Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Herbs - Medicinal Plants

Ginger root. Properties of the Ginger plant.

Identification and origin of Ginger

Ginger plant
Ginger leaves

Scientific name: Zingiber officinale 

Other names: Ginger root, Zingiberaceae, Jamaican Ginger, African Ginger, Ancoas.


Ginger is a herbaceous plant up to 90 cm with horizontal rhizome, leaves linear - lanceolate 18-28 cm long, sessile, acuminate. Peduncle of 15 to 25 cm; ellipsoid spikes of 4 to 6 cm; egg-shaped suborbicular bracts, hairy; purple corolla, tube of 2 cm. Capsules of 3 valves, opening irregularly. There are different cultivars. Parts used: rhizomes.

It´s native to tropical Asia and cultivated in other tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

Ginger root active ingredients and content

Ginger roots. Rhizomes
Ginger roots. Rhizomes

The rhizome of ginger contains:


Essential oil consisting of monoterpenes (camphene, neral, citronellal, 1,8-cineole, beta-phellandrene, camphor, geranial, borneol, linalool) and sesquiterpenes (zingiberene, zingiberol, B-eudesmol, curcumene, beta-bisabolene, beta-bisabolone , (EE)-alfa-farnesene, elemol, beta-sesquifelandrene, furanogermenone). Sesquiterpenes are responsible for the scent.

Within the non-volatile compounds of ginger are the fenilalcanonas and fenilalcanonoles, which are the spicy or acrid principles of the drug and are known as gingerols and shogaols (components of oleoresins). Aliphatic aldehydes (nonanal and decanal), ketones (methyl heptenone), alcohols (2-heptanol, 2-nonanol), acetic acid esters of caprylic and chavicol.
Minerals such as Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Chlorine and Fluorine. High content in vitamin C, among other vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and vitamins A and E.
Ginger also contains proteins such as threonine, proline and in some cases small amounts of tryptophan. Have been isolated from the aqueous extract of the rhizome the asparagine and the pipecoline.


summary characteristics and properties of GINGER.

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summary characteristics and properties of Ginger plant.

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  • Ravindran, P.N. and Nirmal Babu, K. Ginger. The Genus Zingiber. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Industrial Profiles. 2005 by CRC Press.
  • WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. VOLUME 1. World Health Organization. Geneva 1999.
  • Duke, J.A.; Bogenschutz – Godwin, M.J.; duCellier, J.; Duke, P-R. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Spices 2003 by CRC Press LLC
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  • Bone ME, Wilkinson DJ, Young JR et al.. Ginger root- a new antiemetic. The effect of ginger root on postoperative nausea and vomiting after major gynecological surgery. Anaesthesia 45:669-71. 1990.
  • Bracken J, Ginger as an antiemetic: possible side effects due to its thromboxane synthetase activity. Anaesthesia; 46:705-706. 1991.
  • Chang CP, Chang JY, Wang FY et al.. The effect of Chinese medicinal herb Zingiberis rhizoma extract on cytokine secretion by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. J Ethnopharmacol 48:13-19. 1995.

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