Ginger

Plant Part Used

Root/Rhizome

Introduction

Ginger has been used throughout history as both a culinary herb and a medicinal agent. Ginger has gained attention in the United States because of its effect on motion sickness, (1) nausea, and as an aid in digestion. Derivation of a standardized extract of ginger is from the rhizome.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250mg (standardized extract), 2-4 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

250mg (standardized extract), 3 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 5-20% gingerols per dose, most prominently 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol, and/or 4% volatile oils per dose.

Reported Uses

Ginger is best known for its ability to lessen the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. In fact, studies have found that it may be more effective than drug alternatives for many conditions and situations that make the stomach feel unsettled. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) What’s more, in the case of motion sickness, ginger may be preferred to antihistamines because it does not cause drowsiness. (6) Ginger root preparations may also be useful in controlling nausea and vomiting in outpatient surgery, (7) for lessening the nausea and loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy, (8) , (9) , (10) and in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition of excessive vomiting and dehydration that occurs during early pregnancy. (11) In addition, two double-blind, controlled clinical studies reported that the use of ginger for treatment of nausea in pregnancy was found to decrease the number of events as well as lessening the severity of nausea. (12) , (13) A study found that women using ginger in early pregnancy will reduce their symptoms. (14)

Ginger has reported anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in some inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. (15) , (16) In a study involving 56 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and muscular discomfort, ginger was effective in more than 75% of the patients. (17) Two-hundred and forty seven patients completed a study lasting 6-weeks evaluating the safety and effectiveness of 2 ginger species (Zingiber officinale and Alpinia galanga) in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The ginger extract group had greater response in reducing knee pain when standing as well as all other measures evaluated. More mild stomach and intestinal upset was experienced by the ginger group. It is important to note that the change in the overall quality of life was equal between the ginger and placebo group. (18) When compared to conventional anti-inflammatory agents, such as ibuprofen, a study found no significant advantage of using ginger root. (19) However, the potential for side-effects of NSAID medications should be taken into consideration, as ginger usage has reported fewer side-effects.

Other research has centered on ginger’s potential for support of the circulatory system. (20) The volatile oils in ginger are thought to dilate the blood vessels and stimulate blood flow while functioning as an anticoagulant. (21) Studies have described ginger’s use in prevention and treatment of migraine headaches, (22) its antioxidant activity, (23) , (24) , (25) and also ginger's antibacterial properties. (26) , (27) Ginger has also been known to stimulate certain digestive functions (28) and has the ability to lower cholesterol with an effect similar to that of the drug gemfibrozil. (29)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (30)

If you are planning to have any type of surgery or dental work, stop using this dietary supplement for at least 14 days prior to the procedure. (31)

Health Conditions

If you have a bleeding disorder, talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement. (32)

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. This dietary supplement may cause slight risk of stomach upset in individuals sensitive to this dietary supplement. (33) Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. (34) Yet limited information exists regarding the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Read More

