Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil. Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of "stomach problems," including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite. Other uses include treating upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis.
Choudhury D, Das A, Bhattacharya A, Chakrabarti G. Aqueous extract of ginger shows antiproliferative activity through disruption of microtubule network of cancer cells. 1. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Oct;48(10):2872-80. Epub 2010 Jul 18.
Ginger has a long history of use as traditional medicine for varied human disease. Our present study has shown that the aqueous extract of ginger (GAE) interacts directly with cellular microtubules and disrupts its structure and induces apoptosis of cancer cells as well. The IC(50) values of GAE, as determined from cell viability experiment on human non-small lung epithelium cancer (A549) cells and human cervical epithelial carcinoma (HeLa), were 239.4+7.4 and 253.4+8.9 ?g/ml, respectively. It has been found that the apoptosis of A549 cells by GAE is mediated by up regulation of tumor suppressor gene p53 and alteration of the normal Bax/Bcl-2 ratio followed by down regulation of cellular pro-caspase3. The morphological change of cells upon GAE treatment has also been demonstrated. Both the structural and functional properties of tubulin and microtubule were lost, as confirmed by both ex vivo and invitro experiments. The major component of GAE is poly-phenols (around 2.5%), which consist of ~80% flavones and flavonols. Poly-phenolic compounds are well known to have anti-mitotic properties, and may be further screened for the development of a potential anti-cancer agent.