Chemical Components

The ginger rhizome contains an essential oil and resin known collectively as oleoresin. The composition of the essential oil varies according to the geographical origin, but the chief constituents, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, which are responsible for the characteristic aroma, are fairly constant. The oleoresin contains:

• sesquiterpenes: zingiberene, ar-curcumene, beta-sesquiphellandrene and beta-bisabolene

• pungent phenolic compounds: gingerols and their corresponding degradation products, shogaols, zingerone, and paradol. Zingerone and shogaols are found in small amounts in fresh ginger and in larger amounts in dried or extracted products (Govindarajan 1982) Ginger 505

• other constituents: diarylheptanoids galanolactone (diterpenoid), 6-gingesulfonic acid), monoacyldigalactosylglycerols (Awang 1992, Bhattarai et al 2001, Charles et al 2000, Govindarajan 1982, Kikuzaki et al 1991, WHO 2003, Yamahara et al 1992, Yoshikawa et al 1992, 1993).

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