Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences

Open journal

ISSN 2377-8350

Ginger and its Effects on Inflammatory Diseases

Naheed Aryaeian* and Hajar Tavakkoli

Naheed Aryaeian, PhD

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences Hemmat Highway, Tehran, Iran; Tel. 00982186704750;


Today, Ginger, in both fresh and dried forms, is used as a spice all around the world. In the past, Ginger was consumed in the treatment of various diseases, including arthritis, neurological diseases, vomiting, and so on. More than 50 types of antioxidants have been extracted from Ginger rhizome. The major pharmacological activity of Ginger, with scientific name of “Zingiber officinale”, is related to its active ingredients such as 2 and 6-Gingerol.1 Shogoals, Gingerol, and similar compounds in Ginger. These ingredients prevent the biosynthesis of Leukotrienes and Prostaglandins by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase and prostaglandin synthesize.2 Seemingly that Ginger can inhibit NF-κB (Nuclear factor κB) activation, TNFα expression and CRP production,3 we reviewed the articles that discuss Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects.


We searched in PubMed, Google scholar, and Scopus database until 2015 and the key words, inflammation and Ginger, Clinical trials, animal studies, and human studies were included in our search.


Our review of recent studies showed that Ginger, due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidative properties, can reduce inflammation in the body and improve related diseases. Below important effects are mentioned:

Ginger and Body Composition

Ginger may reduce the rate of weight gain, Body Mass Index (BMI). It can improve body composition by decreasing body fat levels and increasing Soft Lean Mass (SLM). In addition, some enzymes such as Acetyl-coenzyme A, acyltransferase 1 and enoyl-CoA hydratase, which participate in the β-oxidation of fatty acids, have increased by consumption of Ginger.4Moreover Ginger extract prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice via activation of the Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ) pathway.5

Besides, ginger tends to reduce lipid metabolism related-proteins mRNA expression levels in liver and visceral fat in hyperlipidemia and may also improve lipid metabolism.6 The aqueous extract of Z. officinaleRoscoe might inhibit the intestinal absorption of dietary fat by inhibiting its hydrolysis.7

Therefore, Ginger seems to improve body composition via its effects on liver enzymes, by reducing fat absorption, by increasing beta-oxidation of fats and energy expenditure.

Ginger and Reduction of Airway Inflammation

Ginger can reduce airway inflammation in mice by enhancing the Th1 response and ameliorates ovalbumin-induced Th2 responses,8,9 and by reducing level of IL4, IL5, eotaxin, and Immunoglobulin E (IgE).10 It can also improve the symptoms of asthma by relaxing the airway smooth muscle due to the regulation of calcium channels function.11

Ginger and Kidney Function

Gingerol fraction from Zingiber officinale prevents gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity. It improves kidney functions, reduces lipid peroxidation, and decreases nitrosative stress.12 In addition, Ginger extract diminishes chronic fructose consumption-induced kidney injury by suppression of renal over expression of pro inflammatory cytokines in rats.13

Ginger and Liver Function

Dried Ginger (Zingiber officinale) inhibits inflammation in a mouse model, improves Pathological changes, and reduces level of INFγ and IL6. It can also decrease liver Proinflammatory responses, TNFα, IL-6, and other inflammatory cytokines levels via inhibition of NFκB activation.14

Ginger and Improvement of the Neurological Degenerative Diseases

6-Shogaol, an active constituent of Ginger, attenuates neuro-inflammation and cognitive deficits in animal models of dementia. Consequently, it plays an important role in the improvement of symptoms in patients who suffer from Alzheimer and other neurological diseases. It improves memory by inhibiting the activity of glial cells in animal models of dementia and also by reducing memory corruption.15 Besides, Ginger decreases activity of NF-κB,16,17 iNOS, and Cyclooxygenase2 (COX2).18 It protects HaCaT cells and C57BL/6 mice from ultraviolet B-induced inflammation.19 Ginger also has an inhibitory effect on melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells and as a result can protect skin from darkening.20

