Wild Ginger Information - Side Effects, Uses and Benefits
Available as capsules and the whole root.
Sources for Wild Ginger
Active components are derived from the dried rhizome and roots of Asarum canadense, a low-growing perennial herb that is native to the northern and central United States and southern Canada.
Wild ginger contains 2.5% volatile oil, which comprises such terpenoids as methyl eugenol, borneol, linalool, geraniol, and pinene. Other compounds include a pungent resin, starch, gum, a fragrant principle called asarol, and traces of a fixed oil.
Volatile oil components linalool, geraniol, and eugenol have demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal activity. Geraniol inhibited pancreatic tumor growth in animals receiving wild ginger as part of their diet.
Uses for Wild Ginger
Wild ginger reportedly has been used as an antiflatulent, an aromatic stimulant, and a tonic and for treating angina and arrhythmias. Methyl eugenol is a rapid-acting anodyne used in dentistry.
Dosage and Recommendations
No consensus exists.
EENT: burning sensation in mouth, cheilitis, stomatitis.
Skin: contact dermatitis.
Hepatically eliminated drugs: Conflicting reports exist on the effects of
certain terpenoids (citral, linool) on hepatic metabolism. Some reports indicate that they may induce the hepatic oxidative pathway . Effects on specific isoenzymes and on particular drugs are unknown, but these terpenoids could potentially lower levels of other hepaticaIly eliminated drugs. Monitor the patient closely.
Contraindications and Precautions
Avoid using wild ginger in pregnant or breast-feeding patients; effects are unknown. Use cautiously, if at all, in patients with a history of allergic contact dermatitis, especially to any of the volatile oils or terpenoid compounds.
Preliminary data appear to warrant further study of components of wild ginger as antimicrobial and potential anticancer agents. Insufficient evidence exists to support any therapeutic application at this time.
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