The phytochemistry, proximate composition and medicinal properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale) were investigated. The rhizomes of ginger were collected, washed with water and chopped into tiny pieces. These were dried in an air-circulating oven and milled into fine powder using a mechanical grinder. The resulting powdered sample was subjected to phytochemical tests. Proximate analysis was also carried out to determine the moisture, protein, fats, carbohydrate contents as well as ash and fibre values of the rhizome. The results of the phytochemical screening showed that alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, proteins, saponins, steroids, flavonoids and terpenoids were present, while reducing sugars, tannins, oils and acid compounds were absent. Similarly, the results of the proximate analysis of the rhizome showed that ginger contains mostly carbohydrates (71.46%) and crude protein (8.83%) with a little crude fibre content of 0.92 %. The results indicated that ginger rhizome is an excellent natural remedy for a wide range of ailments.
Keywords: Zingiber officinale, spice, rhizome, phytochemistry, proximate analysis, Zingiberaceae, zingerone, methanolic extraction
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 5 (2010)