Chinese Name: Gan jiang
Medical Name: Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens
Latin Name: Zingiber officinale Rosc of family Zingiberaceae
Origin: Rhizome, sundried
Taste: Pungent and warm (dried variety is hot)

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN-NONG: "Treats tightness in the chest, coughing or dyspnea caused by abnormal rising of lung-qi, diarrhea and dysentery by warming the spleen and stomach, arresting bleeding, inducing diaphoresis and relieving arthralgia due to wind-dampness. The raw herb is especially good."

THE COMPENDIUM OF MATERIA MEDICA: "Dried ginger... has four functions: firstly, it activates heart-yang; secondly, it removes deep and stubborn cold from the zang-organs and fu-organs; thirdly, it expels cold-qi from the channels; fourthly, it treats abdominal pain due to the effects of cold."

A REALISTIC APPROACH TO HERBS: "Being very hot and non-toxic, the potency of the dried ginger remains at a fixed position without any movement. This herb will have immediate effects in recovering depleted yang if used together with monkshood root (Radix Aconiti Praeparata) in the treatment of deficiency-cold in the stomach and the threatened exhaustion of primordial yang. Therefore, the medical books state that monkshood root will not be hot without ginger."

Western Research

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Feb 13
Inhibition of gastric H(+),K(+)-ATPase and Helicobacter pylori growth by phenolic antioxidants of Zingiber officinale.
Siddaraju MN, Dharmesh SM.
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, Karnataka, India.
Ulcer is a common global problem characterized by acute gastric irritability, bleeding, etc. due to either increased gastric cell proton potassium ATPase activity (PPA) or perturbation of mucosal defence. Helicobacter pylori has been identified as a major ulcerogen in addition to oxidative stress and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In this paper, we report ginger-free phenolic (GRFP) and ginger hydrolysed phenolic (GRHP) fractions of ginger (Zingiber officinale) as potent inhibitors of PPA and H. pylori growth. GRFP and GRHP inhibited PPA at an IC(50) of 2.9 +/- 0.18 and 1.5 +/- 0.12 mug/mL, exhibiting six- to eight-fold better potency over lansoprazole. GRFP is constituted by syringic (38%), gallic (18%) and cinnamic (14%) acids and GRHP by cinnamic (48%), p-coumaric (34%) and caffeic (6%) acids as major phenolic acids. GRFP and GRHP further exhibited free radical scavenging (IC(50) 1.7 +/- 0.07 and 2.5 +/- 0.16), inhibition of lipid peroxidation (IC(50) 3.6 +/- 0.21 and 5.2 +/- 0.46), DNA protection (80% at 4 mug) and reducing power abilities (80-338 U/g) indicating strong antioxidative properties. GRFP and GRHP may thus be potential in-expensive multistep blockers against ulcer.

J Med Assoc Thai. 2006 Dec;89(12):2003-9
Effectiveness of ginger for prevention of nausea and vomiting after gynecological laparoscopy.
Apariman S, Ratchanon S, Wiriyasirivej B.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Medical College and Vajira Hospital, 681 Samsen Rd, Dusit, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
OBJECTIVE: To study the effectiveness of ginger for prevention of nausea and vomiting after gynecological laparoscopy. MATERIAL AND METHOD: From July 2005 to October 2005, 60 inpatients who underwent laparoscopic operations for non-cancer gynecologic conditions at Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Medical College or Vajira Hospital were randomized into Group A (n = 30) or Group B (n = 30). Group A received 3 capsules of ginger (1 capsule contained 0.5 g of ginger powder) while Group B received 3 capsules of placebo. Both groups received their medicine 1 hour prior the operation. Nausea and vomiting were assessed with the Visual Analogue Scores (VAS) and presence of vomiting at 2 and 6 hours after the operation. RESULTS: Median VAS at 2 hours post operation of Group A was not significantly different from that of Group B with the median of 0 (range, 0-5.4) and 0.15 (range, 0-10) respectively (95% CI from -2.59 to 0.90 and p = 0.142). At 6 hours post operation, the median VAS of Group A was significantly lower than group B, 0.55 (range, 0-7.4) versus 2.80 (range, 0-10) (95% CI from -3.61 to -0.73 and p = 0.015). Presence of vomiting at 2 hours was not different between the two groups, 10% in Group A and 20% in Group B (95% CI from -28% to 8% and p = 0.278). At 6 hours, 23.3% of group A had an episode of vomiting compared to 46.7% of group B (95% CI from -47% to 1% and p = 0.058). CONCLUSION: Ginger has shown efficacy for prevention of nausea and borderline significance to prevention vomiting after gynecological laparoscopy at 6 hour post operation.

