The 18 Chemicals in Ginger

Source


Did you know that in every piece of ginger there are eighteen different chemicals as well as several unique nutrients?

Each of these impacts the body in a specific way, and all work together to give ginger its ability to improve several health conditions.

Here the focus is on the naturally occurring chemicals in ginger, all eighteen of them.

Each is listed below, followed by a description of its impacts on health.


The Natural Chemicals in Ginger


Alpha-pinene

effectively loosens mucus within bronchial tubes (2). This can be beneficial for those suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma or bronchitis (3,4).

Several states have a high occurrence of asthma (dark green shows areas where 9% or more of the adult population are affected). Asthma suffers may benefit from the alpha-pinene in ginger.
Several states have a high occurrence of asthma (dark green shows areas where 9% or more of the adult population are affected). Asthma suffers may benefit from the alpha-pinene in ginger. | Source

Beta-carotene

is an anti-oxidant that protects the body against free radical damage and reduces the risk of cancer. In the body beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A which is crucial for eye and neurological health (5). Vitamin A also benefits the lungs, skin, stomach, and joints and helps individuals with asthma or bronchitis and those who suffer from chronic stress or sinus related complications (6).

Beta-ionone

is a component of beta-carotene that enables beta-carotene to be converted to vitamin A (7). Without intact beta-ionone, conversion can no longer take place. Studies on beta-ionone have shown that it may suppress cancer when included in the diet (8,9).

Beta-sitosteol

deficiencies in the American diet are believed to result in higher instances of cardiovascular disease and abnormal growths or tumors (10). This is because diets high in beta-sitosteol actively reduce cholesterol levels (10).

High levels of cholesterol actively contribute to cardiovascular disease; a disease, as can be seen by this map, that has claimed many lives. By eating ginger and increasing beta-sitosteol in the diet, harmful cholesterol levels may be reduced.
High levels of cholesterol actively contribute to cardiovascular disease; a disease, as can be seen by this map, that has claimed many lives. By eating ginger and increasing beta-sitosteol in the diet, harmful cholesterol levels may be reduced. | Source

Caffeic acid

limits pain and inflammation and improves the motility of the intestines (11). It is also believed to be an anticarcinogen and to fight diabetes, heart disease, and even HIV (19,32).

Camphor

is harmful if ingested in too large a quantity but has many great external uses.* It is often applied topically for its anti-itching properties and heated form of pain relief (12). Inhaling camphor dissolves problematic mucousal buildup (12).

Capsaicin

thins the blood, prevents clogging of the blood vessels, decreases blood pressure, improves circulation, and lowers cholesterol levels (13,14). It also naturally disinfects the food in which it is contained, reducing the likelihood of food-borne illness (15). It aids digestion, prevents bloating, and has even been shown to boost the metabolism (16,17).

Caryophyllene

safely reduces inflammation of the stomach and makes the formation of ulcers less likely (18). It also prevents gastric damage due to stress or chemicals (18).

Chlorogenic acid

protects cells from damage and cures viral and bacterial infections (19). It also effectively combats heart disease and diabetes (19).

Citral

is an antioxidant and anticarcinogen that lowers blood pressure (20,21).

Red areas show 190 to 250+ people per 100,000 affected by Alzheimers or dementia; orange shows between 130 to 190 affected; yellow shows less than 50 to 130 affected. Curcumin, a chemical in ginger, may hold a cure to Alzheimers.
Red areas show 190 to 250+ people per 100,000 affected by Alzheimers or dementia; orange shows between 130 to 190 affected; yellow shows less than 50 to 130 affected. Curcumin, a chemical in ginger, may hold a cure to Alzheimers. | Source

 

Curcumin

reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and prevents protein deposits from accumulating in the brain (22,23). Further, curcumin blocks the growth of cancerous cells and is considered a possible cancer cure (24). It prevents the onset of arthritis, contributes to heart health, and protects the immune system as well (25,26,27). Studies on its use for the treatment of Alzheimers disease are in progress (28).

Farnesol

destroys the cells of malignant growths or tumors (29). Because farnesol also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure it is used as a treatment for headaches, including migraines (30).

Ferulic acid

helps with the detoxification of substances within the body (31). Ferlic acid works together with caffeic acid (see above) to reduce tumor growth (31).

Geraniol

has antimicrobial properties and can prevent oral disease and cavity formation (33). It also counteracts nausea (41).

Gingerols

in combination with curcumin (see above) provide a strong anti-inflammatory response and are used as a treatment for arthritis (34). Gingerols are thought to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, lower cholesterol levels, prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce plaque build up in arteries (35).

Lecithin

is important for gallbladder and liver health and in the production of bile (36,37). It lowers cholesterol, treats heart disease, and is used as a cure for neurological problems (38).

1,8-cineole

is a volatile oil that has a toxic effect on bacteria (39). It can be used to rid the body of internal parasites and to eliminate excess mucus in the respiratory system (40).

Zingerone

is an antioxidant used to treat inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and nausea (41).

