Zingiber officiale Roscoe. Family: Zingiberaceae
gingerroot, zingiberis rhizoma
Ginger is a perennial plant. It has grass-like leaves. Ginger, the spice, is made
from the root of the ginger plant. It’s been used for more than 2,500 years. The root
contains essential oils and resins. These give ginger its characteristic odor and
spicy flavor. They’re also responsible for its medicinal uses.
Ginger has active ingredients called gingerols. This is the medicinal part of the
plant. Gingerols are cardiotonic in animals. In humans, ginger helps treat nausea
Medically valid uses
Ginger is used mainly to treat nausea, upset stomach, and gastric issues. Ginger reduces
nausea through a direct effect on the stomach rather than on the central nervous system.
There are conflicting reports about whether ginger increases the speed of gastric
emptying. One large study showed it had no effect. However, it increases motility
of the rest of the gastrointestinal system.
Ginger has been used to treat nausea due to mild gastrointestinal infections and pregnancy.
It also treats nausea due to vertigo, nausea after surgery, and vomiting from chemotherapy.
Studies show mixed results for these effects. But research shows that ginger is safe
and effective for pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness. These effects
are due to the gingerols.
Ginger also contains gomgerol and shogaol. They both aid in pain relief and decrease
Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated
Ginger is said to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. It may play a role in treating
arthritis and arthralgia. It may also decrease pain in arthritis.
Ginger is thought to get in the way of how prostaglandins and leukotrienes are made.
These are natural chemicals that cause inflammation.
Gingerols are being studied as an anti-cancer agent. Gingerols may interfere with
tumorigenesis. This is the generation of tumors.
Ginger is available in the form of oral tablets, crystals, and powder. It’s also made
into dried or fresh root tea.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
In normal doses, ginger may cause heartburn and bloating.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare providers
before taking any herbal medicines.
There are no known food or drug interactions linked with ginger.