J Med Food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32
Ginger--an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.
Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG
RMG Biosciences, Inc.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries. During the past 25 years, many laboratories have provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with antiinflammatory properties. The original discovery of ginger's inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed. This discovery identified ginger as an herbal medicinal product that shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. An important extension of this early work was the observation that ginger also suppresses leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase. This pharmacological property distinguishes ginger from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This discovery preceded the observation that dual inhibitors of cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase may have a better therapeutic profile and have fewer side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The characterization of the pharmacological properties of ginger entered a new phase with the discovery that a ginger extract (EV.EXT.77) derived from Zingiber officinale (family Zingiberaceae) and Alpina galanga (family Zingiberaceae) inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response. These include genes encoding cytokines, chemokines, and the inducible enzyme cyclooxygenase-2. This discovery provided the first evidence that ginger modulates biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation. Identification of the molecular targets of individual ginger constituents provides an opportunity to optimize and standardize ginger products with respect to their effects on specific biomarkers of inflammation. Such preparations will be useful for studies in experimental animals and humans.

Phytother Res 2002 Nov;16(7):621-6
Anxiolytic and antiemetic activity of Zingiber officinale.
Vishwakarma SL, Pal SC, Kasture VS, Kasture SB.
N.D.M.V.P. Samaj's College of Pharmacy, Nashik - 422 002, India.
The benzene fraction (BF) of a petroleum ether extract of dried rhizomes of ginger, was screened for anxiolytic and antiemetic activity. The fraction (BF) possesses anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and antiemetic activity. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2002 Dec;67(6):475-8
The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent.
Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Al-Sawan SM, Alnaqeeb MA, Khan I, Ali M.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Safat, Kuwait
The effect of an aqueous extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as platelet thromboxane-B(2) and prostaglandin-E(2) production was examined. The results suggest that ginger could be used as an cholesterol-lowering, antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory agent.

Food Chem Toxicol 2002 Aug;40(8):1091-7
Anti-tumor promoting potential of selected spice ingredients with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities: a short review.
Surh YJ.
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, 151-742, Seoul, South Korea.
A wide variety of phenolic substances derived from spice possess potent antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activities. Examples include [6]-gingerol, a pungent ingredient present in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberaceae) and capsaicin, a principal pungent principle of hot chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L, Solanaceae).

Planta Med 2002 Apr;68(4):375-6
Shogaols from Zingiber officinale protect IMR32 human neuroblastoma and normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells from beta-amyloid(25-35) insult.
Kim DS, Kim DS, Oppel MN.
From the rhizome of Zingiber officinale L. (Zingiberaceae), four shogaols that protect IMR32 human neuroblastoma and normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells from beta-amyloid insult were isolated. The efficacy of cell protection was shown to improve as the length of the side chain increases.

Drug Metabol Drug Interact 2001;18(3-4):159-90
Ginger: an ethnomedical, chemical and pharmacological review.
Afzal M, Al-Hadidi D, Menon M, Pesek J, Dhami MS.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University.
Powerful medicinal properties have been recorded for Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger. All of these medicinal activities have been compiled with 99 references to the present status of the plant in the literature. Volatile components and the presence of trace metals are included.

Arthritis Rheum 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-8
Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Altman RD, Marcussen KC.
Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Miami, Florida, USA.
A highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee. This effect was moderate. There was a good safety profile, with mostly mild GI adverse events in the ginger extract group.

