Ginger – Fact sheet

health-benefits Jun 22, 2021
Photo by Lawrence Aritao / Unsplash

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is the underground stem or root (rhizome) of the ginger plant with a firm, striated texture. Fresh ginger has an active component, Gingerol or [6]-gingerol.
The characteristic fragrance and flavour of ginger result from volatile oils consisting of zingerone, shogaols and gingerol. Zingerone is produced from gingerol during drying, having lower pungency and a spicy-sweet aroma.
The top commercial producers of ginger include Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia
In Asian medicine, dried ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat stomach ache, diarrhoea, and nausea.

Health benefits of Ginger

Gastrointestinal support – digestion
Ginger helps promote regular digestion and metabolism of food and is largely responsible for promoting a strong immune system.
Ginger is very effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.  
Ginger helps people who are bloated, constipated and have other gastrointestinal disorders. It relaxes the smooth muscle in the gut lining and helps food move along throughout the system.
The phenolic compounds in ginger help to relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva (stimulating the production of saliva makes swallowing easier) and bile production. Ginger’s anti-vomiting action is useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Cardiovascular health --Anti-blood-clotting ability of Ginger helps in preventing blood clotting (which blocks arteries), improves circulation and reduces the risk of cardiac arrest.
Pain relief --The volatile oils in ginger help in Pain relief and if taken regularly can prevent arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases  --frequently develop after middle age.
Ginger has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea (severe pain during a menstrual cycle).
Immunity and Respiration --Ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that cause infections, especially in the respiratory system. Combination of ginger oil and eucalyptus oil is an effective remedy to boost immunity and improve breathing.
Ginger lowers blood sugar levels and improves various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.
It reduces age-related chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, low-grade inflammation and cancer.
Gingerols, the main active phytonutrients in ginger inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).
Gingerols are widely known to enhance insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. Ginger not only helps prevent and reverse diabetes — it also protects against diabetic retinopathy.
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. It also reduces exercise-induced muscle soreness.

Side effects

Side effects from eating ginger are rare, but doses higher than 4 g may cause mouth irritation, acid reflux or diarrhoea.
As an anticoagulant, increases bleeding, cautioned against using it when taking blood-thinning medications or before surgery.
Although ginger is generally recognized as safe, it can cause heartburn and other side effects, particularly if taken in powdered form.
Unchewed fresh ginger may result in intestinal blockage, and individuals who have ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or blocked intestines may react badly to large quantities of fresh ginger.
It can also badly affect individuals with gallstones. Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash.

Ginger provides a variety of vitamins and minerals:

  • Carbohydrate -    17.77 g
  • Dietary Fiber -     2 g
  • Protein -              1.82 g
  • Dietary Fiber -     2 g
  • Sugars -               1.7 g
  • Sodium -              13 mg
  • Vitamin B6 -        0.16 mg
  • Calcium -             16 mg
  • Iron -                     0.6 mg
  • Vitamin C -          5 mg
  • Potassium -          415 mg
  • Magnesium -        43 mg
  • Phosphorus -          34 mg
  • Zinc -                     0.34 mg
  • Folate -                  11 mcg
  • Riboflavin -            0.034 mg
  • Niacin -                   0.75 mg
  • Iron -                       0.6 mg

Figures above are per 100g of ginger.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.