New value-adding opportunities for natural therapeutic products in the Australian ginger industry (VG00068)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) was one of the best-known and most important spices with a long history of the use of the ginger rhizome in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It was an ingredient in more than half of all traditional Chinese medicines, and it had a wide range of pharmacological effects. In western alternative medicine, ginger was used to prevent nausea and motion sickness and to treat inflammatory (rheumatic) conditions.
In this study, ginger oil produced by supercritical fluid extraction with pressurised CO2 was further fractionated using preparative HPLC. The resultant fractions were assessed for their anti-inflammatory activity using cell culture and animal model systems. The results showed that the whole ginger oil and some of the isolated fractions were able to reduce the inflammatory reactions in the model systems used. This information gave support to the use of ginger and its extracts for the treatment of medical conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
Further work in the area needed to involve a more thorough fractionation and characterisation of the major (and minor) components of the ginger oil. While this study had identified groups of compounds with (and without) bioactivity, the isolation, characterisation and assessment of individual components may have provided a greater understanding of the mode of action of this widely used traditional medicine.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Buderim Ginger Pty Ltd.
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