Rasna : Chemical Constituents, Medicinal Uses and Synonyms


Rasna : Morphology, Cultivation and Distribution:

Rasna consists of the dried rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. These rhizomes are trimmed, washed, cut into small segments and dried.

Commercially rasna are known as lesser galangal rhizomes, while the greater rhizomes are obtained from Alpinia galanga.

They are also known as East India root and Chinese ginger.


Galangal Ginger

This drug is a perennial herb and is found in Eastern Himalayas and South West India. The rhizomes are reddish brown externally and light orange brown with aromatic odour and pungent taste.

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Chemical constituents of Rasna:

The green rhizomes contains volatile oil. The components of the volatile are methyl cinnamate, cineole, camphor and pinene. The other constituents of the drug are resin, oily pungent galangol, alpinol, yellow crystalline substance galangin and di-oxyflavanol.

The drug also contains antiinflammatory triterepene compounds like sorghumol and bochmerd.

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Medicinal Uses of Rasna:

  • Aromatic
  • Stimulant
  • Carminative
  • Anti bacterial
  • Used to treat rheumatism and catarrhal affections

Substitutes of Rasna:

  • The substitute for rasna is Alpinia galanga (Java galanga or Greater galangal) which is less pungent and it does not contain flavonoids.

Synonyms of Rasna:

  • Sanskrit – Sugandhamula kulanjan
  • English – Galangale, Siamese, Ginger
  • Arabic – Khawalngan
  • Bengali – Kulanjan
  • French – Galanga
  • German – Galgant
  • Gujarati – Kulinjan
  • Hindi – Kulanjan, kulinjan
  • Italian – Alpinia
  • Kannada – Kumbarasme
  • Malayalam – Kolinji, Aratta
  • Marathi – Kulinjan
  • Tamil – Perarathei
  • Telugu – Dumparastramu
  • Turkish – Havlican
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