Ginger Root Wash Reduces Inflammation and Scarring After Surgery in Rats

Greg Howard
14th May, 2024

Ginger Root Wash Reduces Inflammation and Scarring After Surgery in Rats

Image Source: Denitsa Kireva (photographer)

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Mashhad University found ginger compounds can prevent internal scar tissue after abdominal surgery
  • Ginger extract and gingerol improved wound healing and reduced scar tissue in rats
  • The study suggests ginger could be a non-pharmaceutical option to improve surgical recovery
In recent years, post-operative peritoneal adhesions (PA) have been recognized as a prevalent and troublesome outcome of abdominal surgeries. These internal scar tissues can lead to chronic pain, infertility, and potentially life-threatening complications like bowel obstructions. Understanding and mitigating the formation of PAs is a pressing concern in surgical recovery and patient care. A groundbreaking study by researchers at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences has illuminated a potential new treatment for preventing PAs using natural compounds found in ginger[1]. This research builds upon previous findings that have explored various methods to reduce the incidence of adhesions. For instance, earlier research demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of propolis, a bee product, in reducing peritoneal adhesion[2]. Similarly, the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in regulating peritoneal permeability and adhesion formation has been previously investigated, further highlighting the complex interplay of biological factors in PA development[3]. The study at Mashhad University employed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to isolate and identify the chemical constituents of ginger rhizome extract. Researchers then tested the efficacy of ginger extract and gingerol, an active compound in ginger, on male Wistar albino rats that underwent surgical procedures to induce PAs. The rats were divided into different groups, including a sham group, a control group, and groups treated with varying concentrations of ginger extract and gingerol. The researchers meticulously evaluated the outcomes using both macroscopic parameters, such as wound healing and changes in body weight and spleen size, and microscopic parameters, including the assessment of inflammation, angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), and fibrosis (excessive tissue growth). The findings were striking. Both ginger extract and gingerol significantly improved wound healing and reduced the extent of adhesions when compared to the control group. This was quantified using established scoring systems for peritoneal adhesions, such as those developed by Nair et al.[4]. Furthermore, the gingerol-treated rats exhibited increased body weight, indicating a positive overall health effect. At the microscopic level, the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of ginger were evident. There was a marked decrease in pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic markers like IL-6, TNF-α, TGF-β1, and VEGF, while anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels were increased in the ginger and gingerol groups. These biochemical shifts suggest that ginger compounds can disrupt the pathways that lead to PA formation. The study's implications are significant for the future of surgical care. By demonstrating the potential of ginger and gingerol as non-pharmaceutical options to prevent PAs, it opens the door for clinical trials and, ultimately, new treatment protocols. It's important to note that while these results are promising, further clinical research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of these compounds in human patients. In summary, the research from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences offers hope for those undergoing abdominal surgeries. By harnessing the natural properties of ginger, we may soon have a new means to combat the formation of peritoneal adhesions, improving recovery outcomes and the quality of life for countless patients. This study not only adds to the existing body of knowledge on PA management but also exemplifies the potential of natural compounds in addressing complex medical challenges.

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Main Study

1) Intra-peritoneal lavage of Zingiber officinale rhizome and its active constituent gingerol impede inflammation, angiogenesis, and fibrosis following post-operative peritoneal adhesion in male rats.

Published 13th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Evaluation of the effects of Iranian propolis on the severity of post operational-induced peritoneal adhesion in rats.

3) Does VEGF facilitate local tumor growth and spread into the abdominal cavity by suppressing endothelial cell adhesion, thus increasing vascular peritoneal permeability followed by ascites production in ovarian cancer?

4) Prediction of pelvic adhesions at repeat cesarean delivery through assessment of striae gravidarum score: A cross-sectional study.

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