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Abstract

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a common kitchen spice that belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. It is rich in phytochemistry that is promoting health benefits. It is used as a home remedy to support the common cold, headaches, and pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiemetic, antiulcer, and anti-cancer, antiplatelet, anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering activities. Gingerols are key ingredients found in ginger that convert into zingerone, shogaol, and parasols, giving flavor and odor. Zingerone and shogaol are present in limited quantities in fresh ginger and more in dried or extracted goods. Especially 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol are pharmacological properties that are effective in antipyretic, analgesic, and hypotensive. The present review is about different therapeutic properties of ginger, including antioxidant properties, anti-diabetic properties, anti-cancer properties etc.
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*Corresponding author: E-mail: zrazad@jamiahamdard.ac.in;
Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International
33(29B): 9-16, 2021; Article no.JPRI.67538
ISSN: 2456-9119
(Past name: British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Past ISSN: 2231-2919,
NLM ID: 101631759)
Therapeutic Role of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) - A
Review
Tahreem Kausar
1
, Sadaf Anwar
2
, Entesar Hanan
1
, Mifftha Yaseen
1
,
Shimaa M. H. Aboelnaga
3
and Z. R. Azaz Ahmad Azad
1,4*
1
Department of Food Technology, SIST (School of Interdisciplinary Sciences and Technology),
Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 110062, India.
2
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Ha’il, Ha’il 2440, Saudi Arabia.
3
Deanship of Preparatory Year, University of Hail, Ha’il, KSA.
4
Department of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202001,
India.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration among all authors. Author TK designed the study and wrote
the first draft of the manuscript. Authors SA, EH and MY performed critical revision of manuscript.
Authors SMHA and ZRAAA managed the literature searches. All authors read and approved the final
manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/JPRI/2021/v33i29B31584
Editor(s):
(1) Dr. Syed A. A. Rizvi, Nova Southeastern University, USA.
Reviewers:
(1) Piyanut Thongphasuk, Rangsit University, Thailand.
(2) Ashutosh Kumar Yadav, SGGS College of Pharmacy and Research Centre, India.
Complete Peer review History:
http://www.sdiarticle4.com/review-history/67538
Received 10 March 2021
Accepted 14 May 2021
Published 24 May 2021
ABSTRACT
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a common kitchen spice that belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. It is
rich in phytochemistry that is promoting health benefits. It is used as a home remedy to support the
common cold, headaches, and pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,
antiemetic, antiulcer, and anti-cancer, antiplatelet, anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering activities.
Gingerols are key ingredients found in ginger that convert into zingerone, shogaol, and parasols,
giving flavor and odor. Zingerone and shogaol are present in limited quantities in fresh ginger and
more in dried or extracted goods. Especially 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol are pharmacological
properties that are effective in antipyretic, analgesic, and hypotensive. The present review is about
different therapeutic properties of ginger, including antioxidant properties, anti-diabetic properties,
anti-cancer properties etc.
Mini-review Article
Kausar et al.; JPRI, 33(29B): 9-16, 2021; Article no.JPRI.67538
10
Keywords: Ginger; anti-diabetic; antioxidant properties; anti-cancer; anti-inflammatory.
1. INTRODUCTION
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome belongs to
the family Zingiberaceae widely used as an
important cooking spice for various food and
beverages around the world, specifically in the
Southern Eastern Asian countries, Central, South
Africa and United States of America [1]. Ginger
rhizome's flesh can be white, yellow, and red in
color, depend upon its variety. It’s cover either be
thick or thin brown skin, depending upon the
harvesting when it was a young and mature
plant. In India and China, fresh ginger use as a
flavoring agent in beverages and the preparation
of vegetables and meat products [2]. Usually,
ginger is consumed as a fresh paste and dried
powder. In traditional medicine, the rhizome was
used for the treatment of some diseases,
including inflammatory disease, and proven
various pharmacological activities such as
antiemetic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory,
antioxidant, antiplatelet, glucose and lipid-
lowering, cardiovascular, anti-microbial,
gastroprotective, respiratory protection and
neuro-protection effects and anti-cancer activities
[3-5]. It is also believed to support the common
cold, headaches and even helpful in menstrual
periods. Ayurveda practitioners commend ginger
as a powerful digestive aid; it stimulates the
appetite and clears the body’s micro-circulatory
channels. It also helps to improve the digestion
and transportation of nutrients to targeted body
tissues. Furthermore, it is also used as a remedy
for joint pain, nausea and motion sickness
[6,7].
The volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds
found in ginger rhizome, such as shogaols,
zingerone, and gingerols, contribute to the taste
and odor of the plant [8]. Volatiles and non-
volatiles are two broad categories for fresh
ginger. Sesquiterpene and monoterpenoid
hydrocarbons, which give ginger its distinct
aroma and flavor, were among the volatiles.
Gingerols, shogaols, parasols, and zingerone are
examples of non-volatile pungent compounds[8].
The major compounds found in ginger are
gingerols that are converted into shogaol,
zingerone, and parasol and give characteristic
flavor and odor. Shogaol and zingerone are
found in small quantities in fresh ginger and large
quantity in-store products [9]. 6-gingerol and 6-
shogaol have pharmacological activities,
including antipyretic, analgesic, antitussive and
hypotensive effects [10, 11].
Ginger uses for the treatment of many diseases,
including degenerative disorders (arthritis and
rheumatism), gastrointestinal health (indigestion,
constipation, and ulcer), cardiovascular disorders
(atherosclerosis and hypertension), vomiting,
diabetes mellitus, and cancer [6,12]. It also has
the potential for anti-inflammatory and anti-
oxidative properties for controlling the ageing
process. It has anti-microbial properties that can
help treat infectious diseases [10,13-15].
Ginger has remarkable health-promoting
properties; therefore, various pharmacological
research has been conducted in recent years.
Therefore, in this review, we outlined zinger's
beneficial health properties, as well as the
bioactivities of its components and the potential
pathways of its key elements.
2. THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF GINGER
The therapeutic effect of Ginger is explained
below and summarized in Table 1 and Fig. 1.
2.1 Antioxidant Effect
In rats, ginger consumption reduces lipid
peroxidation and restores the activities of
superoxide dismutase and catalase, glutathione,
and glutathione reductase, and glutathione
peroxidase glutathione-S-transferase [16]. Before
ischemia, supplementation of ginger resulted in a
higher total antioxidant capacity that regularized
glutathione peroxidase and superoxide
dismutase activities and low total oxidants levels
(lower tissue malondialdehyde, NO, and protein
carbonyl contents) in comparison to an untreated
group of Wistar albino rats. Overall experience
fed of ginger (5%) show less kidney damage due
to oxidative stress induced by ischemia [17].
The phytochemistry-rich ginger contains
scavenges free radicals components that are
produced in biological systems. For energy
production generated during the process of
oxidation, some free radicals are essential [18].
Increases in the production of free radicals show
oxidative stress that can lead to damage to DNA
[19].
2.2 Anti-Nausea Effect
Throughout history, ginger is commonly utilized
for relieving nausea and vomiting. It is also an
antiemetic; it is attributed as a carminative effect
that helps break up and expel intestinal gas.
Researchers compared the effectiveness of
Kausar et al.; JPRI, 33(29B): 9-16, 2021; Article no.JPRI.67538
11
ginger and Vitamin B6 and reported that they
were equally effective for reducing nausea and
limit vomiting episodes during pregnancy
[20,21].
2.3 Anti-Inflammatory Effects
In ancient herbs used to support the body's
immune response, ginger has the capacity to
reduce inflammation, swelling, and discomfort.
Ginger and its derivatives are used in many
countries to boost the immune system. Several
studies that evaluate the effectiveness of ginger
in patients suffering from osteoarthritis have
controversial results. The study showed the
extract of ginger has a significant effect on
dropping osteoarthritis symptoms [22]. 6-Shogaol
has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
effects used as a therapeutic agent in gout as a
rheumatic disease of joints [23]. Several
researchers were reported that 6-gingerol extract
of dried ginger has exhibit analgesic and potent
anti-inflammatory effects [24,25]. Ginger is
effective for the treatment of patients suffering
from hypoalgesia. These researchers studied 36
participants for curing muscle pain using ginger
supplementation for 11 days. They attested that
the daily consumption of raw and heat-treated
ginger resulted in moderate-to-large declines in
muscle pain [26]. In addition, ginger has an anti-
microbial quality, which helps in the treatment of
infectious diseases. It produces free radicals or
reactive oxygen species (ROS) during
metabolism further than the antioxidant capacity
of a biological system resulting in oxidative stress
that plays a vital role in neurodegenerative
diseases, cardiac diseases, cancer, and the
aging process [27]. Inflammatory disorders like
gastritis, esophagitis, and hepatitis, not only
caused by infectious agents such as viruses,
bacteria, and parasites sometimes affected by
physical and chemical agents like heat, acid,
cigarette smoke, and foreign bodies, which are
recognized as risk factors for human cancer
[28,29].