  1) Cultivation

  2) Essential Oil

  3) South Africa Herbs

  4) Ayuverda

References

  1. View Abstract: Lien HC, Sun WM, Chen YH, Kim H, Hasler W, Owyang C. Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. Mar2003;284(3):G481-9.
  2. Mowry DB, et al. Motion Sickness, Ginger, and Psychophysics. Lancet. 1982;1(8273):655-67.
  3. View Abstract: Grontved A, et al. Ginger Root Against Seasickness. A Controlled Trial on the Open Sea. Acta Otolaryngol. 1988;105:45-49.
  4. View Abstract: Qian DS, et al. Pharmacologic Studies of Antimotion Sickness Actions of Ginger. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. 1992;12(2):95-98.
  5. View Abstract: Stewart JJ, et al. Effects of Ginger on Motion Sickness Susceptibility and Gastric Function. Pharmacology. 1991;42(2):111-20.
  6. View Abstract: Holtmann S, et al. The Anti-motion Sickness Mechanism of Ginger. A Comparative Study with Placebo and Dimenhydrinate. Acta Otolaryngol. 1989;108(3-4):168-74.
  7. View Abstract: Phillips S, et al. Zingiber officinale (Ginger)--An Antiemetic for Day Case Surgery. Anaesthesia. Aug1993;48(8):715-17.
  8. View Abstract: Meyer K, et al. Zingiber officinale (ginger) Used to Prevent 8-Mop Associated Nausea. Dermatol Nurs. Aug1995;7(4):242-44.
  9. Yamahara J, Rong HQ, Naitoh Y, et al. Inhibition of Cytotoxic Drug-induced Vomiting in Suncus by a Ginger Constituent. J Ethnopharmacol. Dec1989;27(3):353-5.
  10. View Abstract: Sharma SS, et al. Reversal of Cisplatin-induced Delay in Gastric Emptying in Rats by Ginger (Zingiber officinale). J Ethnopharmacol. Aug1998;62(1):49-55.
  11. View Abstract: Fischer-Rasmussen W, et al. Ginger Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1991;38(1):19-24.
  12. View Abstract: Vutyavanich T, Kraisarin T, Ruangsri R. Ginger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. Apr2001;97(4):577-82.
  13. View Abstract: Sripramote M, Lekhyananda N. A randomized comparison of ginger and vitamin B6 in the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai. Sep2003;86(9):846-53.
  14. View Abstract: Smith C, Crowther C, Willson K, Hotham N, McMillian V. A randomized controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. Apr2004;103(4):639-45.
  15. View Abstract: Sharma JN, Srivastava KC, Gan EK. Suppressive Effects of Eugenol and Ginger Oil on Arthritic Rats. Pharmacology. Nov1994;49(5):314-8.
  16. View Abstract: Wigler I, Grotto I, Caspi D, Yaron M. The effects of Zintona EC (a ginger extract) on symptomatic gonarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. Nov2003;11(11):783-9.
  17. View Abstract: Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in Rheumatism and Musculoskeletal Disorders. Med Hypotheses. Dec1992;39(4):342-8.
  18. View Abstract: Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. Nov2001;44(11):2531-8.
  19. View Abstract: Bliddal H, Rosetzsky A, Schlichting P, et al. A Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Cross-over Study of Ginger Extracts and Ibuprofen in Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. Jan2000;8(1):9-12.
  20. View Abstract: Suekawa M, et al. Pharmacological Studies on Ginger, I. Pharmacological Actions of Pungent Constitutents, (6)-gingerol and (6)-shogaol. J Pharmacobiodyn. 1984;7(11):836-48.
  21. View Abstract: Guh JH, et al. Antiplatelet Effect of Gingerol Isolated from Zingiber officinale. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1995;47(4):329-32.
  22. View Abstract: Mustafa T, Srivastava KC. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in Migraine Headache. J Ethnopharmacol. Jul1990;29(3):267-73.
  23. View Abstract: Sekiwa Y, Kubota K, Kobayashi A. Isolation of Novel Glucosides Related to Gingerdiol from Ginger and Their Antioxidative Activities. J Agric Food Chem. Feb2000;48(2):373-7.
  24. View Abstract: Ahmed RS, Seth V, Pasha ST, et al. Influence of Dietary Ginger (Zingiber officinales Rosc) on Oxidative Stress Induced by Malathion in Rats. Food Chem Toxicol. May2000;38(5):443-50.
  25. View Abstract: Shobana S, Naidu KA. Antioxidant Activity of Selected Indian Spices. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. Feb2000;62(2):107-10.
  26. Gugnani HC, Ezenwanze EC. Antibacterial Activity of Extracts of Ginger and African Oil Bean Seed. J Commun Dis. Sep1985;17(3):233-6.
  27. View Abstract: Chen HC, Chang MD, Chang TJ. Antibacterial Properties of Some Spice Plants Before and After Heat Treatment. Zhonghua Min Guo Wei Sheng Wu Ji Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi. Aug1985;18(3):190-5.
  28. View Abstract: Yamahara J, et al. Cholagogic Effect of Ginger and Its Active Constituents. J Ethnopharmacology. 1985; 13(2):217.
  29. View Abstract: Bhandari U, Sharma JN, Zafar R. The Protective Action of Ethanolic Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Extract in Cholesterol Fed Rabbits. J Ethnopharmacol. Jun1998;61(2):167-71.
  30. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press; 1996:135-37.
  31. Pribitkin ED. Herbal therapy: what every facial plastic surgeon must know. Arch Facial Plast Surg. Apr2001;3(2):127-32.
  32. View Abstract: Heck AM, et al. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm. Jul2000;57(13): 1221-7.
  33. View Abstract: Desai HG, Kalro RH, Choksi AP. Effect of ginger and garlic on DNA content of gastric aspirate. Ind J Med Res. Apr1990;92:139-41.
  34. View Abstract: Weidner MS, Sigwart K. Investigation of the Teratogenic Potential of a Zingiber officinale Extract in the Rat. Reprod Toxicol. Jan2001;15(1):75-80.