Uzodike, E. B. And Ilodibe, E. C.
Zingerber Officinale (Ginger) is a perennial herbal spice widely used as a flavour in drinks, condiment in food and herbal medicine for different ailments. Four grammes of fresh ginger was given to 40 volunteers of mean age 23.48±4.36years to chew and swallow as a bolus. Its effect on tear production was then monitored using Schirmer’s test. The initial rate of tear production was measured before administration of ginger for each subject. Subsequent measurements were made at 30mins interval till reversal of the effect. In this way, subjects acted as their own control. Ginger was found to induce a statistically significant increase in tear production (P>0.05: from 21.78mm-27.55mm or 26.49% increase). The peak effect was noticed in 60mins post-ingestion. The effect was not sustained as the induced values went back to baseline within 120mins post-ingestion of ginger. Patients suffering from dry eye syndrome could include intake of fresh ginger in their menu as an adjuvant measure towards alleviating their condition.
Keywords: Zingiber officinale, Gingerol, Tear production, Schirmer’s test, Precorneal tear film.