Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): a review of recent research.

Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 35, Al Khod 123, Oman.
Food and Chemical Toxicology (Impact Factor: 2.61). 03/2008; 46(2):409-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.09.085
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberacae) is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibb-Unani herbal medicines all over the world, since antiquity, for a wide array of unrelated ailments that include arthritis, rheumatism, sprains, muscular aches, pains, sore throats, cramps, constipation, indigestion, vomiting, hypertension, dementia, fever, infectious diseases and helminthiasis. Currently, there is a renewed interest in ginger, and several scientific investigations aimed at isolation and identification of active constituents of ginger, scientific verification of its pharmacological actions and of its constituents, and verification of the basis of the use of ginger in some of several diseases and conditions. This article aims at reviewing the most salient recent reports on these investigations. The main pharmacological actions of ginger and compounds isolated therefrom include immuno-modulatory, anti-tumorigenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-lipidemic and anti-emetic actions. Ginger is a strong anti-oxidant substance and may either mitigate or prevent generation of free radicals. It is considered a safe herbal medicine with only few and insignificant adverse/side effects. More studies are required in animals and humans on the kinetics of ginger and its constituents and on the effects of their consumption over a long period of time.

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    ABSTRACT: Zingiber officinale is used in African traditional medicine to treat diabetes mellitus. Oxidative stress and inflammation are associated with the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and its complications. This investigation tested the hypothesis that extracts of Zingiber officinale inhibit oxidative stress and inflammation by enhancing antioxidant enzymes and TNF-α activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Wistar rats were randomly divided into groups (n=6) receiving different oral treatments consisting of vehicle, aqueous ginger extract (250 and 500 mg/kg), ethanol ginger extract (250 and 500 mg). The effect of Z. officinale was assessed in the STZ-induced diabetic rats after 6-week treatment on blood glucose; oxidative stress (using MDA level, SOD, CAT and GSH activities); and inflammation (using TNF-α). Both extracts of Z. officinale increased the intracellular activities of SOD, CAT and GSH. The extracts however caused a significant decrease in the MDA and inflammatory TNF-α level. These data indicate that mechanism of antidiabetic effects of ginger may be in part, due to inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory activity.
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