Are Ginger Effective in Treating Nausea?

Ginger (Zingiber officinale), has a long history of medicinal use in Asia. Several studies showed that ginger effectively reduces nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness, surgery, and morning sickness during pregnancy.  The antiemetic action of ginger root is attributed to its constituents, gingerol and and shogaol their interactions with 5HT-3 receptors.  Ginger has been approved by German Commission E for indigestion and to help prevent motion sickness.

Nausea and Vomiting Treatment

A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 79 Swedish naval cadets demonstrated that 1 grams of ginger root could reduce nausea and vertigo at sea.  A double blind study aboard a ship demonstrated ginger was equally as efficacious as various drugs in controlling seasickness, in a large study of 1489 individuals. In a 2006 report from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers sized up 5 studies and concluded that taking ginger root is more powerful than placebo for post surgery nausea and vomiting. The effectiveness of  ginger root as an antiemetic agent was compared with placebo and metoclopramide in 60 women who had major gynaecological surgery in a study. There were statistically significantly fewer recorded incidences of nausea in the group that received ginger compared with placebo. The number of incidences of nausea in the groups that received either metoclopramide or ginger were similar.

Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

NauseaClinical trials show that 1g daily of ginger root may reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women when used for short periods.  A 2004 study performed at Australia’s University of Adelaide found ginger root reduced nausea related to pregnancy. In a study of 30 pregnant women with severe vomiting, those who took 1 g of ginger root every day for four days provided more relaxation from vomiting than those who took placebo.  A review of 6 study with a total of 675 women, reported in the April 2005 edition of the journal, “Obstetrics and Gynecology”, has showed that ginger root is efficacious in relieving the  severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Ginger for Chemotherapy-related Nausea in Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is a common adverse effect of cytotoxic therapy. Early research findings that ginger root may reduce the severity and length of time that cancer patients feel nauseous after chemotherapy. In a study, of over 600 cancer patients found that a ginger root extract lessen chemotherapy-induced nausea by 40%. The Phase II/III placebo-controlled, double-blind study included 644 cancer patients who would receive at least 3 chemotherapy. Patients were divided into four arms that received placebos, 0.5 g of ginger, 1 g of ginger, or 1.5 g of ginger along with antiemetics. They took the ginger supplements 3 days prior to chemotherapy and 3 days following therapy. Patients reported nausea levels at different times of day during following their chemotherapy and those who took the lower doses had a 40% decrease.

Aloe Vera Boosts Immune Function

Aloe vera belongs to the Liliaceae family. Aloe is a large group of different succulent plants consisting of more than 400 different varietys of Aloe. The leaves of the species Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) are most often used for production of Aloe ingredients in addition to supplements and herbal remedies. Researches show that polysaccharides found in aloe have immunomodulatory and antitumor activities.

Aloe Vera Immune System Benefits

Acemannan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is present in aloe vera and  is used as an identifier of the botanical by analytical means. Aloe vera, a important immune stimulant, includes 90 percent rhodium and iridium in the acemannan which is one of the polysaccharides which dramatically enhances the white blood cells or macrophages and T cells. Acemannan, is known for its ability to restore and boost the immune system by stimulating the production of macrophages and improving the activity of T-Lymphocytes by up to 50 %. One polysaccharide, acemannan, produces immune agents such as interferon and interleukin which help to destroy bacteria, viruses, and tumor cell.

One study reported in “International Immunopharmacology” demonstrated that aloe polysaccharides exhibited strong macrophage-activating activities including producing increased volumes of nitric oxide. Research reported in the “Journal of Environmental Science and Health” that aloe vera contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Aloe polysaccharides application have been shown to develop helper lymphocytes in AIDS patients and inhibit the reproduction of HIV. In a study, for 4 months, 29 participant were given pure aloe  juice along with an essential fatty acid supplement and other supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. After ninety days, all of the patients had lesser occurrences of opportunistic infections, fatigue, thrush, and diarrhea, as well as increased white blood cell counts. 14 HIV patients were given acemannan (aloe vera extract) orally at 800 mgs per day. A important boost in the number of circulating monocytes and macrophages were noted, which increased infection fighting capacities.

