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Revisiting the Age-Old Concepts on 'Acid-Peptic-Disorders'

Dr. Vijay Singh Chauhan, Dr. Naresh Khemani

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(7)Indian Name: Shunthi
English Name: Ginger
Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale
Parts Used: Rhizome.

Phytochemistry: Ginger contains 1-2% volatile oil, 5-8% resinous matter, starch and mucilage. The oil of ginger is a mixture of over 24 constituents, consisting of monoterpenes (phellandrene, (+) camphene, cineole, citral and borneol) and sesquiterpenes, etc. (zingiberine and bisabolene). The pungent component is gingerol formed in the plant from phenylalanine, malonate and hexanoate. Minor constituents of an extract of gingreniols, methylgingediol, gingeryldiacetates and methyl gingediacetates.

Ayurvedic Properties: Guna: Laghu, Snigdha; Rasa: Katu; Veerya: Ushna; Vipaka: Katu; Dosha: Vata, Kaphahara; Karma: Rochana, Hridya, Vrishya, Shoolhara, Deepana.

Pharmacology: Anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenin-induced rat paw oedema has been shown. The active principles-(6)-gingerol-(6)-and (10)-dehydrogin- gerdione and (6) and (10)- gingerdione were shown to be potent inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis - confirming the mechanism of anti-inflammatory effect. Anti-histaminic activity has also been shown in vitro.

Clinical Usage: It is chiefly used as a home remedy for nausea and dyspepsia. It is very useful in diseases of throat, asthma and bronchitis.

The use of ginger in case of antacid formulations is to maintain the secretion of digestive enzymes to their required levels by its Deepana action. On fact, such action helps a great deal to avert hypochlorhydria that a great deal to avert hypochlorhydria that could inadvertently set in sometimes due to the continuous administration of other antacids.

In Ayurveda, Shunthi is considered to be one of the prime Aamapachan, i.e. detoxifying agent for endo-toxins.

Ginger was shown to have significant anti-emetic and anti-vertigo effects like Dramamine. Ginger forms an important constituent of many Ayurvedic formulations.


In Ayurveda, ginger is considered to be one of the prime aamapachan, that is , detoxifing agent for endo-toxins.
  • Eat three small meals and three snacks evenly spaced throughout the day. It is important to avoid periods of hunger or overeating.
  • Eat slowly and chew foods well.
  • Be relaxed at mealtime.
  • Sit up while eating and for 1 hour afterward.
  • Avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime. Bedtime snacks can cause gastric acid secretion during the night.
  • Choose foods from the low fat diet and low fat guidelines in addition to the following diet
  • Cut down on caffeine-containing foods and beverages, citrus and tomato products, and chocolate if these foods cause discomfort.
  • Include a good source of protein (milk, meat, egg, cheese, etc.) at each meal and snack.
  • Antacids should be taken in the prescribed dose, One-hour and 3 hours after meals and prior to bedtime. This regimen is most likely to keep the acidity of the stomach at the most stable and lowest level.
  • Milk and cream feedings should not be used as antacid therapy. Although milk protein has an initial neutralizing effect on gastric acid, it is also a very potent stimulator. Hourly feedings of milk have been shown to produce a lower pH than three regular meals.
  • Caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, and cola drinks) and decaffeinated coffee cause increased gastric acid production but may be taken in moderation at or near mealtime, if tolerated.
  • Avoid any food that is irritating to the stomach (e.g. hot/spicy foods)
  • Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and sugar.
  • Do not use aspirin containing analgesics. Steroid drugs may also precipitate ulcer formation and should be reduced if possible.
  • Drink fluid in-between meals.
  • Cabbage has a substance called "substance U" which has potent ulcer healing properties. The high glutamine content of cabbage is responsible for its healing action by stimulating mucin synthesis.
  • Increase intake of vitamin A and silicon rich foods.
  • Do not take Taurine with aspirin.
  • Eat bananas. Bananas contain surface-active phospholipid that maintains the protective layer on the gastric mucosa.
There is little rationale for completely eliminating any foods from the diet unless a particular food causes you repeated discomfort.

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