2.4 Cardiovascular Effect
Ginger's antiarrhythmic activity is one of its most
significant effects. The studies show the effect of
ginger on blood lipids in both animals and
humans. The results show that ginger
significantly decreases plasma cholesterol in
animals, but not in patients who are suffering
from any heart disease such as coronary artery
disease. Research shows ginger has exhibit
antithrombotic activity, in vitro study, its extract
inhibits platelet aggregation and thromboxane-B2
(TXB2) production. Furthermore, gingerdione
and shogaol also inhibit the formation of 5-
hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and
prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) from arachidonic acid,
gingerol and dehydroparadol favored the
inhibition of cyclooxygenase. Ginger is used as
antiplatelet therapy, and it prevents coronary
heart disease [30]. In this approach, ginger has
less potent than aspirin, but in contrast, it has
lesser side effects than aspirin. The function of
aspirin is inhibiting arachidonic acid-induced
platelet release and aggregation and COX
activity; ginger also works as same as the
mechanism of action. So suggested that the
development of effective gingerol analogs has
been used as a substitute for aspirin therapy to
prevent ischemic heart disease [31,32].
2.5 Anti-Cancer Effect
Ginger act as a chemo-preventive spice,
numerous researches focused on the ginger and
its various bioactive compound have cancer-
preventive and potential cancer therapeutic
application [33,34]. Ingredients like 6-gingerol,6-
shogaol, 6-paradol, and zerumbone in ginger
reveal anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic
activities. The ginger effect in preventing or
defeating cancer growth has been studied in a
variety of cancer types, including lymphoma,
hepatoma, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, skin
cancer, liver cancer, and bladder cancer [35].
Researchers believe that ginger's efficacy stems
from its ability to suppress prostaglandin and
leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting the enzyme
arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase's biosynthesis.
Gingerol inhibits LTA4H activity in HCT116
colorectal cancer cells and suppresses
anchorage-independent cancer cell development
by binding to LTA4H (leukotriene A4 hydrolase),
which has been identified as a promising target
therapy for cancer treatment. Gingerol effectivity
was found in the experiment to stop the tumor
growth, which was done In vivo in nude mice, an
effect that was mediated by the inhibition of
LTA4H activity. Prevention of colorectal cancer
are the first results that identify a direct target of
6-gingerol by inhibiting LTA4H to explain its anti-
cancer activity [36].
Extract of ginger has been revealed to have
antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor
effects on cells. The researcher examined the
anti-cancer effects of a variety of compounds,
including 6-gingerol, epigallocatechin gallate
(EGCG), asiaticoside (AS), and tocotrienol-rich
fraction (TRF) vitamin E. EGCG+6
triggered apoptosis synergistically and blocked
the development of cancer cells 1321N1 and
LN18 glioma [37]
. Other researchers
investigated the effectiveness of
ginger against
1, 2 dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-
induced colon
cancer. They observed that the supplementation
of ginger could activate various enzymes such as
glutathione peroxidase, glutathione
transferase, and glutathione reductase that
suppress colon carc
inogenesis
Administered zerumbone orally in mouse models
Fig. 1. Therapeutic properties of ginger
Table 1.
Major effect
Effective treatment in rheumatoid arthritis
Significantly reduce migraine attacks.
Relieve moderate to mild nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Effective for Chemotherapy-
induced vomiting and nausea
Anti-
diabetic and Cardiovascular effect
Effective in knee osteoarthritis
patients
Significantly improves breast milk volume
Effective for weight loss
Helpful to maintain the blood glucose level
Significantly reduced the frequency of vomiting and nausea during chemotherapy.
Recover the muscle
strength after intense exercise, no effect on muscle damage or
delayed onset muscle soreness
Significantly reduced menstrual blood loss
Kausar et al.; JPRI, 33(29B): 9-16, 2021
; Article no.
12
fraction (TRF) vitamin E. EGCG+6
-gingerol
triggered apoptosis synergistically and blocked
the development of cancer cells 1321N1 and
. Other researchers
[38]
ginger against
induced colon
cancer. They observed that the supplementation
of ginger could activate various enzymes such as
glutathione peroxidase, glutathione
-S-
transferase, and glutathione reductase that
inogenesis
[39].
