Plants of the genus zingiber as a source of bioactive phytochemicals: From tradition to pharmacy

Mehdi Sharifi-Rad, Elena Maria Varoni, Bahare Salehi, Javad Sharifi-Rad, Karl R. Matthews, Seyed Abdulmajid Ayatollahi, Farzad Kobarfard, Salam A. Ibrahim, Dima Mnayer, Zainul Amiruddin Zakaria, Majid Sharifi-Rad, Zubaida Yousaf, Marcello Iriti, Adriana Basile, Daniela Rigano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Plants of the genus Zingiber (Family Zingiberaceae) are widely used throughout the world as food and medicinal plants. They represent very popular herbal remedies in various traditional healing systems; in particular, rhizome of Zingiber spp. plants has a long history of ethnobotanical uses because of a plethora of curative properties. Antimicrobial activity of rhizome essential oil has been extensively confirmed in vitro and attributed to its chemical components, mainly consisting of monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons such as α-zingiberene, ar-curcumene, β-bisabolene and β-sesquiphellandrene. In addition, gingerols have been identified as the major active components in the fresh rhizome, whereas shogaols, dehydrated gingerol derivatives, are the predominant pungent constituents in dried rhizome. Zingiber spp. may thus represent a promising and innovative source of natural alternatives to chemical food preservatives. This approach would meet the increasing concern of consumers aware of the potential health risks associated with the conventional antimicrobial agents in food. This narrative review aims at providing a literature overview on Zingiber spp. plants, their cultivation, traditional uses, phytochemical constituents and biological activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2145
JournalMolecules
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Keywords

  • Essential oil; rhizome
  • Food preservatives
  • Herbal remedies
  • Traditional healing systems
  • Zingiber; ginger

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