Zingiber officinale,


The dried rhizome, with outer cortical layers either partially or completely removed.

Habitat. India, Hindustan (cultivated in W. Indies, Africa).

Syn. Zingib., Jamaica, Black, African or Race Ginger; Fr. Gingembre (gris et blanc); Ger. Rhizoma (Radix) Zingiberis, Ingwer.

Zin'gi-ber. L. fr. Skt. gringavera - gringa, horn, + vera, body, horn-shaped - i. e., shape of roots; Ar., Pers. zanjabil. zenjebil; Eng. ginger.

Of-fi-ci-na'le. L. officina, workshop; opus, work, + facere, to do - i. e., used in the shop or store.

Plant. - Perennial herb; stem barren, leafy, 1-1.3 M. (3-4°) high, entirely covered with the leaf-sheaths, solid, round; leaves 15-30 Cm. ((5-120 long, 2.5-4 Cm. (1-1 3/5') wide; flowering stalk from stem 15-30 Cm. (6-12') long, terminating in a spike; flowers dingy yellow, 2-3 at a time. Rhizome: Jamaica, free from outer corky layers, in horizontal, compressed, irregularly branched pieces, 4-16 Cm. (l 3/5-6 2/5') long, 4-20 Mm. (1/6-4/5') thick, light brown, longitudinally striate, ends of branches with depressed stem-scars, fracture short-fibrous, mealy, resinous; internally yellowish, light brown, cortex thin, endodermis a thin yellow layer enclosing a large central cylinder with many groups of fibro-vascular bundles and yellowish oil cells; odor agreeably aromatic; taste aromatic, pungent; African, cork partly removed on flattened sides, patches without cork smooth, light brown, portions with cork longitudinally or reticulately wrinkled and grayish-brown; fracture short-fibrous; internally lemon-yellow, dark bluish with yellowish oil-secretion cells and light yellow, reddish-brown resin cells; odor strongly aromatic; taste intensely pungent; Calcutta, resembles the African, but branches (fingers) somewhat larger, with many shriveled pieces, grayish-brown, grayish-blue; fracture short, mealy, horny; internally light yellow, light brownish-yellow with numerous yellowish oil cells and yellowish-brown resin cells; odor aromatic; taste starchy, strongly pungent; Calicut, resembles the African, but usually more of the periderm is removed, light brown, fracture short-fibrous, mealy; internally light yellow, brownish-yellow, numerous yellowish oil and resin cells; odor aromatic; taste very pungent; Cochin, most of corky layer removed on flattened sides, light brown, grayish-yellow; fracture short, mealy; internally yellowish-white, numerous yellowish oil cells and brownish-red, blackish resin cells; odor aromatic; taste pungent, not so persistent as the African; Japanese, resembles somewhat the Cochin, but usually with a thin coating of lime, nearly smooth, slightly wrinkled and of whitish color; fracture short, very mealy; internally yellowish-white, light brown, numerous brownish-red resin cells; odor aromatic; taste pungent. Powder, yellowish-brown; microscopically - numerous starch grains, .005-04 Mm. (1/5000-1/625') long, sclerenchymatous fibres long, non-lignified, oil-secretion cells with yellowish, oily substance; cork cells absent in the Jamaica; yields 2 p. c. of non-volatile extract soluble in ether, and 4 p. c. of an extract soluble in alcohol. Should be kept in tightly-closed containers, adding occasionally a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride to prevent insect attack. Solvents: alcohol; acetone; ether; boiling water partially. Dose, gr. 5-20 (.3-1.3 Gm.). Adulterations. - Rhizome: Fibrous, light, friable, worm-eaten pieces (all discarded); Powder: Rice starch, flour, curcuma, brick-dust, chalk, capsicum, mustard (detected by microscope, iodine T. S., ash), partially or wholly exhausted ginger.

Fig. 66.   Zingiber: A, entire plant (1/4 nat. size); B, flower; C, labellum; D, transverse section of ovary.

Fig. 66. - Zingiber: A, entire plant (1/4 nat. size); B, flower; C, labellum; D, transverse section of ovary.

Fig. 67.   Jamaica ginger; uncoated.

Fig. 67. - Jamaica ginger; uncoated.

