Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences
Skip Navigation Links
Available Issues
Editorial Board
Information for Authors
Review Process
Links and Contacts
  Zanco J Med Sci:  Apr. 2013; 17 (1): 349-356

Anti-inflammatory effects of zingiber officinale roscoe involve suppression of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 production

Rizgar Maged & Nurul Nordin & Mohammed Sherwan Abdulla ) (


Background and objective: Inflammation is a physiological response to injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation causes tissue damage and is a feature of most chronic diseases. Despite significant progress in developing therapies to target chronic inflammation over the years, almost all current therapies have serious side effects. The current investigation is to identify naturally-existing anti-inflammatory therapies with fewer side effects.

Methods: The anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of action of extracts and fractions obtained using vacuum liquid chromatography (VLC) from ginger (Zingiber officinale) on the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were investigated. NO and PGE2 production were induced by stimulating the mouse RAW264.7 monocyte/macrophage cell line with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Levels of NO and PGE2 were determined using the Griess method and enzyme linked sorbent assay (ELISA), respectively.  

Results: Extracts of two Zingiber officinale species obtained with chloroform showed potent inhibitory effects on NO and PGE2 production. The extracts had a higher potency than N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a known specific inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor and were comparable in their effects on PGE2 with Indomethacin, a specific PGE2 inhibitor. Further, we identified a fraction (F6) that had most potent inhibitory effects.

Conclusion: The study shows that extract of Zingiber officinale have strong inhibitory effects on key pro-inflammatory mediators involved in chronic inflammation. Both the extracts and F6 had better inhibitory effects than established pharmaceutical inhibitors of NO and PGE2.

Keywords: Zingiber officinale roscoe, inflammation, nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2



1. Tracey KJ. The inflammatory reflex. Nature 2002;420: 853-9.

2. McGettigan P, Henry D. Cardiovascular risk with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: systematic review of population-based controlled observational studies. PLoS Med 2011; 8: e1001098.

3. Murakami A, Takahashi D, Kinoshita T, Koshimizu K, Kim HW, Yoshihiro A, Nakamura Y, Jiwajinda S, Terao J, Ohigashi H. Zerumbone, a Southeast Asian ginger sesquiterpene, markedly suppresses free radical generation, proinflammatory protein production, and cancer cell proliferation accompanied by apoptosis: the alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl group is a prerequisite. Carcinogenesis 2002; 23: 795-802.

4. Coleman JW. Nitric oxide in immunity and inflammation. Int Immunopharmacol 2001; 1: 1397-1406.

5. Rocca B, FitzGerald GA. Cyclooxygenases and prostaglandins: shaping up the immune response. Int Immunopharm 2002; 2: 603-630.

6. Vernin G, Párkányi C: Chemistry of  Ginger, p. 87, in: P. N. Ravindran and K.    Nirmal Babu (Eds.), Ginger - the Genus Zingiber. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (2005).

7. Kizhakkayil J, Sasikumar B. Diversity, characterization and utilization of ginger: a review. Plant Gen Resources 2011; 9: 464-477.  

8. Ibrahim HN, Hussin K. Cultivated Gingers of Peninsular Malaysia: Utilization, profiles and micropropagation. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 2007; 59: 71-88.

9. Fouda A-MM, Berika MY. Evaluation of the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Zingiber officinale rhizomes in rat collagen-induced arthritis. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2009; 104: 262-271.

10. Ramadan G, Al-Kahtani M, El-Sayed W. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of curcuma longa (Turmeric) versus Zingiber officinale (Ginger) rhizomes in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis. Inflammation 2011; 34: 291-301.

11. Landers JP. Handbook of capillary electrophoresis. J. P. Landers (Ed.), CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, FL, USA 1996, pp. 1–912.

12. Handy RLC, Moore PK. A comparison of the effects of L-NAME, 7-NI and L-NIL on carrageenan-induced hindpaw oedema and NOS activity. Br J Pharmacol 1998; 123: 1119-1126.

13. Salvemini D, Misko TP, Masferrer JL, Seibert K, Currie MG, Needleman P. Nitric oxide activates cyclooxygenase enzymes. Proc Nat Acad Sci 1993; 90: 7240-7244.

14. Pan M-H, Hsieh M-C, Hsu P-C, Ho S-Y, Lai C-S, Wu H, Sang S, Ho C-T. 6-Shogaol suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced up-expression of iNOS and COX-2 in murine macrophages. Mol Nutr Food Res 2008; 52: 1467-1477.