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Ginger - A Gifted Spice

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Ingredient Monday: Ginger


Ginger


Botanical name: Zingiber officinale

 

Ginger is an extremely common spice in a variety of cultures and regions of the world. Its name comes from the Middle English gingivere, and as a spice dates back over 3000 years to the Sanskrit words rngaveram, meaning “horn root,” due to its appearance.


In Greek, it was called ziggiberis, and in Latin, zinziberi. It has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of numerous disorders, such as colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and hypertension. It is widely used as an ingredient in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and other industries.


Ginger is an amazing ingredient for our body, but don’t just take our word for it: here are some facts.


What are Ginger's Properties?


The medicinal, chemical, and pharmacological properties of ginger have been extensively reviewed. Over the last few years, interest in ginger or its various components as valid preventive or therapeutic agents has increased, and scientific studies aiming at the verification of ginger’s pharmacological and physiological actions have increased.


Ginger’s closest relative is turmeric and is now cultivated throughout the humid tropics for over 5000 years in both traditional Indian and Chinese medicine, ginger is used as a tonic root to treat several sicknesses. It was an important item of trade and was exported from India to the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, where it was known for its medicinal properties and later Arab merchants controlled the trade in ginger and other spices for centuries. The oils from the rhizomes or roots of the ginger plant contain many bioactive components, such as ketones like gingerol.


Let's Get Scientific


Ginger's spicy aroma is due to gingerol, a primary constituent of ginger that is known to influence many of the well-known pharmacological and physiological activities. The rhizome is the main portion of the ginger plant which is edible and is consumed in many cultures regularly and is recognized to be safe [3]. The intriguing part is that ginger is a very rich spice. It is in every kitchen and little do we know that it is loaded with various chemical ingredients, including phenolic compounds, terpenes, polysaccharides, lipids, organic acids, and raw fibers. It is loaded with antioxidants that prevent stress and damage.


Ginger is well known in many cultures for its anti-inflammatory role. It can modulate gastrointestinal motility, and rate of gastric emptying as well [4]. It is used as a remedy for gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and has been used as a viable adjuvant treatment for nausea and vomiting. Bioactive compounds such as gingerol and shogaol class of compounds, interact with several pathways that are directly implicated in nausea and vomiting. Components of ginger can also influence serotonin (5-HT3), substance P, and can inhibit acetylcholine receptor function. In clinical trials, ginger was shown to have a favorable effect on serum lipids, inflammatory cytokines, and blood pressure and these studies point to the potential benefits of ginger and its constituents in the treatment of hypertension and other vascular diseases. Now we also know that science recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. There are many studies that have demonstrated ginger's ability to control many strains of bacteria.


Some volatile compounds which are responsible for antimicrobial activities in ginger are á-pinene, borneol, camphene, and linalool. Ginger has also been shown to have notable antiviral activity due to its high concentration of potent plant compounds. Research demonstrates that ginger extract has antiviral effects against avian influenza, RSV, and feline calicivirus(FCV). Moreover, specific compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and zingerone, have been found to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells. It has been proven by many studies that ginger and its bioactive compounds showed effective antiviral activity against SARS‐CoV‐2 [6].


Conclusion



No, we didn't mean this kind of ginger.


It’s clear to see that ginger ranks as one of the healthiest - and most delicious - spices in the world! It has many more health benefits we would encourage you to research yourself and has powerful properties for your body and brain.


Leave a comment if you learned something, and follow our mailing list for more educational posts!


Check out these Surrasa products that contain ginger below.




Sources


  1. Surh Y. J. Molecular mechanisms of chemopreventive effects of selected dietary and medicinal phenolic substances.Mutat Res.1999;428(1-2):305–27

  2. Bode AM, Dong Z. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 7.Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775

  3. Kaul P. N, Joshi B. S. Alternative medicine: Herbal drugs and their critical appraisal-part II.Prog Drug Res.2001;57:1–75

  4. Marx W, Ried K, McCarthy AL, Vitetta L, Sali A, McKavanagh D, Isenring L. Ginger-Mechanism of action in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: A review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jan 2;57(1):141-146

  5. Liu, Q., Meng, X., Li, Y., Zhao, C. N., Tang, G. Y., & Li, H. B. (2017). Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Spices.International journal of molecular sciences,18(6), 1283. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms180612836

  6. Sa-Nguanpuag K., Kanlayanarat S., Srilaong V., Tanprasert K., Techavuthiporn C. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) oil as an antimicrobial agent for minimally processed produce: A case study in shredded green papaya.Int. J. Agric. Biol.2011;13:895–901

  7. Ahkam, A. H. , Hermanto, F. E. , Alamsyah, A. , Aliyyah, I. H. , & Fatchiyah, F. (2020).Virtualprediction of antiviral potential of ginger (Zingiber officinale) bioactive compounds against spike and MPro of SARS‐CoV2 protein.Journal of Biological Researches,25(2), 52–57


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