Published On: Fri, Jan 25th, 2013

Ginger : Chemical Constituents, Health Benefits and Synonyms

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Ginger Health Benefits and Uses

Health Benefits and Uses

Source and Distribution of Ginger:

Ginger consists of the dried scrapped or unscrapped rhizomes of Zingiber officinale of the family Zingiberaceae. It is also known to us as Zingiberis, zingiber and sunthi.


Ginger is cultivated in Caribbean islands, Australia, , Mauritius, Jamaica, and Taiwan. It is native to South East Asia.

The cultivation is carried out in many states in India like Kerala, Assam, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal. Heavy rainfall is required for the cultivation.

Manures and fertilisers are supplemented with ginger crop and fertilizers like super phosphate, potash and ammonium sulphate are used for getting better yield. It is harvested by digging the rhizomes after 6 months of planting when the leaves turn yellow.

They are washed properly after collecting and are dried and are coated with inert material like sulphate after scrapping and drying. They have aromatic odour and pungent taste.

Chemical constituents:

Ginger consists of volatile oil, starch, fat, inorganic material, residual matter, fibre and acrid resinous matter.

Ginger oil contains monoterpene hydrocarbons, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated mono and sesqui terpenes and phenyl propanoids. The constituents of the sesquiterpene hydrocarbons are alpha zingiberene, beta bisabolene, alpha farnesene, beta sesquiphellandrene and alpha curcumene.

The main characters in the ginger are aroma and flavour. Aroma is because of the fragrant principles of volatile oil. Pungency, flavour and pharmacological action is due to phenolic ketones and oleo-resin. Geranial and citral, which are the isometric terpenic aldehydes, are responsible for the lemony aroma. Phenolic ketones of the oleo resin contains gingerols like shogaols, zingerone, paradols, gingediols, hexahydrocurcumin and o-methyl ethers.

Medicinal Uses of Ginger :

  • Used as stomachic
  • Aromatic
  • Carminative
  • Stimulant
  • Flavouring agent
  • Ginger oil is used in mouth washes
  • Ginger beverages
  • Liquors
  • Ginger powder is effective in motion sickness
  • Adsorbs toxins in the gastro intestinal tract
  • Enhances gastric motility
  • They have blocking effects of gastrointestinal reactions and also nausea
  • Zingiber officinale has molluscicidal effects
  • It controls parasitic infections like schistosomiasis.
  • It is included in GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the USFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

It is coated with lime to improve the quality and colour, this ginger is known as limed ginger. It is adulterated with exhausted ginger.


  • Bengali – Ada
  • Gujrati – Adu
  • Hindi – Adrak
  • Kannada – Shunti
  • Malayalam – Inchi
  • Marathi – Ale
  • Sanskrit – Adrakam
  • Tamil – Sukka
  • Telugu – Sonti
  • Oriyan – Ada
  • German – Ingiver
  • French – Gingembre
  • Italian – Zenzero

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