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What is Ginger? (Also Known as Zingiber officinale)

Ginger has been cultivated for thousands of years and is one of the most widely used spices and condiments in the world. The rhizomes or the root of the ginger plant is the part most commonly used in food and medicine10. The plant has been widely used in Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibb-Unani herbal medicines all over the world1, 2. It is a complex mixture of pharmacological compounds containing several hundred known constituents, including gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin, and salicylate3.

Where Does Ginger Come From?

Ginger or Zingiber officinale is a member of the Zingiberaceae plant family, native to southern Asia, consisting of 49 genera and 1,300 species, 80–90 of which are Zingiber4.

Ginger Benefits

Various studies and reviews over the years have suggested that ginger  possesses anti-emetic12, anti-inflammatory13, and anti-cancer activity14. Moreover, several of ginger’s chemical constituents, have demonstrated anti-inflammatory actions in vitro6–9.

Ginger has a long history of use in ancient medicine, with Greek, Roman, Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and Arabic systems of alternative medicine all having a history of use11. Documented traditional uses of ginger include treating the common cold, headaches, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea, help digestion, treat arthritis, rheumatological conditions, muscular discomfort, and as a carminative and antiflatulent11.

Negative Side Effects of Ginger

Some minor adverse effects have been associated with the use of ginger in humans. In one clinical trial that involved 12 healthy volunteers who received ginger orally at a dose of 400 mg of ginger (3 times per day for two week), one subject in the study reported mild diarrhea during the first 2 days of ginger pre-treatment. Ginger may cause heartburn, and in doses higher than 6 g may act as a gastric irritant. Inhalation of dust from ginger may produce IGE-mediated allergy15.

Ginger Recommended Dosages & Timing

Ginger is most commonly supplemented anywhere between 100mg and 2000mg per day.

Ginger Supplements

Ginger is often sold on its own as an aid for nausea etc. Ginger is sometimes included in thermogenic weight loss formulas as well.

Stacking Ginger

Ginger is not commonly stacked with other ingredients.

Ginger Root Safety

Ginger is generally considered a safe herbal medicine16.

 

1. Ali B, et al. Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): A review of recent research. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46:409–420.
2. Awang D. Ginger. Can Pharm J. 1992;125:309–11.
3. Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001;44(11):2531–2538.
4. Terry R, et al. The Use of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for the treatment of pain: A systematic review of clinical trials. Pain Medicine. 2011;12:1808-1818.
5. Ernst E, Pittler M. Alternative therapy bias. Nature. 1997;385(6616):480.
6.
Iwaskai Y, Morita A, Iwasawa T, et al. A nonpungent component of steamed ginger—(10) shogaol— increases adrenaline secretion via the activation of TRPV1. Nutr Neurosci. 2006;9:169–78.

7. Jana U, Chattiopadhayay R, Shaw B. Preliminary studies on anti-inflammatory activity of Zingiber officinale Rosc., Vitex negundo Linn., and Tinospora cordifolia (Widdid) miers in albino rats. Indian J Pharmacol. 1993;31:232–3.
8. Kiuchi F, Iwakami S, Shibuya M, Hanaoka F, Sandaw U. Inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis by gingerols and diarylheptanoids. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1992;40:387–91.
9. Lanz R, Chen G, Sarihan M, et al. The effect of extracts from ginger rhizome on inflammatory mediator production. Phytomedicine. 2007;14:123–128.
10. Park EJ and Pezzuto JM. Botanicals in cancer chemoprevention. Cancer Met Review.2002; 21:231–255.
11.Baliga MS, et al. Update on the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its phytochemicals. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011;51(6):499-523.
12. Chaiyakunapruk N, et al. The efficacy of ginger for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting: a meta-analysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006;194:95–99.
13. Grzanna R, et al. Ginger – an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. J Med Food. 2005;8:125–132.
14. Shukla Y &Singh M. Cancer preventive properties of ginger: a brief review. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45:683–690.
15. Chrubasik S, Pittler MH, Roufogalis BD. Zingiberis rhizoma: a comprehensive review on the ginger effect and efficacy profiles. Phytomedicine. 2005;12:684–701.
16. Weidner MS, Sigwart K. The safety of a ginger extract in the rat. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;73:513–520.

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