Assessment of systemic effects of ginger on salivation in patients with post-radiotherapy xerostomia

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Kerman Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Cancer Research Center, Tehran, Iran

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Our aim was to assess the clinical efficacy of ginger capsule (Zintoma herbal capsule) in the relief of symptoms in patients with post-radiotherapy xerostomia.METHODS: This study was a randomized double-blind, parallel clinical trial of ginger usage in patients with post-radiotherapy xerostomia. Sixty-one subjects were selected from patients with xerostomia of Imam Khomeini Cancer Institute, Tehran, Iran. Subject-based dry mouth scores derived from 100 mm visual analogue scales (VAS) were recorded at baseline. Patients also completed a questionnaire on the first visit regarding the symptoms of xerostomia. The patients received ginger capsule (30 persons) or placebo (31 persons) three times daily over a 2-weeks period. At the end of day 14, dry mouth scores derived from VAS were recorded again and patients responded to the additional variables regarding dry mouth symptoms and quality of life issues. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Data were analyzed using SPSS.RESULTS: The mean treatment effect on day 14 was 33.7 ± 20.9 mm in the ginger group and 23.6 ± 17.3 mm in the placebo group. The analysis indicated marginally significant improvement of xerostomia with ginger prescription (P = 0.057). At the end of intervention there was no significant difference between the two groups regarding improvement of quality of life or dry mouth symptoms.CONCLUSION: It seems that ginger could be helpful in the treatment of xerostomia. Since ginger is considered a safe herbal medicine with only few and insignificant adverse/side effects further studies in larger group of patients are recommended to provide the effect of ginger on different complaints of xerostomia.


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