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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2016, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (2): 114-120.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60243-1

Special Issue: Natural Drug

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Zingiber cassumunar (Plai cream) in the treatment of delayed onset muscle soreness

NuttasetManimmanakorna , ApiwanManimmanakornb, DisaphonBoobphachartc, WorrawutThuwakumd, WiroonLaupattarakaseme, Michael Jhamlinf   

  1. a Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand
    b Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand
    c Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education, Ubonratchathani Rajabhat University, Ubonratchathani, 34000, Thailand
    d Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Science, Uttaradit Rajabhat University, Uttaradit, 53000, Thailand 
    e Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand 
    f Department of Tourism, Sport and Society, Lincoln University, Lincoln, 7647, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Received:2015-08-09 Accepted:2015-12-17 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: Nuttaset Manimmanakorn, MD, PhD; E-mail:


To evaluate the effects of Zingiber cassumunar (Plai cream) in either 7% or 14% concentration on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).


Seventy-five untrained healthy volunteers (28 males and 47 females), performed 4 sets of 25 eccentric repetitions of the dominant quadriceps muscle on an isokinetic dynamometry machine. Participants were then randomized into 3 groups: 14% Plai cream, 7% Plai cream and placebo cream. Two grams of the cream (strips of 5-cm long) were gently rubbed into the quadriceps muscles for 5 min immediately following the exercise and every 8 h thereafter for 7 d in all groups. Muscle soreness, muscle strength, jump height, thigh circumference and creatine kinase were measured before and after eccentric exercise.


Compared to the placebo cream the 14% Plai cream substantially reduced muscle soreness over the 7 d by -82% (95% CI = -155% to -6%, P = 0.03), but had similar muscle soreness effects to 7% Plai cream (-34%, -96% to 27%, P = 0.2). Compared to the placebo cream the 7% Plai cream resulted in a small non-significant reduction in muscle soreness levels over the following 7 d (-40%, -116% to 36%, P = 0.3). Compared to placebo cream there was little effect of Plai cream (7% or 14%) on muscle strength, jump height, thigh circumference or creatine kinase concentration.


Using 14% Plai cream over a 7-day period substantially reduced muscle soreness symptoms compared to 7% Plai cream or a placebo cream. The authors suggest that the administration of 14% Plai cream is a useful alternative in the management of DOMS.

Key words: Plai cream, Muscle soreness, Muscle strength, Creatine kinase

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