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Zingiber Officinale Rosc



Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis

Latin Botanical Name: Zingiber Officinale Rosc.

Common Name: Fresh Ginger

Properties: Acrid, warm.

Channels Entered: Lung, spleen, stomach

Actions & Indications:
Sheng jiang means fresh ginger: Evaporates the exterior and rids of coldness, warms the middle burner (jiao) and alleviates stuffy nose, pain of intestine hernia, vomiting, stops coughing with chronic lung disorders with phlegm, reduces the toxicity of other herbs (like fu zi, ban xia). For sweaty feet, frost bite, sore mouth and tongue, body odor from armpits, itchiness, for preventing sea sickness.

Gan jiang means dry ginger. Gan jiang is mainly used in warming the middle, purge coldness, correct yangxu condition which is to improve circulation, rid of cold and pain of chest and of abdomen, lower back pain and chronic diarrhea.

Pao jiang (hei jiang) means baked ginger. It is for warming the digestive system, getting rid of heat due to deficiency, for cold pain of chest and abdomen, flatulence, diarrhea. dysentry, stop bleeding, rid of clot blood, vomiting blood, diarrhea with blood, excessive bleeding during premenopausal stage.

Sheng jiang pi means fresh ginger peels: It is acrid, cool, being used in edema, difficulty in urination; taken as decoction.

Zingiber officinale (Fresh Ginger)

Zingiber officinale Rosc., also known as Jiang or Ginger, is a plant of the Zingiberaceae family. When its dried rhizome is used as a medicine, the Chinese medicinal name is Ganjiang; when its fresh rhizome is used as a medicine, the Chinese medicinal name is Shengjiang; when the processed dried rhizome is used as a medicine, the Chinese medicinal name is Paojiang.
There are about 80 species of plants in the Zingiber genus in the world which are mainly distributed in the tropical and sub-tropical areas in Asia. About 14 species can be found in China, and about 2 species are used as herbal medicines. Zingiber officinale is widely cultivated in Central, Southeastern and Southwestern China.
“Ganjiang”, “Shengjiang” and “Paojiang” were first described as medicines in Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing), Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians (Ming Yi Bie Lu) and Pouch of Pearls (Zhen Zhu Nang) respectively; the medicinal species have remained the same from ancient times to the present day. This species is stated in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2005) as the official botanical origin of the Chinese medicines Ganjiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis), Shengjiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens) and Paojiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Praeparatum). Shengjiang is mainly produced in most parts of China; Ganjiang is mainly produced in Sichuan and Guizhou, etc., in China, as well as in Zhejiang, Shandong, Hubei, Guangdong and Shaanxi, with greater amount and better quality from Sichuan and Guizhou.
Plants in the Zingiber genus mainly contain volatile oils and diarylheptanoids. Chinese Pharmacopoeia specifies that the content of volatile oils in Rhizoma Zingiberis shall not be less than 0.8% (mL/g) in order to control the quality of the medicinal materials.
Pharmacological studies indicate that Zingiber officinale has antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-platelet aggregation effects.
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, Ganjiang warms the spleen and stomach, dissipates cold, restores Yang, unblocks the channels, warms the lungs, and transforms fluids; Shengjiang dispels wind-cold, warms the spleen and stomach, stops vomiting, warms the lungs, and stops coughing; Paojiang warms the channels, arrests bleeding, warms the spleen and stomach, and relieves pain.

Chemical Compositions
The rhizome contains essential oils: α-zingiberene, β-bisabolene, 1,8-cineole, camphene, α-phellandrene, sesquiphellandrene, α-curcumene [1-2]; pungent constituents: 6-,4-,8-,10-,12-gingerols, 6-gingerdione, 6-shogaol, 8-shogaol, 6-gingediol (6-gingerdiol), 6-gingediol-5-acetate, 6-gingediol-3-acetate, 6-gingediacetate [3-4]; diarylheptanoids: gingerenones A, B, C, isogingerenone B [5].

