Studies about ginger
Same page in German
PHYTOTHERAPY REVIEW & COMMENTARY
Herzlichen Dank an Donald J. Brown, N.D.
The text of the following overviews on Ginger and St. John's Wort is taken
from a continuing professional education program for pharmacists co-produced
by Bastyr University and Natural Product Research Consultants (NPRC, Inc.)
entitled Herbal Medicine: An Introduction for Pharmacists. The program was
co-authored by Steven Foster and myself. This is the second C.E. program
for pharmacists developed by Bastyr University and NPRC (authored by yours
truly). The first is entitled Phytotherapy: Herbal Medicine Meets Clinical
Ingwerknolle Großbild klick!
For more information on these continuing professional education programs
and Bastyr University's Department of Continuing Education, contact Laurie
Hoffman at 206-517-3569 or fax 206-527-4763.
Ginger: Non-toxic Anti-Emetic
Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale
Plant Part Used: The rhizome
Active Constituents: The dried rhizome contains approximately
1 to 4% volatile oils. The aromatic principles include the sesquiterpene
hydrocarbons zingiberene and bisabolene. The pungent principles include
the gingerols and shogaols.
Health Care Applications
Motion Sickness: Ginger has been widely studied as a treatment
for motion sickness. A 1982 study found that ginger was superior to dimenhydrinate
for reducing motion sickness (caused by rotating a chair). The dose of ginger
was 940 mg and it was consumed 20 to 25 minutes before the test.5
A handful of studies since have both agreed and disagreed with these results.
One study tested ginger against seasickness in eighty Danish naval cadets
unaccustomed to sailing in heavy seas. One gram of ginger reduced vomiting
and cold sweating. Fewer symptoms of nausea and vertigo were also reported.6
A study completed at Louisiana State University with a grant from NASA
is more skeptical. Because motion sickness is common in astronauts, the
researchers compared the anti-motion sickness activity of ginger and scopolamine
(commonly used as a topical patch to treat motion sickness). Using the rotating
chair test, they found that scopolomine was effective in reducing motion
sickness while one gram of either fresh or dried ginger was not.7 However,
during their discussion of the study, the authors note that the ginger group
did have a noticeable reduction in the incidence of vomiting and sweating
but not nausea and vertigo.
Ginger is registered as an OTC drug for use in nausea and travel sickness
in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland. For treatment of
nausea and use as an antiemetic, use single doses of at least 500 mg. During
pregnancy, the total daily dose should not exceed one gram daily. For others,
the daily dose may approach 2 to 3 grams if needed. For prevention of motion
sickness, begin taking several hours before the planned trip.
No side effects are noted with use of ginger at the doses listed above.11
The Commission E Monograph in Germany suggests persons with gallstones
consult a physician before using ginger.12 Short-term use of ginger for
nausea and vomiting of pregnancy appears to pose no safety problems. Long-term
use during pregnancy is not recommended.
1. Yamahura J, Huang Q, et al: Gastrointestinal motility enhancing effect
of ginger and its active constituents. Chem Pharm Bull 38: 4301, 1990.
2. Yamahura J, Miki K, et al: Cholagagic effect of ginger and its active
constituents. J Ethnopharmacol 13: 21725, 1985.
3. Al-Yahya MA, Rafatullah S, et al: Gastroprotective activity of ginger
in albino rats. Am J Chinese Med 17: 516, 1989.
4. Suekawa M, Ishige A, et al: Pharmacological studies on ginger. I. Pharmacological
actions of pungent constituents, (6)gingerol and (6)shogaol. J Pharm Dyn
7: 836-48, 1984.
5. Mowrey DB & Clayson DE: Motion sickness, ginger and psychophysics.
Lancet i: 655-7, 1982.
6. Grontved A, Brask T, et al: Ginger root against seasickness. Acta Otolaryngol
(Stockh) 105: 459, 1988.
7. Stewart JJ, Wood MJ, et al: Effects of ginger on motion sickness susceptibility
and gastric function. Pharmacol 42: 11120, 1991.
8. Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, et al: Ginger in the treatment of hyperemesis
gravidarum. Euro J Obstet Reproduct Biol 38: 1924, 1990.
9. Phillips S, Ruggier R, & Hutchison SE: Zingiber officinale (ginger)
­p; an antiemetic for day case surgery. Anaesthesia 48: 7157, 1993.
10. Bone ME & Wilkinson DJ: Ginger root ­p; a new antiemetic. Anaesthesia
45: 66971, 1990.
11. Ginger. British Herbal Compendium, vol. 1 (Bradley PR, ed). British
Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, Dorset, England, 1992, pp. 3942.
12. Monograph, Zingiberis rhizoma, Bundesanzeiger, May 5, 1988.
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