Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a common and widely used spice. It is rich in various chemical constituents, including phenolic compounds, terpenes, polysaccharides, lipids, organic acids, and raw fibers. The health benefits of ginger are mainly attributed to its phenolic compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols. Accumulated investigations have demonstrated that ginger possesses multiple biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, neuroprotective, cardiovascular protective, respiratory protective, antiobesity, antidiabetic, antinausea, and antiemetic activities. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the bioactive compounds and bioactivities of ginger, and the mechanisms of action are also discussed. We hope that this updated review paper will attract more attention to ginger and its further applications, including its potential to be developed into functional foods or nutraceuticals for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory; anticancer; antinausea; antiobesity; antioxidant; phytochemicals.