Zingiber Officinale is a common ingredient in the Indian kitchen. It is known as Adrak in many parts of the country. This perennial herb has an underground branching system. The leaves and the rhizomes of the plant have peculiar fragrance when they are cut.
The sun dried Adrak plant has been repeatedly mentioned in the medicinal history of India and China. The Sanskrit name of the plant is Singabera. This plant has been called a maha aushadhi or great medicine in the Vedic Period. Galen a great physician is said to have used this medicinal plant to relieve defective humors in the body. He also used it to relieve patients suffering from paralysis and also on patients who were detected to have phlegmatic imbalances in their body. Other physicians across the world used this medicinal plant as an aphrodisiac, a carminative and also as an anti flatulent.
An in depth study of the plant showed that it contains moisture, protein, fat, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. The mineral and vitamins that the medicinal herb contain are phosphorus, calcium, iron, carotene, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin as well as Vitamin C. The calorie count of the Zingiber Officinale is 67.
The composition of the plant varies with the kind of region, agro climatic, relieving, drying , storage and packaging conditions. It is important to note that the dried cracked and crushed medicinal plant contains viscid oil which has a pungent flavor and whose odor lasts for a very long time.