Ginger and Diabetes

Ginger consumption in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus affects glycemic status,21,22,23,24 insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles,20,24 and other metabolic disorders. It improves them by decreasing inflammatory factors like CRP, IL6, TNFα,25,26,27 It shows antagonistic activity against serotonin receptors.22,28 Moreover, it inhibits the activity of intestinal glucosidase and amylase, resulting in the reduction of glucose absorption.29,30,31 Neuroprotective effect of Ginger on the brain of streptozotocininduced diabetic rats, may also be due to adjustment of astrocyte damage response, decreasing the expression of Acetylcholinesterase (AchE), and improving the construction of neurons.32

Ginger and Rheumatic Disorders

Ginger has protective effects on joint inflammation, arthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders via its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-serotonin influences. It inhibits Cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-Lipoxygenase pathways. Ginger induces T-helper-2, and anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10 production,33,34 increases glutathione level, and activity of the antioxidant enzyme like superoxide dismutase,35 inhibits the release of substance P (mediator of inflammation and pain),36 and decreases TNFα, IL1β, IL6, IL2, and prostaglandins levels. One Study shows Ginger is more effective than indomethacin in reducing the pain associated with inflammation and oxidative stress.37 Moreover, Ginger can decrease muscle pain caused by sever exercise.31,38

Ginger and Chemo-preventive Effects

Some active constituent of Ginger like [6]-Gingerol, and [6]-paradol have chemo-preventive and anti-tumor effects.39 Ginger extract is effective in decreasing the gastric inflammation. Besides, it prevents gastric, colon, and lung carcinogenesis through bacterial reduction load. It also suppresses acute and chronic inflammation. In addition, Ginger can inhibit COX-2, NFκB, IL1β, IL8, and IL6 pathways.40,41 Shogaol can suppress cancer cell invasion and inflammation, and displays cytoprotective effects through modulation of NF-κB and Nrf2-Keap1 signaling pathways. Moreover, it induces NAD(P)H, heme-oxigenase, and oxidoreductase genes.42 6-Gingerol exerts anti-cancer activities via its effects on cell cycle regulation, cytotoxic activity, and angiogenesis inhibition.43


Briefly, Ginger can be useful in the treatment of patients who suffer from inflammatory chronic diseases, due to its antiinflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. The anti-inflammatory effects of Ginger are caused by its inhibitory influence on COX-2, lipoxigenase. NFκB and TNFα activity, likewise they are caused by reduction of inflammatory factors such as IL1β, IL6, and IL2. The inhibitory effects of 6-Gingerol on the arachidonic acid metabolites include reduction of Platelet aggregation, formation of Thromboxan B2, and Prostaglandin 2D. Ginger’s anti-oxidative effects are due to SOD activity induction, glutathione enhancement, and ROS reduction. Moreover, Ginger has an inhibitory effect on xanthine oxidase system which is responsible for the production of reactive oxygen species like superoxide anion.44,45,46,47 Besides, Ginger is a serotonin blocker and inhibits the release of substance of P. Several compounds have found in Ginger may act as a blocker of serotonin receptors.48,49 Laboratory studies have also shown the inhibition of serotonin receptors which is associated with the reduction of TNFα, IL1β, IL6, IL2, and prostaglandins.37 In addition Ginger have thermogenic properties and increases energy expenditure by enhancing the thermic effect of food.50,51


To conclude, It seems Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects. It can improve the symptoms of inflammatory disease. However, more clinical trial studies are needed to approve its effects and mechanisms of such effects.


The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

1. Shukla Y, Singh M. Cancer preventive properties of Ginger: a brief review. Food and chemical toxicology. 2007; 45(5): 683-690.
doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.11.002

2. Chang W, Chang Y, Lu F, Chiang H-C. Inhibitory effects of phenolics on xanthine oxidase. Anticancer research. 1993; 14(2A): 501-506.

