Zingiber officinale, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, is a popular spice and herb used as delicacy and to manage numerous diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, ulcer, diarrhea, cold, cough, spasm, vomiting, etc. in folk medicine from China, India, and Arabia Peninsula to other continents of the world including Africa (Nigeria, Egypt, and so on). Though this review is aimed at summarizing the pharmacological potentials of this well-endowed spice, interestingly, we found out that these reported ethnobotanical uses are attributed to a number of inherent chemical constituents including gingerol, 6-, 8-, 10-gingerol, 6-shogaol, 6-hydroshogaol, oleoresin, etc., eliciting various pharmacological effects, not limited to antioxidant, antitumor/anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, antihypertensive, anticholesterolemic, antibiotic/antimicrobial, neuroprotective, antiulcer/gastroprotective, antiemetic, hepatoprotective, and antiplatelet aggregation, safety profiles established through a number of studies (in vitro, in vivo, and cell lines), though some of these potentials are yet to be explored. Sadly, even few of these established effects are yet to be experimented in clinical trials, and only until these are intensified would there be prospect toward drug development for preventive and curative treatments. In conclusion, we are able to highlight and sum up the therapeutic implications of ginger and its related derivatives in the management of ailments confronting humanity.
Part of the book: Ginger Cultivation and Its Antimicrobial and Pharmacological Potentials