Pharmacological Activities
1. Anti-pyresis, analgesia and anti-inflammation
Intragastric administration of ether and water extracts of the dried ginger significantly reduced dimethylbenzene-induced auricular swelling in mice and carrageenin-induced plantar edema in rats, and reduced the episodes of acetic acid-induced writhing in mice. The ethanol extract significantly inhibited typhoid-paratyphoid A and B vaccine-induced fever reaction in rabbits [6-7]. Oral administration of decoction of the fresh ginger inhibited fever induced by yeast in rats [8]. Intraperitoneal administration of alcohol extract of ginger inhibited significantly carrageenin- and serotonin-induced paw and skin edema in rats, probably via the antagonism of the serotonin receptor [9]. The pungent constituent, 6-gingerol, exhibited analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects [10].
2. Prevention of gastric mucosa damage
Oral administration of decoction of the fresh ginger significantly reduced ethanol- and indomethacin-induced gastric mucosa damage in rats, promoted gastric secretion and inhibited gastric emptying [11]. Oral administration of decoction of the processed ginger significantly inhibited stress-, acetic acid-, and pylorus ligation-induced gastric ulcers in rats [12].
3. Anti-emesis and detoxification
Oral administration of decoction of the fresh ginger significantly reduced the episodes of copper sulphate-induced vomiting in pigeons. Topical application of decoction of the fresh ginger mitigated the irritation to eyelid conjunctiva induced by Rhizoma Pinelliae in rabbits [8].
4. Modulation of lipid metabolism
Oral administration of extract of the fresh ginger significantly decreased serum triglyeride and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels, increased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol level in rats with hyperlipidemia [13].
5. Anti-hyperglycemia
Oral administration of fresh ginger juice significantly improved hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, and produced a significant increase in insulin levels and a decrease in fasting glucose levels [14].
6. Anti-bacteria
Ethanol extract of the dried ginger produced inhibitory effects on Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia [7]. Ethanol extract of the fresh ginger inhibited the growth of Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum canis [15]. Oral administration of fresh ginger increased the content of serum lysozyme in mice. Improving the activity of serum lysozyme is possibly one of the mechanisms of its anti-bacterial effect [16].
7. Anti-tumor
Oral administration of ethanol extract of the fresh ginger significantly increased the organ indexes, phagocytosis rate, α-naphthyl acetate esterase positive rate and titer of IgM in tumor-bearing mice, improved the immunological functions [17]. Ethanol extract of ginger significantly inhibited skin tumor promoter-induced cellular, biochemical, and morphological changes in mouse skin. Topical application of 6-gingerol significantly inhibited skin papillomagenesis in mice [18-19].
8. Effects on cardiac functions
Oral administration of supercritical fluid CO2 extract of the dried ginger reduced blood pressure, especially diastolic pressure and heart rate in anaesthetized rabbits [20].
9. Anti-platelet aggregation
Pungent constituents of ginger significantly inhibited arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation and cycloxygenase-1 activity [21].
10. Others
Oral administration of ethanol extract of the fresh ginger produced protective effects on heart, liver and brain in acute hypoxia mice [22]. Decoction of processed ginger significantly shortened the bleeding time of traumatic hemorrhage in mice [23].

1. Common colds, headache, coughs; 2. Vomiting, diarrhea, food poison; 3. Rheumatalgia; 4. Intestinal obstruction; 5. Hematemesis, hematochezia, dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

Both fresh and dried gingers are the medicinal-cum-dietary products specified by the Ministry of Health of China.
Zingiber officinale is cultivated throughout the world. Its rhizome is commonly used as a cooking spice. It is also a traditional medicinal plant in China and even the entire Asia, and has diversified pharmacological activities and clinical applications. Available in abundant resources and low prices, medicinal and edible, this plant is therefore worthy of further research and development.
Gingerol, a general term of spicy substances in the rhizome, is the mixture of various substances which have stomachic, anti-gastric ulcer, hepatoprotective, cholagogue, cardiac, central nervous depressant, anti-tumor, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Gingerol is responsible for the characteristic pungency of ginger as well. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further research and development on gingerol.

