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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83-86

Ginger, fat and fibrinolysis

Department of Medicine and Indigenous Drug Research Centre, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur-313 001,

Correspondence Address:
S K Verma
Department of Medicine and Indigenous Drug Research Centre, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur-313 001

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 11482162

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How to cite this article:
Verma S K, Bordia A. Ginger, fat and fibrinolysis. Indian J Med Sci 2001;55:83-6

How to cite this URL:
Verma S K, Bordia A. Ginger, fat and fibrinolysis. Indian J Med Sci [serial online] 2001 [cited 2016 May 27];55:83-6. Available from:

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a popular food spice, and is used as a medicine to treat various ailments from time immemorial in different parts of the world.[1] It occupies an important place in Ayurvedic and Graeco-Arabic systems of medicine where it is commonly used as carminative, digestive and to treat chronic rheumatism and gout.[2] It is customary in India to add ginger in the diet rich in fat. It is reported to contain antihistaminic and antioxidant factors.[3]

Earlier, it has been reported that dietary condiments and spices such as garlic, onion and asafoetida neutralize fat induced alteration in blood lipids, platelet functions and fibrinolysis.[4],[5],[6] Ginger has also been evaluated regarding its effect on blood lipids [7],[8] and platelet aggregation[9] both in healthy individuals[8] and patients of coronary artery disease,[7] However, its effect on fibrinolytic activity has not been studied. The present study therefore, was envisaged to observe the effect of ginger on fibrinolytic activity (FA) modified by high fat diet in healthy individuals.

 ¤ Material and methods Top

The study was conducted on 30 healthy adult males, between the age of 30 to 50 years who were not consuming tobacco in any form. After a written consert, fasting blood samples were collect and they were immediately administered 50 gm of butter with four slices of slices of bread. Blood samples were again collected after 4 hours. During the subsequent week, a similar procedure was adopted on the same subjects on 2 days, but one of the following was administered randomly in addition to the butter: (a) Ginger 5 gm in gelatin capsules or (b) placebo in matched gelatin capsules. Blood samples were again collected. Thus all 30 patients received 50 gm of butter t 5 gm of ginger on one occasion and 50 gm butter + placebo on other occasion. Therefore, all served their own control.

All the blood sample were analysed for fibrinolytic activity which was determined by employing a method described by Buckell & Elliot.[10] The method is based on the following principle: the euglobin fraction of plasma contains plasminogen activator, plasminogen and fibrinogen. Normally occurring inhibitors of conversion of plasminogen to plasmin are not present in this plasma fraction. The euglobulib fraction is clotted with thrombin and the time taken for clot lysis is estimated and expressed in units by multiplying the reciprocal of the lysis time in minutes by 10,000.[10] The results were statistically analysed with student's `t' test for paired data.

Preparation of ginger capsules : Dry ginger rhizomes were powdered in the mortar and pastle. The dry powder was filled in gelatin capsules. Each capsule contained 625 mg of dry ginger powder. Eight capsules were administered with butter. Placebo capsules contained same amount of lactose powder.

 ¤ Results Top

Fibrinolytic activity decreased by 18.8 per cent after administration of fatty meal. Addition of ginger along with the fat not only prevented the fall in fibrinolytic activity but actually increased it by 6.7 per cent. As compared with fatty meal, ginger has actually increased increased fibrinolysis by 31.5 per cent. The placebo has not prevented the fat induced decrease in fibrinolytic activity [Table - 1].

 ¤ Discussion Top

Administration of 50 gm of butter has lead to a significant fall in FA (P <0.001). Addition of ginger to a fatty meal in the dose of 5 gm not only prevented the fat induced decrease in FA. But kept the fibrinolysis above the normal level. The change is significant (P< 0.001) as compared to control experiment in which fatty meal was administered alone to the same subjects. Preliminary trials have lesser amount of ginger would give inconsistant results therefore 5 gm dose has been used throughout this study. No side effects were observed even in this dose.

Dietary fat administration leading to significant fall in fibrinolytic has been observed by many workers.[5],[11],[12] A rich fatty meal if consumed frequently for long time even in apparently healthy individuals may be harmful because it may lead to poor tendency to clot lysis. Moreover, this defective fibrinolysis may be an important factor in the genesis of coronary artery disease as has been stressed by several workers.[13],[14] sub Therefore, addition of ginger may prove to be a convenient and safe dietary measure for every day use in persons predisposed to such situations.

