known as: African Ginger,
Black Ginger, Gan Jiang.
Scientific name: Zingiber
Botanical Family: Zingiberaceae.
Part used: The parts of ginger used medicinally
are the rhizome (root-like stem) and root.
Ginger is used for: motion sickness, morning sickness, colic,
dyspepsia, flatulence, chemotherapy-induced nausea, rheumatoid
arthritis, osteoarthritis, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
following surgery, and migraine headaches. It is also used for
upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, for the
promotion of sweating, as a circulatory stimulant and for
treating stomach-ache, diarrhea and nausea for any reason.
Ginger is commonly used as a flavoring agent in foods and
There are no concerns regarding safety when used appropriately.
Ginger has been safely used in several clinical
Pregnancy: There are no concerns regarding
safety. Studies in pregnant women suggest that ginger can be used
safely and effectively for morning sickness without harm to the
fetus. As with any medication given during pregnancy, the
potential benefit to risk must be weighed. See dose guidelines
for use in pregnancy.
Breastfeeding: There are no problems with food
levels of ginger in the diet. No scientific studies have been
undertaken on therapeutic doses. All herbs and spices cross into
breastmilk so only use therapeutic doses of ginger if there is a
clinical indication that warrants therapy, weighing up relative
risks and benefits of using the herb.
Volatile oil; predominantly hydrocarbons including zingiberene,
ar-curcumene and bisabolene.
Pungent principles; a mixture of phenolic compounds with carbon
side chains. These are referred to as gingerols, gingerdiols,
gingerdiones, dihydrogingerdiones and shaogaols. The shaogoals
are formed during the drying process and are twice as pungent as
the gingerols. Hence the dried ginger is more pungent than the
Oleoresin; including gingerol homologues including derivatives
with a methyl sidechain.
Starch, proteins (amino acids including arginine) and fat.
Vitamins; including niacin, and vitamin A.
Morning sickness. Taking ginger orally seems to
reduce the severity of nausea and vomiting with morning sickness.
Ginger seems to be more effective than placebo and comparable to
vitamin B6. (1,4,10,14,15,16)
Vertigo. Taking 1 gram of ginger orally seems to
reduce symptoms of vertigo, including nausea.(9)
Osteoarthritis. Severalstudies have shown
evidence of symptom relief as effective as ibuprofen and
diclofenac (NSAIDs). One study showed benefit after twelve weeks
of treatment. (5,6,7,23,24,25)
Muscle Soreness. One study showed reduction in
muscle soreness in women. (26)
Painful periods. Two recent clinical trials in
women demonstrated that ginger for 3 days from the start of
their menstrual period was as effective as mefenamic acid
(Ponstan) and ibuprofen (Nurafen) and placebo in relieving period
Migraine headache. Anecdotal evidence suggests
that ginger might reduce the severity and duration of migraine
Mechanism of action.
Active constituents of ginger include gingerol, gingerdione,
shogaol, and sesquiterpene and monoterpene volatile
oils.(17,18) The chemical constituents of ginger vary
among fresh, semi-dry, and dry forms of ginger.(17)
Ginger has a variety of pharmacological properties including;
lowering fever, analgesia, cough inhibition, anti-inflammatory,
sedative, antibiotic, weak antifungal, and other
The mechanism by which ginger reduces nausea and vomiting might
be due to the 6-gingerol constituent.(20) Other ginger
constituents such as 6-shogaol and galanolactone seem to act on
serotonin (a chemical transmitter in the nervous system,
especially in the brain and gut) receptors.(20)
Galanolactone seems to act primarily on serotonin receptors in
the small intestine. Ginger has been shown to possess free
radical scavenging, antioxidant, inhibition of lipid peroxidation
and that these properties might have contributed to the observed
Ginger is sometimes used for inflammatory conditions such as
osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Some researchers
speculate that certain constituents of ginger might inhibit
pro-inflammatory enzymes.(21) Compounds found in
ginger are capable of inhibiting PGE-2 production and that the
compounds may act at several sites.(29)
Ginger is usually well tolerated when used in usual doses.
Interactions with herbs and
Interactions with drugs.
Interaction with warfarin is generally cautioned. However a study
showed that in healthy subjects there was no alteration in the
metabolism of warfarin.(30,31) Undertake weekly
monitoring for one month as an additional precaution.
