Zanjabeel/ Adrak (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)
Plant Description/ Introduction
Zanjabeel/ Adrak (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is an important medicinal plant of the family Zingiberaceae. It is known all over the world for its therapeutic properties. It is consumed whole as delicacy, medicine, or a spice. It is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root is widely used for different purposes. The plant is sterile in nature (produce no seed) and only propagated by its rhizomes. Ginger cultivation began in Asia and has since spread to West Africa and the Caribbean region. It is sometimes called root ginger to distinguish it from other things that share the name.
The plant is a slender, perennial rhizomatous herb; leaves linear, sessile and glabrous; flowers yellowish green in oblong, cylindric spikes, ensheated in a few scarious, glabrous bracts; fruits oblong capsules.
The Rhizomes are white to yellowish brown in colour, irregularly branched, somewhat annulated and laterally flattened. The growing tips are covered over by a few scales. The surface of the rhizomes is smooth and if broken a few fibrous elements of the vascular bundles project out from the cut ends.
Stems are leafy and 1.8 m tall. Leaves are 30 cm long and 7.5 cm broad. Flowers are white or yellowish in colour, with pale yellow lip3. Fresh rhizomes jointed, 1-2 inches in diameter and compressed. It resembles Amba Haldi in other peculiarities.
The underground stem or rhizome of this plant has been used as a medicine, spice and food in Asian, Indian and Arabic traditions since ancient times.
Ginger is cultivated in many parts of India; on a large scale in the warm, moist regions, chiefly in Madras, Cochin and Travancore, and to a somewhat less extent in Bengal and Punjab. It is cultivated throughout India, run wild in some places in the Western Ghats. It is propagated by root cutting.
Scientific Name: Zingiber officinale Rosc.
Common Names: The Fresh rhizome
Common Names: The dry rhizome
Parts Used: Rhizome (raw as well as dry)
Medicinal Properties: The following actions are mentioned in Unani classical literature.
Raw Ginger: Digestive, Carminative, Laxative and Thermogenic
Dry Ginger: Appetizer, Laxative, Carminative, Stomachic, Aromatic, Thermogenic, Emollient, Aphrodisiac, Expectorant, Stimulant, Rubefacient, Anodyne, Antihelminthic, Anti- allergic, anti- amoebic, anti- atherosclerotic, anti- bacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-emetic, Anti- tussive and Anti- oxidant.
Extracts of the ginger (Zanjabeel) exhibit antiinflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-fungical, anti-mycobacterial and anticarcinogenic proprieties.
Since centuries, it has been an important Unani medicine for the treatment of catarrh, nervous diseases, toothache, asthma, rheumatism, gingivitis, stroke, constipation diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism, sprains, pains, muscular aches, sore throats, indigestion, vomiting, fever, hypertension, cramps, dementia, helminthiasis and infectious diseases.