Administered zerumbone orally in mouse models
and observed inhibition in the multiplicity of
colonic adenocarcinomas through suppression of
colonic inflammation in a dose
manner. The mechanism of that includes
inhibition of proli
feration, induction of apoptosis,
and suppression of NF-
κB and hemeoxygenase
(HO)-
1 expression. In gastric cancer, the Tumor
necrosis factor-related apoptosis-
inducing ligand
(TRAIL) plays a major role in promoting
apoptosis. The Cascades of caspase protei
activate by ginger and its functional components
[40].
Fig. 1. Therapeutic properties of ginger
Table 1.
The therapeutic effect of ginger
Effective treatment in rheumatoid arthritis
Significantly reduce migraine attacks.
Relieve moderate to mild nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
induced vomiting and nausea
diabetic and Cardiovascular effect
patients
Significantly improves breast milk volume
Helpful to maintain the blood glucose level
Significantly reduced the frequency of vomiting and nausea during chemotherapy.
strength after intense exercise, no effect on muscle damage or
Significantly reduced menstrual blood loss
; Article no.
JPRI.67538
and observed inhibition in the multiplicity of
colonic adenocarcinomas through suppression of
colonic inflammation in a dose
-dependent
manner. The mechanism of that includes
feration, induction of apoptosis,
κB and hemeoxygenase
1 expression. In gastric cancer, the Tumor
inducing ligand
(TRAIL) plays a major role in promoting
apoptosis. The Cascades of caspase protei
ns
activate by ginger and its functional components
Reference
[47]
[48]
[21]
[49]
[31]
[50]
[51]
[52]
[53]
[54]
[55]
[56]
Kausar et al.; JPRI, 33(29B): 9-16, 2021; Article no.JPRI.67538
13
2.6 Anti-Diabetic Effect
In diabetes, many studies show that ginger and
other plants have effective both preventively and
therapeutically [41]. In Australia, the University of
Sydney found ginger was effective in glycemic
control for people with type 2 diabetes. A study
showed that ginger extracts could increase the
uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using
insulin; hence, it may help control high blood
sugar levels. Another clinical trial in diabetic
patients that consumed three grams of dry ginger
for 30 days shows that blood glucose,
triglyceride, and total and LDL cholesterol levels
significantly reduced [42-43]. A study of ethanolic
extract of Zingiber officinale fed orally for 20 days
produced a significant anti-hyperglycaemic effect
(P < 0.01) in diabetic rats. Furthermore, in high-
fat diets, the ethanolic extract of ginger was
found to reduce body weights, total cholesterol,
LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids,
glucose, insulin and phospholipids [44]. Overall,
ginger works on diabetes by increasing insulin
release and sensitivity, inhibiting carbohydrate
metabolism enzymes and improving lipid profiles.
Ginger has a very low glycemic index (GI), which
means it gradually breaks down to shape
glucose and thus does not raise blood sugar
levels as high GI foods do. Some other
investigations established ginger has a
preventive effect against diabetes complications.
Ginger can also protect a diabetic’s liver,
kidneys, and central nervous system and reduce
the risk of cataracts – a common side-effect of
the disease [42,45,46].
3. CONCLUSION
Ginger is well known as a condiment and spices
used for flavoring food and also its use as a
therapeutic purpose from a thousand years ago.
Ginger and its bioactive components include
gingerols, shogaol, and paradols are
active/valuable ingredients which use as a novel
therapeutic strategy against various degenerative
diseases. This review appreciated natural
products drugs (ginger), have beneficial effects
for cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus,
and gastrointestinal health, and have anti-
inflammatory and antibacterial effects. The
application of ginger is safe and promising health
benefits in the past as well as the future.
CONSENT
Not applicable.
ETHICAL APPROVAL
Not applicable.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Authors have declared that no competing
interests exist.
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© 2021 Kausar et al.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
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provided the original work is properly cited.
Peer-review history:
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... These medicinal benefits are a result of a variety of phytochemicals. The most famous bioactive compounds in ginger include gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, paradols, and β-bisabolene (Kausar et al., 2021). ...
... Gingerols, shogaols, paradols, zingerone, gingerdiones, and gingerdiols represent the nonvolatile pungent compounds, among which gingerols are the predominant compounds in ginger. Gingerols can be further converted into shogaols, paradols, and zingerone, which result in a unique flavor (Kausar et al. 2021). As the most pharmacologically bioactive compound in ginger, 6-gingerol is the main compound in fresh ginger, which has been used to cure many common diseases, such as colds, flu, nausea, arthritis, asthma, and gastrointestinal disorders (Alam, Hussain, and Pati 2020;de Lima et al. 2018). ...
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