Ginger

For ages, ginger has been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it is one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine. Recent research has revealed that ginger is able to suppress synthesis of signalling molecules that lead to inflammation and pain. It does this by inhibiting the inflammation-promoting enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)1. It is different from the NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drug aspirin which tends to irreversible inhibit COX-1 only. 2

These class of enzymes increase the body’s production of leukotrines and prostaglandins which lead to inflammation and pain. The relationship  between them is complex but it is thought that dual inhibitors of COX and LOX enzymes have “a better therapeutic profule and fewer side effects than NSAIDs1” (like aspirin).

Sources:

1http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125?2

2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin

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