Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, has been used to treat pain, among other things.

Prof. Ernst and colleagues from the University of Exeter, in the UK reviewed the evidence for the use of ginger to treat any type of pain.

First, the details.

  • 7 published articles, reporting 8 studies (481 participants), were included in the review.
  • Jadad ratings for the quality of the research ranged from 2 to 5 (on a 1 to 5 [highest score] scale).

And, the results.

  • 6 studies (2 for osteoarthritis, 1 for dysmenorrhea, and 3 for experimentally induced acute muscle pain) reported that Z. officinale reduced subjective pain reports.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The available data provide tentative support for the anti-inflammatory role of Z. officinale constituents, which may reduce the subjective experience of pain in some conditions such as osteoarthritis.

However, the authors also suggest more research to confirm their tentative conclusion

1/16/12 21:33 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.