An in vitro study has showed aloeride, (a polysaccharide obtained from aloe vera), as a strong immunostimulator by increasing NF-kappa B activities. Aloeride is between 4 and 7 million Da, and its glycosyl components include glucose, galactose, mannose, and arabinose. “The International Journal of Toxicology” reports that aloe-emodin, has anticarcinogenic effects that inhibit the growth of tumors. One study demonstrated that an aloe extract (aloe emodin) can block the growth of head and neck cancer cells in test tubes. Aloe-emodin (chemical component of Aloe), inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in human liver cancer cell lines through p53-and p21-dependent pathways. A compound made from aloe vera, di 2-ethyl hexyl phthalate, has been found to stop the development of leukaemia cells in test tubes.

Japanese scientists induced  mice with cancer and treated them with diverse concentrations of cassialoin (active component in aloe vera). The findings which was reported in the Nov 2008 edition of the journal Cancer Science, was improved cell health and immunity, generating T cells in the small intestine and spleen. In a study researchers found that a compound from aloe vera, when injected directly into tumors, activated the immune system to attack the cancer. Natural killer T cells, white blood cells that bind to invading cells and destroy them, began to attack the tumor cells. One study in Italy of 240 cancer patients (bowel cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer) reported in 2009. Half the patients took aloe as a liquid three times a day during chemotherapy. In this study the cancer was controlled or shrank for a time in 67 percent of patients who had the combined aloe and chemotherapy treatment and in 50 percent of patients who had standard chemotherapy alone.

Aloe Vera Relieves Inflammation

Aloe vera reduces inflammation. Various researches have showed that aloe vera consists of Lupeol or phyto-steroids, Campesterol and B-Sitosterol. These substances work in the similar manner as conventional steroids. Aloe contains small levels of salicylic acid and salicylates.

Aloe Vera and Anti-inflammatory Effects

The anti-inflammatory effect of aloe vera has been revealed by a number of in vitro and in vivo studies. Aloe appears to exert its anti-inflammatory effect through bradykinase effect and thromboxane B2 and prostaglandin F2 inhibition. Aloe vera contains salicylic acid which is an aspirin-like compound with analgesic and anti inflammatory effects. Salicylic acid has pain relief effects and relieves inflammation by inhibiting the production of prostaglandin hormones-which encourage inflammation. Three plant sterols in aloe vera reduces inflammation by up to 37% in croton oil-induced oedema in mice. Also, in researches, aloe vera has been shown to possess anti-bradykinin effect. Bradykinin is part of the body’s complex mechanism that causes painful inflammation.

Plant steroids have inflammatory properties, and according to a 2006 article reported by “Family Health News Nutrition“, salicylic acid and  aspirin are similar in anti-inflammatory effect. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications ease swollen joints and improve mobility, however may trigger stomach upsets or peptic ulcers. Aloe vera can alleviate inflammation, help to regenerate new cells and disperse damaged tissue with no adverse effects. Scientists in Mexico found that aloe vera inhibits COX-2, an enzyme that causes inflammation in the arachidonic acid pathway. According to the article reported in Dec 1994 in the “Journal of the American Podiatric Association”, aloe has a natural COX-2 inhibiting effect which relieves pain, fever and inflammation in the muscle without the unfavorable effects of the COX-2 inhibiting drugs. In a study animals were injected with a bacterium to cause arthritic symptoms. Further, aloe vera (150mg/kg body weight) was injected under the skin daily for 13 days. Aloe vera reduced inflammation by 79 % and suppressed the autoimmune response by 42 %.

Aloe Vera Could Help Treat Digestive Problems

Aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) is a widely cultivated cactus-like plant that is a member of the lily family. Aloe vera is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help develop digestion.