Commercial. - Plant reed-like, is propagated by rhizome segments, thrives best on new forest soil, and yields when one or more years old (the younger the better) very acceptable rhizomes, which are dug after the stems have withered, Jan.-Feb., cleaned carefully to avoid bruising, hence discoloration, washed in boiling water to hydrate starch and prevent germination, and then rapidly dried, constituting as such black, coated, unpeeled, unscraped ginger, in contradistinction to the further prepared white, uncoated, peeled, scraped, race, hand ginger - the former, owing to most oil and resin residing in the periderm, being richer and stronger. May bleach artificially by sulphur fumes (SO2), chlorinated lime (Cl), milk of lime, or gypsum. There are several varieties, five being given pharmacopoeial prominence: 1, Jamaica, sometimes steeped in milk of lime, and covered with calcium carbonate, thereby preventing insect attack; least pungent, most delicate and handsome; reaches us via England, or direct from W. Indies; 2, African, generally recognized as possessing greater pungency but less acceptable aroma than the preceding, with shorter rhizome and broadly linear or oblong lobes; yields 8-10 p. c. of oleoresin; 3, Calcutta (E. India), resembles closely the African; reaches us via Calcutta; yields 8 p. c. of oleoresin; 4, Calicut (E. India), resembles closely the African; reaches us from Calicut; yields 8 p. c. of oleoresin; 5, Cochin (Chinese), resembles somewhat the Jamaica, but seldom enters our market commercially; 6, Japanese, resembles closely the Cochin, and seldom becomes a commercial article with us. The green (lobed branches recently dug and marketed without drying), and preserved (fresh rhizome steeped in hot syrup, becoming soft, brownish, translucent, efflorescent) are popular trade forms.

Constituents. - Volatile oil 1-3 p. c, Gingerol .5-1.5 p. c, Resin (2), starch 20 p. c, mucilage, ash 4-8 p. c.

Volatile Oil. - Mostly phellandrene, C15H24, and d-camphene, C10H16; thickish, greenish-yellow; sp. gr. 0.885; gives aromatic odor and flavor, but not the pungency.

Gingerol. - Not a glucoside, but a straw-colored, viscid, inodorous, non-volatile, pungent liquid, imparting the hot taste; soluble in fat, benzene, carbon disulphide, volatile oils, alcohol, ether. Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Zingiberis. Fluidextract of Ginger. (Syn., Fldext. Zingib., Fluid Extract of Ginger; Fr. Extrait fluide de Gingembre; Ger. Ingwerfluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Sabal, page 95; menstruum: alcohol. Dose, v-20 (.3-1.3 Ml. (Cc.).

Prep.: 1. Syrupus Zingiberis. Syrup of Ginger. (Syn., Syr.

Zingib.; Fr. Sirop de Gingembre; Ger. Ingwersirup.) Manufacture: 3 p. c. Mix fluidextract of ginger 3 Ml. (Cc.) and alcohol 2 Ml. (Cc.), triturate liquid with magnesium carbonate 1 Gm., sugar 6 Gm., gradually add, constantly triturating, water 43 Ml. (Cc.), filter, dissolve in clear filtrate, gently heating, sugar 76 Gm., strain syrup (hot), add water q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc.). Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)). 2. Oleoresina Zingiberis. Oleoresin of Ginger. (Syn., Oleores. Zingib., Extractum Zingiberis AEthereum, Piperoid; Fr. Oleoresine (Piperoide) de Gingembre; Ger. Zingiberin, AEtherisches Ingwer-extrakt.)

Manufacture: Percolate slowly, in a covered glass percolator, 100 Gm. with ether, added in successive portions, until exhausted, reclaim most of the ether on water-bath, transfer residue to a dish, allow remaining ether to evaporate spontaneously in a warm place; yield 5-10 p. c Should be kept in well-stoppered bottles. Dose, ss-2 (.03-.13 Ml. (Cc.)).

Fig. 68.   Calcutta ginger; coated.

Fig. 68. - Calcutta ginger; coated.

3. Tinctura Zingiberis. Tincture of Ginger. (Syn., Tr. Zingib., Tincture of Jamaica Ginger; Fr. Teinture de Gingembre; Ger. Ingwer-tinktur.)

Manufacture: 20 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101; menstruum: alcohol. Tests: 1. Evaporate to dryness 10 Gm. - residue 2 p. c, which treated with cold distilled water 20 Ml. (Cc.) - dissolves 15 p. c. Impurities: Capsicum, similar pungent substitutes. Dose, xx-60 (1.3-4 Ml. (Cc.)).

Prep.: 1. Acidum Sidphuricum Aromaticum, 5 p. c.

4. Pulris Aromatieus, 35 p. c. 5. Pulvis Rhei Compositus, 10 p. c.

Unoff. Preps.: Infusion, dose, ℥j_2 (30-00 Ml. (Cc.)). Troches.

PROPERTIES. - Like other aromatics, carminative, stimulant, sternutatory, rubefacient, anodyne, sialagogue. This was introduced from Asia, through Arabia into Greece and Europe. The Arabian and Greek physicians used it as a condiment, carminative, stimulant, aphrodisiac.

Uses. - Atonic dyspepsia, flatulent colic, atonic gout, diarrhoea, cholera, chronic bronchitis, corrective to nauseous medicines. Externally - colic, rheumatism, neuralgia, toothache, headache; in cataplasms, fomentations. The infusion for relaxed uvula, masticated for paralysis of tongue.

Allied Plants: