Cancer preventive properties of ginger: a brief review

Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 May;45(5):683-90. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.11.002. Epub 2006 Nov 12.


Ginger, the rhizome of Zingiber officinalis, one of the most widely used species of the ginger family, is a common condiment for various foods and beverages. Ginger has a long history of medicinal use dating back 2500 years. Ginger has been traditionally used from time immemorial for varied human ailments in different parts of the globe, to aid digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhoea, and nausea. Some pungent constituents present in ginger and other zingiberaceous plants have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and some of them exhibit cancer preventive activity in experimental carcinogenesis. The anticancer properties of ginger are attributed to the presence of certain pungent vallinoids, viz. [6]-gingerol and [6]-paradol, as well as some other constituents like shogaols, zingerone etc. A number of mechanisms that may be involved in the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its components have been reported from the laboratory studies in a wide range of experimental models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Catechols
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Fatty Alcohols / chemistry
  • Fatty Alcohols / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Guaiacol / analogs & derivatives
  • Guaiacol / chemistry
  • Guaiacol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Ketones / chemistry
  • Ketones / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Zingiber officinale / chemistry*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Catechols
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Ketones
  • Oils, Volatile
  • zingerone
  • Guaiacol
  • gingerol
  • 6-paradol