Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders.
Oxygenation of arachidonic acid is increased in inflamed tissues. In this condition products of two enzymic pathways--the cyclooxygenase and the 5-lipoxygenase producing respectively prostaglandins and leukotrienes--are elevated. Of the cyclooxygenase products, PGE2 and of the lipoxygenase products, LTB4 are the strongest candidates for mediating inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which inhibit the cyclooxygenase, and corticosteroids are used to treat such disorders. Both types of drugs produce adverse side-effects on prolonged use. Ginger is reported in Ayurvedic and Tibb systems of medicine to be useful in rheumatic disorders. Seven patients suffering from such disorders reported relief in pain and associated symptoms on ginger administration.