Species differences in the prokinetic effects of ginger

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


This study describes the prokinetic actions of the aqueous extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale). Ginger extract (Zo.Cr), which tested positive for saponins, terpenes, phenols, flavonoids and alkaloids, showed a spasmogenic effect in isolated guinea-pig ileum with 8-50 times more potency than in rabbit jejunum and ileum and rat stomach fundus and ileum. Spasmogenicity in all the gut preparations except in guinea-pig ileum was atropine-sensitive. Zo.Cr exhibited a stimulant effect in vivo in mice and enhanced the intestinal transit of charcoal meal. A spasmolytic effect, mediated via Ca2 + antagonist activity, was also exhibited by Zo.Cr, reflected in terms of inhibition of spontaneous contractions, K+ (80 mM)-induced contractions and displacement of Ca2 + dose-response curves. The ginger pure compounds (6-shogaol, 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 10-gingerol) also exhibited a spasmolytic activity, which reduced with the increasing size of the side chain in their chemical structures. The study showed that the aqueous extract of ginger exhibits species-specific spasmogenicity in gut tissues of rabbit and rat (muscarinic-type) while through an uncharacterized pathway in guinea-pig ileum, along with a dormant relaxant effect, mediated via the blockade of voltage-dependent Ca2 + channels.


International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition