Ameliorative and protective effects of ginger and its main constituents against natural, chemical and radiation-induced toxicities: A comprehensive review

Food Chem Toxicol. 2019 Jan;123:72-97. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.10.048. Epub 2018 Oct 22.


Fatal unintentional poisoning is widespread upon human exposure to toxic agents such as pesticides, heavy metals, environmental pollutants, bacterial and fungal toxins or even some medications and cosmetic products. In this regards, the application of the natural dietary agents as antidotes has engrossed a substantial attention. One of the ancient known traditional medicines and spices with an arsenal of metabolites of several reported health benefits is ginger. This extended literature review serves to demonstrate the protective effects and mechanisms of ginger and its phytochemicals against natural, chemical and radiation-induced toxicities. Collected data obtained from the in-vivo and in-vitro experimental studies in this overview detail the designation of the protective effects to ginger's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. Ginger's armoury of phytochemicals exerted its protective function via different mechanisms and cell signalling pathways, including Nrf2/ARE, MAPK, NF-ƙB, Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β1/Smad3, and ERK/CREB. The outcomes of this review could encourage further clinical trials of ginger applications in radiotherapy and chemotherapy regime for cancer treatments or its implementation to counteract the chemical toxicity induced by industrial pollutants, alcohol, smoking or administered drugs.

Keywords: Bio-toxin; Chemotherapy; Ginger; Protective effect; Radiation; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control*
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Protective Agents / chemistry*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Rhizome / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents