Scientific Name/Common Name: Zingiber officinale / Ginger
Part(s) Used: Root/rhizome
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Volatile oil (1-3%, containing sesquiterpenes zingiberene and β-bisabolene); oleoresin (4-10%) containing gingerols, gingerdiols, shogaols.
Overview: Ginger root (technically the rhizome) is an ancient digestive herb with many medicinal applications. Ginger is related to Turmeric and has also been used for millennia as a cooking spice in certain cultures. Its constituents are mainly an essential oil with zingiberene and pungent, warming compounds like gingerol and shogaol. It has been used traditionally for colds, flu, indigestion, nausea, arthritis, and headaches. Western Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic Medicine have all included ginger in their materia medica. Ginger was often added to formulas to promote the digestion and absorption of the other ingredients. Its actions include digestive and circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, anti-emetic, analgesic, antispasmodic, and emmenagogue. The German Commission E approves ginger for treating dyspepsia and preventing motion sickness.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Clinically shown to help prevent nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, and/or seasickness; traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve digestive upset/disturbances including lack of appetite, nausea, digestive spasms, indigestion, dyspepsia, and flatulent colic (carminative); as an expectorant and anti-tussive to help relieve bronchitis as well as coughs and colds.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs.. Publ. by Integrative Medicine Communications, Pp. 153-159.
Bradley PR, editor. 1992. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 1. Bournemouth (GB): British Herbal Medicine Association.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.