Family: Zingiberaceae

Description of the Plant:

A rhizomatous herb with 60-120 cm high leafy stem. Leaves 15-30 cm long, lanceolate, acuminate, glossy. Flowers large, in a dense terminal panicles, up to 13.5 cm long. Lip ovate-oblong, yellow, streaked with purple veins.

Using Information:

Rhizome is stomachic, stimulant, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, expectorant, carminative; useful in headache, lumbago, rheumatic pains, sore throat, sour eructations, stuttering, pain in the chest, diabetes, burning of the liver, tubercular glands. It is also used in bronchitis and dyspepsia.

Rhizome decoction exhibited anti-inflammatory properties on carrageenin-induced hind paw oedema in rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:

Fresh rhizome yields essential oil (0.2%), which contains galangol, kaempferide, galangin and its methyl ether, camphor, cineole, methyl cinnamate, monoterpenes of a- and ß-pinene and limonene and sesquiterpenes. Constituents present in the rhizome include kaempferide, galangin and alpinin. Rhizome also contains glycosides, proteins, carbohydrates, resins, steroids, triterpenes and minerals.

alpinia calcarata

Seeds contain anti-ulcer principles, l-acetoxychavicol acetate, loacetoxyeugenol acetate, caryophyllene oxide, caryophyllenol I and II, pentadecane and fatty acid methyl esters. An anti-microbial diterpene has been isolated from the rhizome (Ghani, 2003). The major component of the oil from Bangladeshi plants is a-fenchyl acetate (51.4%). Other notable new compounds are a-terpineol, carotol, camphene and D- limonene (Chowdhury et al., 2003).


Occationally cultivated.