Ginger - An herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions

Reinhard Grzanna, Lars Lindmark, Carmelita G. Frondoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 anti-inflammatory 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 non-steroidal 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005

Fingerprint

Ginger
ginger
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
prostaglandin synthase
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents
Zingiberaceae
inflammation
lipoxygenase
anti-inflammatory activity
Pharmacology
Cyclooxygenase 2
prostaglandins
Prostaglandins
biosynthesis
Alpinia
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Zingiber officinale
Inflammation
leukotrienes
Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase

Keywords

  • Chemokines
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Cytokines
  • Ginger
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Ginger - An herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. / Grzanna, Reinhard; Lindmark, Lars; Frondoza, Carmelita G.

In: Journal of Medicinal Food, Vol. 8, No. 2, 06.2005, p. 125-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Grzanna, Reinhard ; Lindmark, Lars ; Frondoza, Carmelita G. / Ginger - An herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. In: Journal of Medicinal Food. 2005 ; Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 125-132.
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