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Ginger

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The Ginger belongs to family Zingiberaceae and is known as Zingiber officinale (Willd.) Rosc. (Syn.Z.missionis Wall., Z.blancoi Mask, Z.majus Rumph, Amomum zingiber Rosc., Curcuma longifolia Wall.Cat). The plant is universally known and widely cultivated all over the warm parts of India.
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Botanical Names
Zingiber officinale
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Nagara, Ardraka, Shringaver, Sunthi. Bengali : Ada Gujarati : Sunth, Adu Hindi : Adrak, Sunth Malayalam : Andrakam, Chukku, Inji Marathi : Sunthi, Ale Kannada : Sunthi Tamil : Sukku, Inji Telugu : Allamu, Sunti
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents includes: i) oleoresin (5.3-8.6%) comprising of nonvolatile pungent principles (gingerols- mainly (6)-gingerol), nonpungent substances (fats and waxes) and volatile oil. ii) Volatile oil (1.5-2.5%) containing sesquiterpene hydrocarbons viz., -zingiberene, -sesquiphellandrene and ar-curcumene as major constituents (The composition of volatile oil varies according to origin and changes upon storage. iii) Lipids (6-8%) iv) Proteins (10%) v) Starch (40-60%) Numerous monoterpene and sesuiterpene hydrocarbons and their oxygenated derivatives in volatile oil, other pungent principles viz., Shogaols (anhydro-gingerols, generally absent in fresh ginger), paradols, gingerdiols, gingerdiacetates, gingerdiones, 6-gingersulfonic acid, gingerenones and a number of diarylhepatanoids; diterpenes; gingerglycolipids A,B, &C.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug.Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants.Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
The gingerrols, an important constituents of ginger, have analgesic, sedative, antipyretic and antibacterial properties and increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Ginger oil has been shown to possess anticancer property in mice and a study at the University of Michigan demonstrated that gingerols can kill ovarian cancer cells also. The chemo preventive potentials of [6]-gingerol present a promising future alternative to expensive and toxic therapeutic agents. Ginger and its constituent’s acts mainly as digestive aids possess anti ulcer cholagogic and antiemetic properties and increase gastro-intestinal motility. Ginger is also known to possess hypolipidaemic, anti atherosclerotic, anti diabetic and cardiotonic properties. In clinical trials, ginger seems to be of use in treating motion sickness and rheumatic disorders. Ginger has been claimed to decrease the pain from arthritis. It may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease. Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea. Zingerone is likely to be the active constituent against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin-induced diarrhea.
Health Benefits
Ginger has been found effective in multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy though ginger was not found superior over a placebo for pre-emptively treating post-operative nausea. Animal studies suggest that ginger reduces anxiety. Ginger is one of the most commonly used fresh herbs and spices. Biological-activity-guided searching for active components showed that zingerone (vanillyl acetone) was the likely active constituent responsible for the antidiarrheal efficacy of ginger. Ginger and its derivatives may be effective herbal supplements for the clinical treatment of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli diarrhea.
Research References
• www.pubmed.gov Pubmed, a wellknown site has listed important studies going on around the world in various universities. These include….. 1. Activity of solvent extracts of Prosopis spicigera, Zingiber officinale and Trachyspermum ammi against multidrug resistant bacterial and fungal strains.(Khan R, Zakir M, Afaq SH, Latif A, Khan AU.J Infect Dev Ctries. 2010 Jun 3; 4(5):292-300.PMID: 20539061). 2. Zingiber officinale protects HaCaT cells and C57BL/6 mice from ultraviolet B-induced inflammation.(Guahk GH, Ha SK, Jung HS, Kang C, Kim CH, Kim YB, Kim SY.J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):673-80.PMID: 20521990 ). 3. Protective effect of ginger against alcohol-induced renal damage and antioxidant enzymes in male albino rats.(Shanmugam KR, Ramakrishna CH, Mallikarjuna K, Reddy KS.Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 Feb;48(2):143-9.PMID: 20455323). 4. Ginger reduces severity of nausea in early pregnancy compared with vitamin B6, and the two treatments are similarly effective for reducing number of vomiting episodes.(Smith C.Evid Based Nurs. 2010 Apr;13(2):40. No abstract available. PMID: 20436140). 5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise.(Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, O'Connor PJ.J Pain. 2010 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20418184). 6. Effect of gingerol on substance P and NK1 receptor expression in a vomiting model of mink.(Qian QH, Yue W, Chen WH, Yang ZH, Liu ZT, Wang YX.Chin Med J (Engl). 2010 Feb;123(4):478-84.PMID: 20193490). 7. 6-Dehydrogingerdione, an active constituent of dietary ginger, induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through reactive oxygen species/c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways in human breast cancer cells.(Hsu YL, Chen CY, Hou MF, Tsai EM, Jong YJ, Hung CH, Kuo PL.Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20175081).
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