1. M Miyazawa, H Kameoka. Volatile flavor components of crude drugs. Part V. Volatile flavor components of Zingiberis Rhizoma (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Agricultural and Biological Chemistry. 1988, 52(11): 2961-2963
2. GX Song, CH Deng, D Wu, YM Hu. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupled with solid-phase microextraction for determination of volatile constituents of Chinese ginger. Journal of Fudan University (Natural Science). 2003, 42(6): 939-944, 949
3. J Yamahara, S Hatakeyama, K Taniguchi, M Kawamura, M Yoshikawa. Stomachic principles in ginger. II. Pungent and antiulcer effects of low polar constituents isolated from ginger, the dried rhizoma of Zingiber officinale Roscoe cultivated in Taiwan. The absolute stereostructure of a new diarylheptanoid. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1992, 112(9): 645-655
4. H Kikuzaki, SM Tsai, N Nakatani. Constituents of Zingiberaceae. Part 5. Gingerdiol related compounds from the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale. Phytochemistry. 1992, 31(5): 1783-1786
5. K Endo, E Kanno, Y Oshima. Structures of antifungal diarylheptenones, gingerenones A, B, C and isogingerenone B, isolated from the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale. Phytochemistry. 1990, 29(3): 797-799
6. MF Zhang, JY Duan, YQ Shen, GJ Chen, YP Song. The pharmacological study of dried ginger: warming the channels to alleviate pain. Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1992, 1: 41-43, 25
7. M Wang, HM Qian, JD Su. Antipyretic and analgesic effects of Rhizoma Zingiberis alcoholic extract and its in vitro antibacterial actions. Traditional Chinese Drug Research & Clinical Pharmacology. 2003, 14(5): 299-301
8. JH Wang, BY Xue, AH Liang, L Wang, JD Hao, H Yang, H Yi. Comparative study on pharmacological effects of dried and fresh gingers. Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal. 2000, 35(3): 163-165
9. SC Penna, MV Medeiros, FSC Aimbire, HCC Faria-Neto, JAA Sertie, RAB Lopes-Martins. Anti-inflammatory effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of Zingiber officinale rhizomes on rat paw and skin edema. Phytomedicine. 2003, 10(5): 381-385
10. HY Young,HY Cheng,MC Hsieh,JC Liao,WH Peng. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of [6]-gingerol. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005, 96: 207-210
11. QW Sun, MC Teng, Y Hou. Protective effect of fresh ginger on gastric mucosa in rat and preliminary study of its mechanism. Jiangxi Medical Journal. 1992, 27(4): 207-210
12. H Wu, DJ Ye, YQ Bai, YZ Zhao. Effect of dry ginger and roasted ginger on experimental gastric ulcers in rats. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1990, 15(5): 22-24
13. CX Wu, XB Wei, H Ding. Study on influence of effective parts of Zingiber officinale on blood lipid. Qilu Pharmaceutical Affairs. 2005, 24(3): 174-176
14. SP Akhani, SL Vishwakarma, RK Goyal. Anti-diabetic activity of Zingiber officinale in streptozotocin-induced type I diabetic rats. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2004, 56(1): 101-105
15. AH Fu, JY Yin, Y Sun, MY Duan, JY Liu, HG Zhang. Study on antidermatophyte activity of Polygonatum sibiricum Redoute and Zingiber officinale Rosc. Journal of Norman Bethune University of Medical Science. 2001, 27(4): 384-385
16. HF Wang, L Zeng, AZ Zhao, XL Fu, SY Jia. Effects of Rhizoma Zingiberis on activities of serum lysozyme in mice. Progress in Veterinary Medicine. 2001, 22(4): 70-71
17. H Liu, YZ Zhu. Effect of alcohol extract of Zingiber officinale Rosc on immunologic function of mice with tumor. Journal of Hygiene Research. 2002, 31(3): 208-209
18. SK Katiyar, R Agarwal, H Mukhtar. Inhibition of tumor promotion in SENCAR mouse skin by ethanol extract of Zingiber officinale rhizome. Cancer Research. 1996, 56(5): 1023-1030
19. KK Park, KS Chun, JM Lee, SS Lee, YJ Surh. Inhibitory effects of [6]-gingerol, a major pungent principle of ginger, on phorbol ester-induced inflammation, epidermal ornithine decarboxylase activity and skin tumor promotion in ICR mice. Cancer Letters. 1998, 129(2): 139-144
20. CJ Lu, QW Xu, M Ou, NS Wang, SQ Mi. Affections of ginger extraction on the cardiac function and hemodynamics of normal anesthetized rabbit. Chinese Journal of Current Clinical Medicine. 2004, 2(6B): 868-870
21. E Nurtjahja-Tjendraputra, AJ Ammit, BD Roufogalis, VH Tran, CC Duke. Effective anti-platelet and COX-1 enzyme inhibitors from pungent constituents of ginger. Thrombosis Research. 2003, 111(4-5): 259-265
22. XY Song, Q Wang, Y Zhu, XJ Tian. Protective effect of zingiber on acute hypoxia mice. Journal of Capital University of Medical Sciences. 2004, 25(4): 438-440
23. WS Li, ML Xiong. Experimental study of baked ginger and charred ginger. Chinese Traditional Patent Medicine. 1992, 14(12): 22-23

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