Indian J Med Sci 2001 Feb;55(2):83-6
Ginger, fat and fibrinolysis.
Verma SK, Bordia A.
Department of Medicine and Indigenous Drug Research Centre, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur-313 001.
Administration of 50 gm of fat to 30 healthy adult volunteers decreased fibrinolytic activity. This is a further addition to the therapeutic potential of ginger.

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 1997 Sep;22(9):559-61 inside back cover
Inhibition of hydrogen peroxide production on chondrocytes induced by fulvic acid by ginger volatile oil[Article in Chinese]
Guo P, Xu J, Xu S, Wang K.
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Beijing Medical University.
In order to investigate the effect of ginger on Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), the ginger volatile oil was taken as a scavenger and proved effective in inhibiting the production of hydrogen peroxide in chondrocytes induced by fulvic acid from KBD area.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1997 May;56(5):379-84
Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease.
Bordia A, Verma SK, Srivastava KC.
Department of Medicine, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur, India.
In a placebo-controlled study the effect of ginger and fenugreek was examined on blood lipids, blood sugar, platelet aggregation, fibrinogen and fibrinolytic activity. In patients with CAD powdered ginger did not affect ADP- and epinephrine-induced platelet aggregation. Also, no change in the fibrinolytic activity and fibrinogen level was observed. However, a single dose of 10 g powdered ginger produced a significant reduction in platelet aggregation. Ginger did not affect the blood lipids and blood sugar.

J Ethnopharmacol 1995 Aug 11;48(1):13-9
The effect of Chinese medicinal herb Zingiberis rhizoma extract on cytokine secretion by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Chang CP, Chang JY, Wang FY, Chang JG.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Chinese Medicine, Taipei Municipal Jen-Ai Hospital, Taiwan.
The ethanolic extract of the Chinese medicinal herb Zingiberis rhizoma, was found to show biphasic effects on secretion of cytokines by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro.

J Pharm Pharmacol 1995 Apr;47(4):329-32
Antiplatelet effect of gingerol isolated from Zingiber officinale.
Guh JH, Ko FN, Jong TT, Teng CM.
Pharmacological Institute, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the antiplatelet mechanism of gingerol. The antiplatelet action of gingerol is mainly due to the inhibition of thromboxane formation.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1991 Jan 4;38(1):19-24
Ginger treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum.
Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, Asping U.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Thirty women participated in a double-blind randomized cross-over trial of the efficacy of a natural product, the powdered root of ginger (Zingiber officinale), and placebo in hyperemesis gravidarum. Powdered root of ginger in daily doses of 1 g during 4 days was better than placebo in diminishing or eliminating the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum.

J Ethnopharmacol 1990 Jul;29(3):267-73
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in migraine headache.
Mustafa T, Srivastava KC.
Institute of Biology, Odense University, Denmark.
Ginger is reported in Ayurvedic and Tibb systems of medicine to be useful in neurological disorders. It is proposed that administration of ginger may exert abortive and prophylactic effects in migraine headache without any side-effects.

Acta Otolaryngol 1989 Sep-Oct;108(3-4):168-74
The anti-motion sickness mechanism of ginger. A comparative study with placebo and dimenhydrinate.
Holtmann S, Clarke AH, Scherer H, Hohn M.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Grosshadern Medical Center, Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Germany.
It is more likely that any reduction of motion-sickness symptoms derives from the influence of the ginger root agents on the gastric system.

Med Hypotheses 1989 May;29(1):25-8
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders.
Srivastava KC, Mustafa T.
Department of Environmental Medicine, Odense University, Denmark.
Oxygenation of arachidonic acid is increased in inflamed tissues. Seven patients suffering from such disorders reported relief in pain and associated symptoms on ginger administration.

German Commission E Monograph: Ginger Root, Zingiber officinale "Approved Herb"
http://www.doctorphyto.com/Library/Botanicals/ GHI_herbs/Ginger_Abstracts.htm