3. Lantz RC, Chen GJ, Sarihan M, Solyom AM, Jolad SD, Timmermann BN. The effect of extracts from ginger rhizome on inflammatory mediator production. Phytomedicine. 2007; 14:123-128. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2006.03.003

4. Beattie JH, Nicol F, Gordon MJ, et al. Ginger phytochemicals mitigate the obesogenic effects of a high-fat diet in mice: a proteomic and biomarker network analysis. Molecular nutrition & food research. 2011; 55(S2): S203-S213. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100193

5. Misawa K, Hashizume K, Yamamoto M, Minegishi Y, Hase T, Shimotoyodome A. Ginger extract prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice via activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ pathway. J Nutr Biochem. 2015; S0955-2863(15)00132-1.
doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.04.014

6. Matsuda A, Wang Z, Takahashi S, Tokuda T, Miura N, Hasegawa J. Upregulation of mRNA of retinoid binding protein and fatty acid binding protein by cholesterol enriched-diet and effect of Ginger on lipid metabolism. Life sciences. 2009; 84(25): 903-907. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.04.004

7. Han L-K, Gong X-J, Kawano S, Saito M, Kimura Y, Okuda H. Antiobesity actions of Zingiber officinale Roscoe. Yakugaku zasshi: Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 2005; 125(2): 213-217. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.125.213

8. Shieh Y-H, Huang H-M, Wang C-C, Lee C-C, Fan C-K, Lee Y-L. Zerumbone enhances the Th1 response and ameliorates ovalbumin-induced Th2 responses and airway inflammation in mice. International immunopharmacology. 2015; 24(2): 383-391. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2014.12.027

9. Muhammad Khan A, Shahzad M, Raza Asim M, Imran M, Shabbir A. Zingiber officinale ameliorates allergic asthma via suppression of Th2-mediated immune response. Pharmaceutical biology. 2014; 1-9. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2014.920396

10. Ahui MLB, Champy P, Ramadan A, et al. Ginger prevents Th2-mediated immune responses in a mouse model of airway inflammation. International immunopharmacology. 2008; 8(12):1626-1632. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2008.07.009

11. Townsend EA, Siviski ME, Zhang Y, Xu C, Hoonjan B, Emala CW. Effects of Ginger and its constituents on airway smooth muscle relaxation and calcium regulation. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 2013; 48(2): 157-163. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0231OC

12. Rodrigues FA, Prata MM, Oliveira IC, et al. Gingerol fraction from Zingiber officinale protects against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2014; 58(4): 1872-1878. doi: 10.1128/aac.02431-13

13. Yang M, Liu C, Jiang J, et al. Ginger extract diminishes chronic fructose consumption-induced kidney injury through suppression of renal overexpression of proinflammatory cyto-kines in rats. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2014; 14(1): 174.
doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-174

14. Li XH, McGrath KC, Nammi S, Heather AK, Roufogalis BD. Attenuation of liver pro-inflammatory responses by Zingiber officinale via inhibition of NF-kappa B activation in high-fat diet-fed rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012; 110(3): 238- 244. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00791.x

15. Moon M, Kim HG, Choi JG, et al. 6-Shogaol, an active constituent of Ginger, attenuates neuroinflammation and cognitive deficits in animal models of dementia. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2014; 449(1): 8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.04.121

16. Ho S-C, Chang K-S, Lin C-C. Anti-neuroinflammatory capacity of fresh Ginger is attributed mainly to 10-Gingerol. Food chemistry. 2013; 141(3): 3183-3191. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.06.010

17. Jung HW, Yoon C-H, Park KM, Han HS, Park Y-K. Hexane fraction of Zingiberis Rhizoma Crudus extract inhibits the production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines in LPSstimulated BV2 microglial cells via the NF-kappaB pathway. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2009; 47(6): 1190-1197. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.02.012

18. Shim S, Kim S, Choi D-S, Kwon Y-B, Kwon J. Anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-shogaol: potential roles of HDAC inhibition and HSP70 induction. Food and chemical toxicology. 2011; 49(11): 2734-2740. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.08.012

