Renealmia L..f.: botanical, pharmacological and agronomical aspects.

ABSTRACT:

The Renealmia L.f. is a genus that belongs to the Zingiberaceae with several applications, including the ornamental, medicinal and food ones. Aiming to emphasize the importance of this genus as a potential agro-economic resource, a review of its botanical, pharmacological and agronomic aspects is presented. From 87 species formally inserted in the Renealmia, 20 were registered with popular uses. In general, these popular uses were associated with R. alpinia, R. exaltata and R. guianensis, mainly including the ornamental, nourishing and medicinal uses. Among 14 species with indication of popular medicinal use, pharmacological studies were registered for only four: R. alpinia, R. exaltata, R. nicolaioides and R. Thyrsoidea. However, these studies show a large bioactivity range, with emphasis in the anti-carcinogenic and antiophidic action, especially for R. alpinia. Only six species were analyzed in terms of chemical composition (R. floribunda, R. guianensis, R. alpinia, R. chrysotricha, R. exaltata and R. nicolaioides). Their chemical profiles corroborate the anti-carcinogenic potential for the representatives of this genus. There is a great scientific or technical gap on the cultivation of Renealmia species. This can be an important limiting factor in the use of these species as economical resource.

red ginger; edible food plant; medicinal plant; ornamental plant; Zingiberaceae

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