Interactions with foods.
Interactions with laboratory
Recommended dose: 1.5-6mls per day 1:5 tincture 70% alcohol.
Or for a stronger 1:2 tincture 90% alcohol the dose is from
0.25-0.5ml per day.
Decoction: range from tsps. per day.
Powder/capsule: range from 0.75-3gms per day.
Oral: For morning sickness, 250 mg ginger 4 times daily, or 500
mg twice daily, has been used. (1,4,12,18) A higher
dose of 650 mg 3 times daily has also been used.(16)
It may take 3-4 days of regular use to be effective. For motion
sickness, 1 gram of dried powdered ginger root 30 minutes to 4
hours before travel has been used.(8,22)
2. Phillips S, Ruggier R, Hutchinson SE. Zingiber
officinale (ginger)-an antiemetic for day case surgery.
3. Bone ME, Wilkinson DJ, Young JR, et al. Ginger root-a
new antiemetic. The effect of ginger root on postoperative nausea
and vomiting after major gynaecological surgery. Anaesthesia
4. Vutyavanich T, Kraisarin T, Ruangsri R. Ginger for
nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked,
placebo-controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 2001;97:577-82.
5. Bliddal H, Rosetzsky A, Schlichting P, et al. A
randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of ginger
extracts and ibuprofen in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis
6. Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of ginger extract on
knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum
7. Marcus DM, Suarez-Almazor ME. Is there a role for ginger
in the treatment of osteoarthritis? Arthritis Rheum
8. Grontved A, Brask T, Kambskard J, Hentzer E. Ginger root
against seasickness: a controlled trial on the open sea. Acta
9. Grontved A, Hentzer E. Vertigo-reducing effect of ginger
root. A controlled clinical study. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat
10. Portnoi G, Chng LA, Karimi-Tabesh L, et al. Prospective
comparative study of the safety and effectiveness of ginger for
the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Am J Obstet
11. Wigler I, Grotto I, Caspi D, Yaron M. The effects of
Zintona EC (a ginger extract) on symptomatic gonarthritis.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2003;11:783-9.
12. Smith C, Crowther C, Wilson K et al. A randomized
controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in
pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 2004;103:639-45.
13. Manusirivithaya S, Sripramote M, Tangjitgamol S, et al.
Antiemetic effect of ginger in gynecologic oncology patients
receiving cisplatin. Int J Gynecol Cancer 2004;14:1063-9.
14. Jewell D, Young G. Interventions for nausea and
vomiting in early pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev
15. Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, et al. Effectiveness
and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea
and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol 2005;105:849-56.
16. Chittumma P, Kaewkiattikun K, Wiriyasiriwach B.
Comparison of the effectiveness of ginger and vitamin B6 for
treatment of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized
double-blind controlled trial. J Med Assoc Thai 2007;90:15-20.
17. Suekawa M, Ishige A, Yuasa K, et al. Pharmacological
studies on ginger. I. Pharmacological actions of pungent
constitutents, (6)-gingerol and (6)-shogaol. J Pharmacobiodyn
18. Pongrojpaw D, Somprasit C, Chanthasenanont A. A
randomized comparison of ginger and dimenhydrinate in the
treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai
19. Langner E, Greifenberg S, Gruenwald J. Ginger: history
and use. Adv Ther 1998;15:25-44.
20. Lumb AB. Mechanism of antiemetic effect of ginger.
21. Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Al-Sawan SM, et al. The use of
ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential
anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent. Prostaglandins Leukot
Essent Fatty Acids 2002;67:475-8.
22. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and
vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J
24. Haghighi M, Khalva A, Toliat T, Jallaei S. Comparing the
effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract and ibuprofen on
patients with osteoarthritis. Arch Iran Med 2005;8:267-71.
25. Drozdov VN, Kim VA, Tkachenko EV, Varvanina GG. Influence of
a specific ginger combination on gastropathy conditions in
patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip.
J Alt Compl Med 2012;18:583-8.
26. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S11-5.
Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and
muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes.
31. Badreldin H. Ali,Gerald Blunden, Musbah O. Tanira, Abderrahim
Nemmar. Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological
properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): A review of
recent research. Food and