19. Guahk G-H, Ha SK, Jung H-S, et al. Zingiber officinale protects HaCaT cells and C57BL/6 mice from ultraviolet B-induced inflammation. Journal of medicinal food. 2010; 13(3): 673-680. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.1239

20. Huang H-C, Chiu S-H, Chang T-M. Inhibitory effect of [6]-Gingerol on melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells and a possible mechanism of action. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. 2011; 75(6): 1067-1072. doi: 10.1271/bbb.100851

21. Mahluji S, Attari VE, Mobasseri M, Payahoo L, Ostadrahimi A, Golzari SE. Effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) on plasma glucose level, HbA1c and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2013; 64(6): 682-686.
doi: 10.3109/09637486.2013.775223

22. Bhandari U, Pillai K. Effect of ethanolic extract of Zingibero fficinale on dyslipidaemia in diabetic rats. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2005; 97(2): 227-230. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.11.011

23. Al-Amin ZM, Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Peltonen-Shalaby R, Ali M. Anti-diabetic and hypolipidaemic properties of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. British Journal of Nutrition. 2006; 96(04): 660-666. doi: 10.1079/BJN20061849

24. Shanmugam KR, Mallikarjuna K, Kesireddy N, Reddy KS. Neuroprotective effect of Ginger on anti-oxidant enzymes in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2011; 49(4): 893-897. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.12.013

25. Arablou T, Aryaeian N, Valizadeh M, et al. The effect of Ginger consumption on some cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Razi Journal of Medical Sciences. 2014; 21(118): 1-12.

26. Mahluji S, Ostadrahimi A, Mobasseri M, Attari VE, Payahoo L. Anti-inflammatory effects of zingiber officinale in type 2 diabetic patients. Advanced pharmaceutical bulletin. 2013; 3(2): 273. doi: 10.5681/apb.2013.044

27. Arablou T, Aryaeian N, Valizadeh M, Sharifi F, Hosseini A, Djalali M. The effect of Ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2014; 65(4): 515-520.
doi: 10.3109/09637486.2014.880671

28. Aryaeian N, Arablou T, Sharifi F, et al. Effect of Ginger consumption on glycemic status, insulin resistance, and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Iranian Journal of Nutrition Sciences & Food Technology. 2014; 9 (1): 1-10.

29. Goyal RK, Kadnur SV. Beneficial effects of Zingiber officinale on goldthioglucose induced obesity. Fitoterapia. 2006;77(3): 160-163.
doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2006.01.005

30. Li Y, Tran VH, Duke CC, Roufogalis BD. Preventive and protective properties of Zingiber officinale (Ginger) in diabetes mellitus, diabetic complications, and associated lipid and other metabolic disorders: a brief review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012; 2012: 516870. doi: 10.1155/2012/516870

31. Black CD, O’Connor PJ. Acute effects of dietary Ginger on muscle pain induced by eccentric exercise. Phytotherapy Research. 2010; 24(11): 1620-1626. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3148

32. El-Akabawy G, El-Kholy W. Neuroprotective effect of Ginger in the brain of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger. 2014; 196(2): 119-128. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2014.01.003

33. Srivastava K, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders. Medical Hypotheses. 1989; 29(1): 25-28.
doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(89)90162-X

34. Srivastava K, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Medical hypotheses. 1992; 39(4): 342-348. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(92)90059-L

35. Ramadan G, El-Menshawy O. Protective effects of Gingerturmeric rhizomes mixture on joint inflammation, atherogenesis, kidney dysfunction and other complications in a rat model of human rheumatoid arthritis. International journal of rheumatic diseases. 2013; 16(2): 219-229
doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12054

36. Stratz T, Müller W. The use of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists inva rious rheumatic diseases-a clue to the mechanism of action of these agents in fibromyalgia? Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. 2000; 29(113): 66-71. doi: 10.1080/030097400446689

37. Muller W, Fiebich BL, Stratz T. New treatment options using 5-HT3 receptor antagonists in rheumatic diseases. Current topics in medicinal chemistry. 2006; 6(18): 2035-2042. doi: 10.2174/156802606778522122

38. Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, O’Connor PJ. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise. The Journal of Pain. 2010; 11(9): 894-903. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.12.013

39. Surh Y-J. Molecular mechanisms of chemopreventive effects of selected dietary and medicinal phenolic substances. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis. 1999; 428(1): 305-327. doi: 10.1016/S1383-5742(99)00057-5

40. Gaus K, Huang Y, Israel DA, Pendland SL, Adeniyi BA, Mahady GB. Standardized Ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract reduces bacterial load and suppresses acute and chronic inflammation in Mongolian gerbils infected with cagA+ Helicobacter pylori. Pharmaceutical biology. 2009; 47(1): 92-98. doi: 10.1080/13880200802448690

41. Kim M, Miyamoto S, Yasui Y, Oyama T, Murakami A, Tanaka T. Zerumbone, a tropical Ginger sesquiterpene, inhibits colon and  lungcarcinogenesis in mice. International Journal of Cancer. 2009; 124(2): 264-271. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23923

42. Gan F-F, Ling H, Ang X, et al. A novel shogaol analog suppresses cancer cell invasion and inflammation, and displays cytoprotective effects through modulation of NF-κB and Nrf2-Keap1 signaling pathways. Toxicology and applied pharmacology. 2013; 272(3): 852-862.
doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2013.07.011

43. Wang S, Zhang C, Yang G, Yang Y. Biological properties of 6-Gingerol: a brief review. Natural product communications. 2014; 9(7): 1027-1030.

44. Manju V, Nalini N. Chemopreventive efficacy of Ginger, a naturally occurring anticarcinogen during the initiation, postinitiation stages of 1, 2 dimethylhydrazine-induced colon cancer. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2005; 358(1): 60-67. doi: 10.1016/j.cccn.2005.02.018

45. Ahmed RS, Seth V, Banerjee B. Influence of dietary Ginger (Zingiber officinales Rosc) on antioxidant defense system in rat: comparison with ascorbic acid. Indian journal of experimental biology. 2000; 38(6): 604-606.

46. Kota N, Krishna P, Polasa K. Alterations in antioxidant status of rats following intake of ginger through diet. Food chemistry. 2008; 106(3): 991-996. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.07.073

47. Aeschbach R, Löliger J, Scott B, et al. Antioxidant actions of thymol, carvacrol, 6-Gingerol, zingerone and hydroxytyrosol. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1994; 32(1): 31-36. doi: 10.1016/0278-6915(84)90033-4

48. Marella S, Reddy KS. Ginger extract defies changes in brain serotonin levels and enzymes of monoamine metabolism during withdrawal following chronic ethanol ingestion. Global Journal of Biotechnology & Biochemistry. 2012; 7(4): 115-124.

49. Huang Q, Iwamoto M, Aoki S, et al. Anti-5-hydroxytryptamine3 effect of galanolactone, diterpenoid isolated from ginger. Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin. 1991; 39(2): 397-399. doi: 10.1248/cpb.39.397

50. Mattes RD. Spices and energy balance. Physiology & behavior. 2012; 107(4): 584-590. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.10.028

51. Mansour MS, Ni YM, Roberts AL, Kelleman M, Roychoudhury A, St-Onge MP. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study. Metabolism. 2012; 61(10): 1347-1352. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.03.016


Unraveling the Mysteries of Type-A Aortic Dissection Using POCUS/Echocardiography

Syeda Rukh*, Sathyanarayana Machani and Milind Awale


Blood Sample from the Patient

Hypertriglyceridemia-Induced Pancreatitis: A Case Report and Literature Review

Maarten Bulterys, Melvin Willems* and Agnes Meersman


From Neck Pain to a Life-Threatening Condition: A Case Report

Floris Vandewoude* and Sören Verstraete