Objective: Ginger has been traditionally used to reduce intestinal gas and flatulence. The present study examined the effects of ginger on the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function by esophageal manometry.
Study design: A randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Departments of Physiology and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital.
Subjects: Fourteen healthy young male volunteers.
Material and method: The effect of ginger (1 gram of dried powder suspended in 100 ml water) on LES and esophageal peristalsis were studied by manometry in 14 healthy young men. Subjects drank 100 ml of water as a control, then performed five wet swallows at 30 minutes after the drink, followed by drinking a ginger suspension and performed five wet swallows at every 30 minutes thereafter for 180 minutes. The esophageal manometry was performed throughout 180 minutes after ginger consumption. The manometric parameters before and after water and ginger intake were compared.
Results: The present study showed that after 1 gram-ginger consumption, the LES resting pressures remained unchanged but the percent relaxation at swallowing was increased throughout the 180 minutes with statistical significance at 90, 150 and 180 minutes. The amplitude and duration of esophageal contraction were not changed, while the velocity of contraction waves was decreased at 30, 120, 150 and 180 minutes after the drinks.
Conclusion: Ginger did not affect LES pressure at rest or esophageal contractile amplitude and duration when swallowing, but caused more relaxation of the LES and decreased the esophageal contraction velocity, which may cause more chance of gastric gas expel or antiflatulant effect.