*Consuming ginger is generally very safe; in fact, some drug companies list it as having no documented adverse effects (41). Of course, excessive consumption of ginger is another matter. Eating extremely large amounts of ginger may cause burning sensations of the stomach, indigestion, and additional complications (41).

Further Information

All of these naturally occurring chemicals are best when consumed from food. Always check first with a doctor before taking any supplements or beginning any dietary modifications. Some substances may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals or be harmful if taken in too large a quantity.

Ginger should be avoided by individuals taking anticoagulants, suffering from gallstones, or who are pregnant (1).

Source

Sources

1. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements

2. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies

3. James A. Duke, Ph.D., The Green Pharmacy: New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs

4. Joseph E. Mario, Anti-Aging Manual: The Encyclopedia of Natural Health

5. Hyla Cass, M.D., Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutrition

6. Dr Ron Roberts, Asthma Controlled Naturally: Techniques That Work

7. Michael T. Murray, ND Textbook of Natural Medicine 2nd Edition Volume 1

8. Pub Med article beta-Ionone suppresses mammary carcinogenesis, proliferative activity and induces apoptosis in the mammary gland of the Sprague-Dawley rat accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18386789

9. Pub Med article Beta-ionone inhibits colonic aberrant crypt foci formation in rats, suppresses cell growth, and induces retinoid X receptor-alpha in human colon cancer cells accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18202021

10. Phuli Cohan, The Natural Hormone Makeover: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate Your Health and Rediscover Your Inner Glow

11. Andrew Pengelly, The Constituents of Medicinal Plants: An Introduction to the Chemistry and Therapeutics of Herbal Medicine

12. Andrew Pengelly, The Constituents of Medicinal Plants: An Introduction to the Chemistry and Therapeutics of Herbal Medicine

13. Gary Null and Amy McDonald, The Food-Mood Connection: Nutrition-based and Environmental Approaches to Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing

14. Bottom Line Books, Uncommon Cures For Everyday Ailments

15. Dan Buettner, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest
16. The Editors of FC&A, Unleash the Inner Healing Power of Foods

17. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why

18. Leslie Taylor, ND, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: A Guide to Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals

19. David W. Grotto, RD, LDN, 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life!

20. Pub Med article Citral, a component of lemongrass oil inhibits the clastogenic effect of nickel chloride in mouse micronucleus test system.

Accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16751120

21. Pub Med article Citral is a new inducer of caspase-3 in tumor cell lines. Accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15931590

22. James A. Howenstine, A Physician's Guide to Natural Health Products That Work

23.David W. Grotto, RD, LDN, 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life

24. Andreas Moritz, Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation: Unleash The Natural Healing Power That Lies Dormant Within You

25. Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic

26. Dr. David W. Tanton; Ph.D., A Drug-Free Approach To Healthcare, Revised Edition

27. Patrick Quillin, Beating Cancer with Nutrition

28. Gary Null and Amy McDonald, The Food-Mood Connection: Nutrition-based and Environmental Approaches to Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing

29. NIH Public Access article Molecular Mechanisms involved in Farnesol-Induced Apoptosis accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815016/?tool=pmcentrez

30. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies

31. Laurie Deutsch Mozian, M.S., R.D., Foods That Fight Disease: A Simple Guide to Using and Understanding Phytonutrients to Protect and Enhance Your Health

32. Laurie Deutsch Mozian, M.S., R.D., Foods That Fight Disease: A Simple Guide to Using and Understanding Phytonutrients to Protect and Enhance Your Health

33. James A. Duke, Ph.D., The Green Pharmacy Anti-Aging Prescriptions: Herbs, Foods, and Natural Formulas to Keep You Young

34. Gabriel Cousens, There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program

35. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why

36. Bottom Line Books, Uncommon Cures For Everyday Ailments

37. Maurice Finkel, Fresh hope with new cancer treatments: Over twenty natural methods for prevention, treatment, and control of cancer

38. Stephen Sinatra, M.D. and James C., M.D. Roberts, Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It's Too Late

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40. David Hoffman, FNIMH, AHG Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine

41. Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD and Michael Smith, BPharm, MRPharmS, ND, The Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs

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Comments 8 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

This hub will be a great quick reference resource. Thanks!


Schatzie Speaks profile image

Schatzie Speaks 5 years ago from US Author

Thank you, RTalloni! I'm glad you found it helpful.


Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

Wow great hub, I never realized how good ginger is for you.


Schatzie Speaks profile image

Schatzie Speaks 5 years ago from US Author

Thank you, Charlu! I also learned a ton, it was fascinating research. I truly enjoyed writing this hub! :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Very useful and helpful!

I like ginger ~ and I'll keep some in the house, in future :)


Schatzie Speaks profile image

Schatzie Speaks 5 years ago from US Author

Thank you, Trish_M.

I love it too, and now have even more reasons to add it to everything, from tea to dinner!


Nairobiani profile image

Nairobiani 2 years ago

Hmmm..............I knew ginger is good for digestion and fighting colds but there is so much more to it! Thank you


Caroline 4 months ago

I'm from Africa and we use ginger a lot. I used it every day when cooking because it helps me a lot with my digestion.

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