Alpinia

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What other names is Alpinia known by?

Alpinia officinarum, Alpinie, Catarrh Root, China Root, Chinese Ginger, Colic Root, East India Catarrh Root, East India Root, Galanga, Galanga Camphré, Galanga Minceur, Galangal, Galangal Officinal, Galangal Root, Galgant, Gao Liang, Gao Liang Jiang, Gargaut, Gingembre Rouge, India Root, Languas officinarum, Lesser Galangal, Petit Galanga, Racine de Galanga, Radix Alpiniae Officinarum, Rasna, Rhizome Galangae.

What is Alpinia?

Alpinia is a plant related to ginger. The horizontal underground stem (rhizome) is used to make medicine.

Alpinia is used to treat fever, muscle spasms, intestinal gas, and swelling (inflammation); to kill bacteria; and as a stimulant.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bledding. Early research suggests that applying 4 mL of a specific product containing alpinia, licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine (Ankafer blood stopper) to the skin reduces bleeding during surgery but does not reduce time in surgery. Other early research suggests that applying the same product reduces bleeding after dental surgery.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Infections.
  • Spasms.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of alpinia for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Alpinia work?

Alpinia contains chemicals that block certain steps in the swelling (inflammation) pathway.

Are there safety concerns?

Alpinia is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods.

Alpinia is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for medicinal uses and when applied to the skin in a specific product also containing licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine (Ankaferd blood stopper).

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of alpinia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Antacids
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Antacids are used to decrease stomach acid. Alpinia may increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, alpinia might decrease the effectiveness of antacids.

Some antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others), dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), magnesium sulfate (Bilagog), aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel), and others.



Medications that decrease stomach acid (H2-Blockers)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Alpinia might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, alpinia might decrease the effectiveness of some medications that decrease stomach acid, called H2-blockers.

Some medications that decrease stomach acid include cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid).



Medications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Alpinia might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, alpinia might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease stomach acid, called proton pump inhibitors.

Some medications that decrease stomach acid include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium).

Dosing considerations for Alpinia.

The appropriate dose of alpinia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for alpinia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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