Kaempferia galanga L.

MALAYSIAN HERBAL MONOGRAPH

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Cekur Rhizome

Kaempferia galanga L.

Zingiberaceae

fig1 a1  fig1 b
(a) (b)
Figure 1 : K. galanga. (a) Whole plant; (b) dried rhizomes. (Photos courtesy of FRIM, 2012) 

DEFINITION

Cekur rhizome consists of dried rhizome of Kaempferia galanga L. (Zingiberaceae).

SYNONYM

Alpinia sessilis J.Koenig, Kaempferia humilis Salisb., Kaempferia latifolia Donn ex Hornem, Kaempferia marginata Carey ex Roscoe, Kaempferia plantaginifolia Salisb., Kaempferia procumbens Noronha [1].

VERNACULAR NAMES

East-Indian galangal (English); cekur, cekur Jawa, cengkur (Malay); shan nai (Chinese); kacholam (Indian) [2, 3, 4].

CHARACTER

Colour          : Light brown (powder)
Odour           : Characteristic
Taste            : Slightly spicy and astringent

IDENTIFICATION

Plant Morphology

K. galanga is a small herb. Rhizomes pale green or greenish white inside, fleshy, tuberous and fragrant. Leaves usually 2-3(-5), sheaths 1.5-5.0 cm long, blade often horizontal and appressed to the soil, broadly elliptical to suborbicular, 6-15 cm x (2-)5-10 cm, acuminate, glabrous above, arachnoid-hairy below. Inflorescence emerging from between the leaves, sessile, 4-12(-15)-flowered; calyx 2-3 cm long, corolla white, tube 2.5-5.0 cm long, lobes 1.5-3.0 cm long, labellum broadly obovate, divided to about halfway or more, white or pale purple with violet to purple spots at base, each lateral lobe about 2.0-2.5 cm x 1.5-2.0 cm, other staminodes oblong-obovate to oblanceolate, 1.5-3.0 cm long, white, fertile stamen 10-13 mm long, connective deeply bilobed with reflexed lobes. Root often bearing a small tuber. [2, 3]

Microscopy

Powdered material consists of parenchyma cells and peridermal cells with thin-walled and intercellular spaces, the cells are large and hexagonal to round in shape. The very abundant starch granules are usually simple with very few compound granules, round to oval with obvious striation. The vessels are fairly large and scarce, usually found in helical thickened and scalariform vessels form. Reddish brown secretory cells, few, usually associated with parenchyma cells. Very few unicellular trichomes are observed. Fibers few, usually found in association with thick reticulated vessels. Secretory cells and unicellular trichomes are also observed. [5]

fig2 a fig2 b fig2 c
(a) (b) (c)
fig2 d fig2 e fig2 f
(d) (e) (f)
 fig2 g fig2 h  fig2 i 
 (g)  (h) (i) 
  fig2 j  
  (j)  
Figure 2 : Microscopic characters of K. galanga rhizome powder. (a) Parenchyma cells (magnification 10x); (b) peridermal cells (magnification 20x); (c-d) starch granules (magnification 10x & 40x); (e) helical thickened vessel (magnification 40x); (f) scalariform vessel (magnification 10x); (g) reddish brown secretory cells (magnification 4x); (h) unicellular trichome (magnification 10x); (i-j) fibre (magnification 40x & 10x). [Scale bars: a, c, f, h, j = 50 µm; b, g = 20 µm; d, e, i = 10 µm] 


Colour Tests 

Observed colour of solution after treatment with various reagents:

H2SO4 (conc.) : Brown                        
NaOH (5%) : Yellow

Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

Test Solution :

Weigh about 1.5 g of K. galanga dried rhizome powder in a 50 mL screw-capped conical flask and add 15 mL of ethanol. Sonicate the mixture for 15 min. Filter and evaporate the filtrate to dryness. Reconstitute with 6 mL methanol and use the solution as test solution.

Standard Solution :

Dissolve 5 mg of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate [CAS no.: 24393-56-4] in 5 mL methanol to produce 1000 µg/mL solution.

Stationary Phase :

HPTLC silica gel pre-coated plate 60 F254, 10 x 10 cm

Mobile Phase :

Hexane : ethyl acetate (9 : 1) (v/v)

Application :

(a) Ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate standard solution (S); 4 µl, 6 mm as a band.
(b) Ethanol extract of K. galanga dried rhizome powder (L1); 4 µl, 6 mm as a band.

Development Distance : 7 cm 
Drying :

Air drying

Detection

(a) UV at 254 nm before spraying.
(b) Visible light after spraying.
(c) UV at 366 nm after spraying with 10% sulphuric acid reagent and heat at 105°C for 3 min.

 

fig3

                      (a)                                             (b)                                                  (c)

Figure 3 : HPTLC profiles of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate (S) and ethanol extracts of K. galanga dried rhizome powder (L1) observed under (a) UV at 254 nm before spraying, (b) visible light spraying and (c) UV at 366 nm after spraying with 10% sulphuric acid reagent. 

