Ginger Pharmacognostic Features

Part used of Ginger: Roots and Rhizomes

Habitat: Indigenous to tropical areas such as Asia (India and China), West Africa, Jamaica.
Chemical constituents: An oily liquid comprising of homomlogous phenols called gingerol (cardiotonic compounds) accounts for the pungency as well as the pharmcological activity of ginger. 

Apart from the gingerols ginger constitutes of 50-70% carbohydrates present as starch, 3-8% lipids which includes free fatty acids like linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, oleic, capric, lauric and myristic, triglycerides and lecithins. The resinous matter constitutes 5-8% and volatile oil around 1-2% of the constituents in ginger. The aroma of ginger is mainly due to oil of ginger which contains a mixture of over 50 constituents. Volatile oils consist mainly of the sesiquiterpenes (β-besabolene and zingiberene), monoterpenes (β-phelandrene, cineol, borneol, citral) and the sesquiterpene alcohol zingiberol.

Pharmacological action of ginger in RA:

Ginger contains gingerols which are potent phytonutrients to fight against inflammation. These phytonutrients thus help in relieving pain and inflammation in case of arthritis. Ginger extract has been found to reduce production of a number of cytokines and leukotrienes in the body. These chemical agents are responsible for eliciting an immune response in the body.

Reading: Punica Granatum

The levels of IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-6, TNF-alpha and anti-CII antibodies were also found to be lowered in the serum thus indicating lowering of inflammatory responses in the model organisms.

Also ginger contains salicylate which gets converted into salicylic acid inside the body. Salicylic acid has been known for the prevention of production of prostaglandins which in turn responsible for causing pain and discomfort.

Just like the commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, ginger too inhibits the activity of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes which play a pivotal role in the production of pro-inflammatory factors. Few studies have even revealed that ginger suppresses the expression of several genes responsible for causing inflammation.

Study also showed that ginger could suppress leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase.

Ginger USES

Reading: Industrial Pharmacy Semisolids

  • Ginger is used as anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive and proved to be effective in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It is also act as antiviral, antibacterial and helps to prevent cancer of colon, intestine and ovaries
  • Act as appetizer, stimulant, against abdominal pain and motion sickness
  • Act as an expectorant in relieving asthma, cough and tuberculosis.

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