Specification & Spread
Ginger rhizomes — rhizomata zingiberis
Zinziber — zingiber officinale roscoe ( = amomum zingiber l.)
Ginger family — zingiberaceae
It is a perennial herbaceous plant up to 1 m tall, with a highly branched horizontal rhizome.
The leaves are alternate, vaginal, with a narrow lanceolate whole-edged plate with an outstanding central vein.
The false stems are made up of narrow leaves that encircle each other; in the upper leaves of the vagina, it reaches 1 m in length, the lamina is 18–20 cm in length, and the lower leaves with short sheaths. The flowering stems are shorter, about 30 cm tall, bear a spike inflorescence (thirs) on the top with wide bracts, in the sinuses of which zygomorphic bisexual flowers sit.
The perianth is double, calyx green, tubular.
The corolla is of three unequal petals. The stamens are in two circles - three in each. The outer circle stamens are sterile, the central stamen is turned into a petaloid nectary (staminodium) - a decoratively colored large lip, the two lateral ones are sharp teeth. In the inner circle also two side stamens are underdeveloped and turned into nectaries, and only one stamen carries normal anthers with abundant pollen.
The flowers depending on the cultivated variety colour of flowers is different. There are flowers with violet-brown or with a yellow corolla, the lip is light or almost black-violet with yellow specks.
The fruit is a three nest capsule.
It usually reproduces only vegetatively by rhizomes.
Spreading and habitat. Wild ginger was not found. It comes from South Asia. India is the ancient center of culture of this plant. Currently, ginger is cultivated in almost all tropical countries around the world.
The chemical composition of ginger
The rhizomes contain: 1.5-3% of essential oil, the main component of which are sesquiterpenes - alpha - and beta-zingiberen (up to 70%), which have a characteristic «ginger» smell.
It also contains:
The chilly taste of rhizomes is due to the resinous part, known as «gingerol», which is a mixture of different zingerols (gingerols) - 5-8%.
There are also found:
- lipids (6-8%),
- amino acids,
- vitamins (nicotinic acid),
- up to 50% of starch.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting and drying. The rhizomes are dug 6-10 months after planting, when the leaves begin to turn yellow and die. The dug rhizomes are washed and dried in the sun.
External signs of raw materials
The rhizomes go on sale peeled from cork - white and unpurified - grey with annular leaf scars. The shape of the rhizomes is very characteristic - it is branched, strongly flattened from the sides.
The taste is chilly, the smell is fragrant.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. The preparation of digestion stimulating (appetite stimulant).
- improve digestion,
- have carminative,
- antispasmodic action.
Application of ginger
It is used in many countries in the form of decoction, tincture as a means of stimulating the digestive activity of the stomach.
The tincture of ginger pharmacy is part of the stomach and mouthwatering drops, tonic.
Ginger rhizomes are widely used as a spice called «black ginger» in the food industry, in the confectionery and alcoholic beverage industry.
Ginger rhizomes are part of the British herbal pharmacopoeia, the pharmacopoeia of China, Japan, Egypt, Austria, Switzerland.
Similar to ginger in pharmacy there are used:
- in Japan - the roots of Japanese ginger (Z. mioga (Thunb.) Roscoe),
- in Asian (India, Malaysia) medicine - zingiber zerumbet rhizomes (Z. zerumbet (L.) Sm.).
- Liver cirrhosis,
- gastric ulcer,
- coronary heart disease,
- individual intolerance,
- pregnancy and lactation.