Detailed Plants Dravya Guna Adil Farooq Malik  

Ardraka|Zingiber officinale Ros.|Dravyaguna

Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome is widely used as an ayurvedic medicine and a spice.

Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen
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Botanical name : Zingiber officinale Ros.


Vernacular Names

Hindi :- Sonth.

English :- Ginger.

Telugu :- Allaem/sunthi.

Tamil :- Chukku, Inzi.

Synonyms In Sanskrit Language

Nagara, Srngavera, Visva, Visva bhesaja, Katubhadra, Mahousadha.

Categorization In Classical Texts

Charaka : Trptighna, Arsoghna, Dipanya, Sulaprasamana, Trsnanigrahana.

Sushruta : Pippalyadi, Trikatu.

Vagbhatta : Pippalyadi.

Important Mentions

1) Ardraka is delineated in Agnivesa Grhyasutra. Jaimini Brahmaṇa quotes the name Srigabera. Suntha or Sunthi described in the Guhya Sutras is considered as a type of Grass but not ginger. Visvabhesaja term is used for water and rice in Rgveda (1/13/20 & 1/ 137/3). The above mentionings confirm that Ardraka and Sunthi are relatively new names not familiar in the ancient times. Mujumdar is of the opinion that ‘Adara’ described in Rgveda may be Z. officinale.

2) Kaiyadeva described the medicinal properties of the terminal buds of the rhizomes seperately. It is mainly indicated in Amavata.

Different Varieties

According to Kaiyadeva :-

1) Andra Nigaram (fresh ginger).

2) Ardrakam (dry ginger) .

Note :- In Amarakosa dry ginger is denoted as Nagara and Visvabhesaja etc. while describing fresh ginger as Ardraka and Srigabera.

Botanical Description

It is an erect perennial herb with aromatic rhizome.

Stem :- erect, leafy, 15-150 cm tall. Leaves :-subsessile, linear-lanceolate or lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous, 10 30 cm long.

Flowers :- shoot upto 12 cm long, clothed with sheaths, bracts 2-5 cm x 2 cm, light green, corolla tube light yellow, lip orbicular, dull purple with creamy blotches.

Flowering and fruiting during July-September.


Cultivated almost throughout India.

Properties (Guna-Karma)

Rasa – katu.

Guna – Guru, Ruksha, tikahna.

Virya – Ushna

Vipaka – madhura.

Karma – Vata-kaphahara, Dipana, Bhedana.



















Agnimandya etc.

Therapeutic Uses

1) Jaladisa :- Ardraka and Yavaksara are taken with luke-worm water (B.P.).

2) Pratisyaya :- Andraka is given with milk (S.S.U. 24).

3) Kaphaja Arias :- Ardraka and Kuluttha are used (S.S.CL6)

4) Murecha :- Ardraka svarasa is used as Nasya (B.P.)

Part Used


Major Chemical Constituents

Curcumene, bourbornene, d-borneal, citral, d-camphene, citronelloly-D-curcumene, a-geraniol, gingerol, &- Zingiberenes, zingiberol, zingerone, gingerols o paradol, gingerenone A, ginger glycolipids A, B, & C. gingerdiol, gingerone B&C etc.


Fresh juice :- 5-10 ml.

powder :- 1-2 g.

syrup :- 2-4 ml.

Research Work

1) It has shown marked anti-inflammatory activity in rats which is comparable to prednisolone (Sharma & Singh, 1980).

2) In a clinical study the effect of Guduci & Sunthi Anupana while administering Simhanada guggulu is reported (Babu, 1982).

3) Clinical efficacy of a combination of potent GI stimulants consisting of Sunthi and Guduci showed better results than with conventional drugs like Yogaraja guggulu, Vata gajankusa and Maharasnadikvatha (Kishore et al., 1980).

4) Crude methanol extracts of rhizome showed potent, positive inotropic effects on the guinea pig isolated left atria. This effect is found to be due to gingerols, the active principles in the rhizome (Shogi 1982).

5) Albino rats were fed with 30% of Z. officinale and Sesamum indicum (Til) seperately, to study its effect on blood sugar and serum cholesterol. Blood sugar levels increased while serum cholesterol levels were singinficantly reduced in both the cases (Singhal, 1983).

6) In rats fed with Z. officinale alongwith cholesterol, the added ginger restrained the raise of blood cholesterol levels significantly. In hyper cholesterolaemic rats, ginger reduced the serum and hepatic cholesterol levels significantly in 24 days (Giri et al., 1984).

7) The alcoholic extract showed some significant activity against E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, S. typhimurium, Stap. aurens and Strep. viridans (Gugnani. & Ezenwanze, 1985).

8) The acetone-extracts of Z. officinale, which contain essential oil and pungent principles caused an increase in the bile secretion. It is also reported that 6-gingerol and 10-gingerol are mainly responsible for the chologogic effect of ginger (Miki et al., 1985).

9) Bioavailability enhancer property of Z. officinale is also reported (Zutsi., 1986).

10) In a clinical study on Grahan roga, the effect of Z. officinale has been found significant in term of control of number of motions, improvement of body weight, appetite, Hb% etc. (Nanda et al., 1985).

11) Observations made on 63 patients of RA indicated that Sunthi-guggulu had better effect as compared to other drugs taken for trial. (Kishore et al., 1987).

12) When (6)- shogaol, was administered (0.5 mg/kg) i.v. to rats, BP showed a triphasic response which was comprised of a rapid fall, followed by a rise and a delayed fall. Repeated injection of this natural product caused a tachyphylaris in mesenteric and tail vascular beds, and a slight tachyplaxis in hindquarters (Suekawa et al., 1986).

Important Formulations

Ardraka rasiyana.

Ardrakakhand avlehya.

Nagaradi kasaya.

Kottamcukkadi tailam.

Ardraka ghṛta.

Ardraka khanda.


Panasama churṇa.

Samasarkara curṇa.


The Herbal Doc

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