Ginger, the underground rhizome of Zingiber officinale is a spice that is popular throughout the world. It is an important medicinal plant in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The scientific evidence for the anticancer properties of this herb is summarized as under:

The anticancer properties of ginger have been attributed to pungent molecules—vallinoids. 6-gingerol, 6-paradol, and others such as shogaols and zingerone (Shukla & Singh, 2007). 6-Shogaol was observed to have the potential of an effective immunotherapeutic agent for cancers (Hsu et al., 2015). Similarly, 6-gingerol was found to be effective against gastric cancer cells in animal trials (Ishiguro et al., 2007).

Ginger extract was shown to significantly impact liver cancer cells (Habib et al., 2008). Its action in inhibiting skin cancer in mice has also been investigated (Katiyar et al., 1996). It is also shown to inhibit ovarian cancer cell growth (Rhode et al., 2007).

Ginger extract on colon cancer cells was observed to suppress their growth (Abdullah et al., 2010). Terpenoids from a steam-distilled extract of ginger (SDGE) were observed to be useful in the treatment of endometrial cancer (Liu et al., 2012). Ginger extracts have also been found to have potential as an anticancer agent on breast cancer cells (Elkady et al., 2012).

Chemotherapy often leads to nausea and vomiting. Anticipatory nausea that develops before chemotherapy is poorly controlled with available ant vomiting medicine. Clinical trials with patients showed that the addition of ginger to standard ant nausea medicine is useful in reducing nausea. These were observed in phase 2 and phase 3 trials with cancer patients (Hickok et al., 2007). We appear to be close to conclusive evidence of the role of ginger as an anti-nausea medicine.

Another study in which ginger supplementation at a daily dose of 0.5–1 g was shown to significantly reduce the severity of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in adult cancer patients (Ryan et al., 2012).

To know more about the anti-cancer properties of ginger and other herbs, you can check here.

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