The plant Alpinia officinarum of the ginger family originated in China and is used throughout
South and South-East Asian countries to flavor food and as a traditional medicine to treat a variety
of diseases. This review summarizes the biological, pharmacological and phytochemical properties of
extracts and subsequently isolated compounds from A. officinarum. In vitro and in vivo studies of both
extracts and pure compounds indicate a wide variety of potent bioactivities including antiinflammatory,
antibacterial, antioxidant, antiobesity, anticancer, enzyme inhibitory and remarkable antiviral
properties. The latter is particularly promising in the face of emerging, virulent respiratory diseases
in Asia and the Middle East.
Keywords: Alpinia officinarum, diarylheptanoids, flavonoids, galangin, Zingiberaceae, In vivo, In vitro.
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