Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Therapeutic value of the genus Alpinia, Zingiberaceae.

Abstract

Plants containing bioactive substances have increasingly become the object of research studies, particularly those plants with therapeutic value. Many species of the genus Alpinia provide a variety of medicinal properties, such as, Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt et Smith and A. purpurata (Vieill) K. Schum, which have a significant presence in Brazil. These species have been commercialized in the food and cosmetic industries. However, their greatest importance arises from the medicinal properties of their essential oils containing flavonoids, terpenoids and kavalactones which have been used in folk medicine to treat, for example, arterial hypertension and inflammatory processes. In addition, such species are also used in multidisciplinary studies, including phytochemistry, ethnobotany and biology, indicating the key pharmacological role of this genus in everyday life. Therefore, this work aims to present a bibliographic review of the genus Alpinia and its significance in therapeutic applications.