Protective effect of ginger volatile oil against acetic acid-induced colitis in rats: a light microscopic evaluation

J Integr Med. 2014 Mar;12(2):115-20. doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60011-X.


Objective: Ulcerative colitis is a chronically recurrent inflammatory bowel disease of unknown origin. In the present study, the effect of ginger (rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe) volatile oil on a rat model of colitis was evaluated.

Methods: Volatile oil of ginger with doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, prednisolone (4 mg/kg), or vehicle were administered orally to groups of male Wistar rats (n = 6) for 5 d. Animals were randomly divided into 6 groups, each group consisting of 6 rats. Colitis was induced by intracolonic instillation of 2 mL of 4% (v/v) acetic acid solution. All rats were sacrificed 24 h later and the tissue injuries were assessed macroscopically and histopathologically.

Results: Ginger volatile oil with all doses reduced colon weight/length ratio (P < 0.01) and the effects were similar to the reference drugs. Higher oral doses of volatile oil (200 and 400 mg/kg) reduced ulcer severity (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01), ulcer area (P < 0.01) and ulcer index (P < 0.01). On the other hand, evaluation of microscopic scores showed that the dose of 400 mg/kg of volatile oil was effective to reduce inflammation severity (P < 0.01) and inflammation extent (P < 0.05) compared to the control group.

Conclusion: It is concluded that ginger volatile oil could effectively reduce symptoms of experimental colitis in a dose-dependent manner.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Microscopy
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rhizome / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Acetic Acid