Ginger (zingiber officinale)

Biological properties of 6-gingerol: a brief review.

Abstract

Numerous studies have revealed that regular consumption of certain fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of many diseases. The rhizome of Zingiber officinale (ginger) is consumed worldwide as a spice and herbal medicine. It contains pungent phenolic substances collectively known as gingerols. 6-Gingerol is the major pharmacologically-active component of ginger. It is known to exhibit a variety of biological activities including anticancer, anti-inflammation, and anti-oxidation. 6-Gingerol has been found to possess anticancer activities via its effect on a variety of biological pathways involved in apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, cytotoxic activity, and inhibition of angiogenesis. Thus, due to its efficacy and regulation of multiple targets, as well as its safety for human use, 6-gingerol has received considerable interest as a potential therapeutic agent for the prevention and/or treatment of various diseases. Taken together, this review summarizes the various in vitro and in vivo pharmacological aspects of 6-gingerol and the underlying mechanisms. READ MORE

The Amazing and Mighty Ginger

7.2. HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF GINGER

Ginger is a member of a plant family that includes cardamom and turmeric. Its spicy aroma is mainly due to presence of ketones, especially the gingerols, which appear to be the primary component of ginger studied in much of the health-related scientific research. The rhizome, which is the horizontal stem from which the roots grow, is the main portion of ginger that is consumed. Ginger’s current name comes from the Middle English gingivere, but this spice dates back over 3000 years to the Sanskrit word srngaveram, meaning “horn root,” based on its appearance. In Greek, it was called ziggiberis, and in Latin, zinziberi. Interestingly, ginger does not grow in the wild and its actual origins are uncertain.

Indians and Chinese are believed to have produced ginger as a tonic root for over 5000 years to treat many ailments, and this plant is now cultivated throughout the humid tropics, with India being the largest producer. Ginger was used as a flavoring agent long before history was formally recorded. It was an exceedingly important article of trade and was exported from India to the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, where it was especially valued for its medicinal properties. Ginger continued to be a highly sought after commodity in Europe even after the fall of the Roman Empire, with Arab merchants controlling the trade in ginger and other spices for centuries. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the value of a pound of ginger was equivalent to the cost of a sheep. By medieval times, it was being imported in preserved form to be used in sweets. Queen Elizabeth I of England is credited with the invention of the gingerbread man, which became a popular Christmas treat.

7.6. HEALTH EFFECTS: THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

Because ginger and its metabolites appear to accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, the consistent observations of ginger exerting many of its effects in this area are not surprising. Ginger has been purported to exert a variety of powerful therapeutic and preventive effects and has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of hundreds of ailments from colds to cancer. Like many medicinal herbs, much of the information has been handed down by word of mouth with little controlled scientific evidence to support the numerous claims. However, in the last few years, more organized scientific investigations have focused on the mechanisms and targets of ginger and its various components. In Sections 7.6.1 through 7.6.5, the evidence for the effectiveness of ginger as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, antinausea compound, and anticancer agent as well as the protective effect of ginger against other disease conditions are reviewed (Figure 7.2).

FIGURE 7.2. The variety of protective effects wielded by ginger.

FIGURE 7.2

The variety of protective effects wielded by ginger.

Summary

Here are all the amazing and proven healing properties of Ginger:

  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • anti-nausea
  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • antiemetic
  • anticarcinogenic
  • lymphoma
  • hepatoma
  • colorectal cancer
  • breast cancer
  • skin cancer
  • liver cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • cardiovascular & other disease preventive effects

Supporting Data

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