Aloe Vera Digestive Benefits

Aloe vera is known worldwide for its digestive effects. Specific components in aloe vera have a anti inflammatory activity on the enzymes responsible for damaging the intestinal wall. Mucopolysaccharides found in the aloe vera role in the body by lining the colon to keep out toxins. Mucopolysaccharides expedite the absorption of water, electrolytes and nutrition in the gastrointestinal tract, and help to maintain fluid movement thus the digestive system can work healthy and alleviate indigestion. Aloe latex and aloe leaves include chemicals with laxative effects. German Commission E (an official government agency similar to the FDA) has approved aloe for treating constipation. A typical dose is 50 to 200 mg of aloe latex, taken in liquid or capsule form once a day for up to 10 days.

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the membrane of the colon and rectum. Some researches shows that aloe vera can help relieve ulcerative colitis which is a painful inflammation of the colon. Patients with ulcerative colitis responded well to aloe vera in a study reported in the Apr 2004 edition of the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Patients took 100 mL of aloe vera gel twice per day for 4 weeks. As many as 47% demonstrated healing of ulcerative colitis symptoms. A 2004 article reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that administration of oral aloe appeared to have a protecting property on the lining of the stomachs of rats. Another study reported  the World Journal of Gastroenterology (2006) found that aloe could promote the healing of gastric ulcers. Aloe may preserve against stomach ulcers, according to a study reported in the Apr 2011 edition of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine. A study performed in Japan demonstrated that the compounds in aloe juice decreased the formation of lesions and secretion of gastric juices that can cause the pain associated with ulcers. A team from the Barts and London, “Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry” have carried out experiments which show that the herb has a useful efficacy on the production of substances which help boost the healing process in cases of ulceration in the gut. The scientists believe aloe vera could be especially beneficial in treating ulcers caused as a adverse effect of taking anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.

Use of Aloe vera in Treating Skin Problems

Aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) is a cactus-like plant that has been used for health purposes at least two thousand years. Aloe vera contains phytochemicals that enhances the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the Aloe Barbadensis Miller gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that aloe gel might be helpful in treating psoriasis, dandruff, seborrhea, and minor burns and skin abrasions, as well as radiation-induced skin injuries.

Aloe Vera Skin Benefits

Aloe Vera helps to stimulate cell renewal, contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic  effects, and it moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Aloe vera works on the burned skin by reducing inflammation, killing bacteria and promoting healthful tissue growth.”The Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Cosmetology” at the University in Belgrade, reported research in 2011 noting that gel from aloe vera is believed to promote and assist the growth of new cells.

When aloe gel is applied to minor burns, the active compounds work to stimulate cellular growth and repair, as well as to relieve the pain of sunburn and other types of skin burns. Aloe cream was shown to be superior to silver sulfadiazine cream for the therapy of second-degree burns. In one study, burn sites treated with aloe vera healed completely in less than 16 days compared to 19 days for sites treated with silver sulfadiazine. In a study, 27 participant with moderate burn wounds were treated with  aloe vera gel or vaseline. The burns improved more fast in the aloe vera group, with an healing time of 12 days compared to 18 days for the group using vaseline.

Some findings show that aloe vera gel may ameliorate symptoms of genital herpes and certain skin conditions such as psoriasis. One study found that aloe gel displayed anti-inflammatory properties superior to 1% hydrocortisone cream or a placebo gel. Early researches indicate that aloe vera gel used topically may ameliorate the symptoms of genital herpes in men. In 2 studies, men who used the aloe cream (0.5% aloe) saw lesions heal faster than those who used a placebo cream.

Aloe can be considered a safe alternative therapy for mild to moderate chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis patients experienced relaxation of symptoms with aloe vera in a study reported in the Feb 2010 edition of the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study reported in “Tropical Medicine and International Health“, 60 people with chronic psoriasis were given a 0.5% aloe vera extract in a mineral oil creme. When participants were checked after 8 months, far more psoriasis skin lesions had improved in the aloe vera group (82.8%) than in the placebo group (7.7%).