 receptors are inactive temporarily and unable to be excited by agonists, therefore, ginger juice exhibits anticholinergic and antihistaminic action. Ginger juice produces antimotion sickness action possibly by central and peripheral anticholinergic and antihistaminic effects (Qian, D.S, and Liu, Z.S. 1992).

REFERENCES

Hasenohrl, U.R. et al. (1998). Dissociation between anxiolytic and hypomnestic effects for combined extracts of Zingiber officinale and ginkgo biloba, as opposed to diazepam. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 59(2):527-35

Huang Q, et al. (1990). The effect of ginger on serotonin induced hypothermia and diarrhea. Yakugaku Zasshi Dec;110(12):936-42

Kikuzaki, H. and Nakatani, N. (1993). Antioxidant effects of some ginger constituents. Journal of Food Science. 58(6): 1407-1410.

Kikuzaki, H., Kawasaki, Y., and Nakatani, N. (1994). Structure of antioxidative compounds in ginger. ACS Sympisium series. 547:237-243.

Lee, I.K. and Ahn, S.Y. (1985). The antioxidant activity of gingerol. Korean Journal of Food Science and Tech. 17(2):55-59.

Pathak, S. and Prakash, A.O. (1989). Active components of ginger exhibiting anti-serotonergic action. Phytother. Res. 3(2):70-71.

Qian, D.S, and Liu, Z.S. (1992).Pharmacologic studies of antimotion sickness actions of ginger. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Feb;12(2):95-8.

Srivastava, K.C. (1964). Effects of aqueous extracts of onions , garlic and ginger on platelet aggregation and metabolism of arachidonic acid in the blood vascular system. Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Medicine 13:227-235.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

FRIEDLI ENTERPRISES
Georges-Louis Friedli, PgDip., MSc., PhD.
georges-louis@friedli.com