Chemically ginger contains several classes of compounds. The chemical composition of dried ginger is as follows: starch 40-60%, proteins 10%, fats 10%, fibres 5%, inorganic material 6%, residual moisture 10% and essential oil (oleorasin) 1-4 per cent . 2 The essential oil of ginger contains various terpins and sesquiterpenes. The predominant sesquiterpene hydrocarbon is zingiberene. The characteristic pungent odour is due to its oleoresin content which is an oily liquid containing oxymethyl phenols like shogaol, zingerone and gingerol etc. In all more than 200 different volatile substances have been characterised in the essential oil fraction; out of all which compound(s) is exactly responsible for frbrinolysis is not known.[15]

Ginger has been a popular food spice possessing many medicinal properties.[1] Recently it has drawn a lot of scientific attention. It has been reported to have components (gingerols, shogaols) which are potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation and inhibit cyclooxygenase and 5­lypoxygenase in vitro.[9] It has also shown amelioration in symptoms (pain and inflammation) in patients with musculokeskeletal disorders and migraine[6] However, it does not affect blood lipids, blood sugar and fibrinogen in patients with coronary artry disease.[7] The present study, therefore, brings out a new property of ginger, not reported earlier, whereby it neutralizes the altered fibrinolytic state induced by fatty meal in healthy individuals.

We have earlier reported that ginger inhibits platelet aggregation in healthy individuals[8] and patients with coronary artery disease.[7] The effect on fibrinolytic activity further adds to its therapeutic value. Moreover it also confirms the rationale of the age old Indian tradition of adding various condiments to a diet rich in fat in order to neutralize the deleterious effects of a fatty meal. Ginger may therefore prove useful in situations which are associated with altered state of fibrinolysis.

 ¤ Summary Top

Administration of 50 gm of fat to 30 healthy adult volunteers decreased fibrinolytic activity from a mean of 64.20 ± 531 to 52.10 ± 3.20 units (P <0.001). Supplementation of 5 gm of ginger powder with fatty meal not only prevented the fall in fibrinolytic activity but actually increased it significantly (P < 0.001). This fibrinolytic enhancing property is a further addition to the therapeutic potential of ginger.

 ¤ References Top

1.Schulick P Ginger - common spice and wonder drug. 2nd Ed. pp. 111-125. Herbal Free Press Ltd. Brattleboro Vermont USA 1994.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Zingiber officinale. The Wealth of India. CSIR Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, 1976;X1:102­-115.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Duke JA, Ayensu ES. Medicinal plants of China. P 657 Reference Publications. Inc. Michigan, 1985.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Verma SK, Bordia A. Commonly used condiments in North India - their medicinal properties and relevant information. Project Report submitted to SPICES BOARD (Ministry of Commerce, Government of India), Cochin, 1992.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Bordia A, Sharma KD, ParmarYK, Verma SK. Protective effect of garlic oil on the changes produced by 3 weeks of fatty diet on serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, fibrinolytic activity and platelet adhesiveness in man. Indian Heart J 1982;34:86-88.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Srivastava KC, Verma SK and Bordia A. Spices: A source of phytochemicals protective of human health with special reference to cardiovascular disease. South Asian J Preventive Cardiol. 1999;3:95-102.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Bordia A, Verma SK and Srivastava KC. Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. Prost Leuk Essen Fattyacids 1997;56:378-384.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Verma SK, Singh J, Khamesra R and Bordia A. Effect of ginger on platelet aggregation in man. Indian J Med Res 1993;98:240-242.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Srivastava KC. Isolation and effects of some ginger components on platelet aggregation and eicosanoid biosynthesis. Prostagl Leukotr Med 1986;25:187-198.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Buckell M, Elliot FA. The effect of citrate on euglobulin methods of estimating fibrinolytic activity. J Clin Pathol 1958;11:403-405.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Billimoria JD, Drysdale J, James DCO, Maclagan MF. Determination of fibrinolytic activity of whole blood with special reference to the effect of exercise and fat feeding. Lancet 1959;2:471-475.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Gupta NN, Mehrotra RML, Sirkar AR. Effect of onion on serum cholesterol, blood coagulation factors and fibrinolytic activity in alimentary lipaemia. Indian J Med Res 1966;54:48-53.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Chakrabarti R, Kocking ED, Fearnley GR, Mann RD, Attwell TN, Jackson D. Fibrinolytic activity and coronary artery disease. Lancet 1968;1:987-990.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Sassa H, Ito T, Niwa T, Matsui E. Fibrinolysis in patients with ischemic heart disease. Jap Circulat J 1975;39:525-528.  Back to cited text no. 14  [PUBMED]  
15.Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Pharmacological effects of spices: Eicosanoid modulating activities and their significance in human health. Biomed Rev 1993;2:15-29.  Back to cited text no. 15    


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