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Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2145; doi:10.3390/molecules22122145

Plants of the Genus Zingiber as a Source of Bioactive Phytochemicals: From Tradition to Pharmacy

Department of Medical Parasitology, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol 61663335, Iran
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Milan State University, 20133 Milan, Italy
Zabol Medicinal Plants Research Center, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol 61615585, Iran
Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11369, Iran
Department of Chemistry, Richardson College for the Environmental Science Complex, The University of Winnipeg, 599 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2G3, Canada
Department of Food Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11369, Iran
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11369, Iran
Food Microbiology and Biotechnology Laboratory, 171 Carver Hall, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Veterinary Medicine, Lebanese University, Dekwaneh, Beirut 6573, Lebanon
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
Integrative Pharmacogenomics Institute (iPROMISE), Level 7, FF3 Building, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam 42300, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Zabol, Zabol 98615538, Iran
Department of Botany, Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road Lahore 54000, Pakistan
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, 20133 Milan, Italy
Department of Biological Sciences—Plant Biology Section, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80126 Naples, Italy
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils as Antimicrobial and Anti-infectious Agents)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [477 KB, uploaded 5 December 2017]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zingiber; ginger; essential oil; rhizome; herbal remedies; traditional healing systems; food preservatives Zingiber; ginger; essential oil; rhizome; herbal remedies; traditional healing systems; food preservatives

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sharifi-Rad, M.; Varoni, E.M.; Salehi, B.; Sharifi-Rad, J.; Matthews, K.R.; Ayatollahi, S.A.; Kobarfard, F.; Ibrahim, S.A.; Mnayer, D.; Zakaria, Z.A.; Sharifi-Rad, M.; Yousaf, Z.; Iriti, M.; Basile, A.; Rigano, D. Plants of the Genus Zingiber as a Source of Bioactive Phytochemicals: From Tradition to Pharmacy. Molecules 2017, 22, 2145.

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