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

 

Test Solution :

Weigh about 1.5 g of K. galanga dried rhizome powder in a 50 mL screw-capped conical flask and add 15 mL of ethanol. Sonicate the mixture for 15 min. Filter and evaporate the filtrate to dryness. Reconstitute with 6 mL methanol and use the solution as test solution.

Standard Solution : Dissolve 2 mg of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate [CAS no.: 24393-56-4] in 2 mL methanol to produce 1000 µg/mL solution.
Chromatographic System  :

Detector: UV 309 nm
Column: C18 (5.0 µm, 4.6 mm I.D x 250 mm) (preferably Gemini-NX, Phenomenex)
Column oven temperature: Ambient
Flow rate: 1.0 mL/min
Injection volume: 1 µL

Mobile Phase (gradient mode) :
Run Time (min)

A –

0.1% formic acid in water (%)

B –

Acetonitrile (%)

0 90 10
5 50 50
25 50 50
30 0 100
35 0 100
System suitability requirements :

Perform at least five replicates injections of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate (1 mg/mL). The requirements of the system suitability parameters are as follow:
(1) Symmetry factor (As) is not more than 1.5.
(2) Percentage of relative standard deviation (RSD) of the retention time (tr) for ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate standard is not more than 2.0%.

Acceptance criteria :

(1) Retention time (tr) of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate in the test solution is similar to the tr of the standard solution.
(2) The ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate in the test solution is similar to the UV spectrum of the standard solution.

  

fig4 a
(a)
fig4 b
(b)
Figure 4 : HPLC chromatogram of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate standard solution (1 mg/mL); (a) full and (b) zoom chromatogram at tr = 21.988 min. 

  

fig5 a
(a)
fig5 b
(b)
Figure 5 : HPLC chromatogram of methanol extract of K. galanga rhizome powder; (a) full and (b) zoom chromatogram at tr = 21.988 min.

 

fig6
Figure 6 : UV spectrum of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate standard solution (1 mg/mL) and ethanol extract of K. galanga rhizome powder.

 

PURITY TESTS

Foreign Matter

Not more than 2%

 

Ash Contents
Total ash : Not more than 10%
Acid-insoluble ash : Not more than 2%

 

Loss on Drying

Not more than 15%

 

                                                                            Extractives Values
Water-soluble extracts
Hot Method                  :      Not less than 21%
Cold Method   :      Not less than 15% 
Ethanol-soluble extracts
Hot Method   :      Not less than 4% 
Cold Method   :      Not less than 2% 

 

SAFETY TESTS

Heavy Metals
Arsenic                       
: Not more than 5.0 mg/kg            
Mercury : Not more than 0.5 mg/kg
Lead : Not more than 10.0 mg/kg
Cadmium : Not more than 0.3 mg/kg

 

Microbial Limits    Total aerobic microbial count   :                         Not more than 105 cfu/g                
Total yeast and mould count   :                         Not more than 104 cfu/g 
Bile-tolerant gram negative bacteria   :                         Not more than 104 cfu/g 

 

Specific Pathogens
Salmonella spp.
: Absent in 25 g                                 
Escherichia coli : Absent in 1 g
Staphylococcus aureus : Absent in 1 g
Pseudomonas aeruginosa : Absent in 1 g

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS

Chloroform extract of K. galanga rhizomes has been found to contain phenylpropanoids (e.g. ethyl cinnamate, ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate and isopropyl cinnamate), monoterpenes (e.g. methyl isopulegone and dipentene dioxide), coumarin (e.g. 3,7-dimethoxycoumarin), dialkylketones (e.g. undecanone, 9-hydroxy-2-nonanone and 2-heptadecanone) and other miscellaneous compounds(e.g. dicyclohexyl propanedinitrile, (Z)-2,7-octadien-1-yl acetate, ethyl cyclohexyl acetate, cis-11-tetradecenyl acetate, trans,trans-octa-2,4-dienyl acetate, 10-undecyn-1-ol and camphidine) [6].  

Dichloromethane extract of K. galanga rhizomes has been found to contain the phenylpropanoid(e.g.ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate) [7].

Essential oil of K. galanga rhizomes has been found to contain monoterpenes (e.g. camphene, camphene hydrate, terpinolene, citral 2, borneol, geranyl-n-heptanoate, 1,8-cineole, δ-carene, and α-pinene), sesquiterpene (e.g. γ-cadinene), coumarin (e.g. 6-methylcoumarin), phenylpropanoids (e.g. isoeugenol, acetyl eugenol, cinnamyl isobutyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate, and salicylate) and other miscellaneous compounds (e.g. 2-cyclohexylcyclohexane, cyclohexenylcyclohexanone, allyl and n-hexyl angelate, isoamyl-hexanoate, n-hexanal, diallyl sulfide, 2-ethoxythiazole, 2-ethyl-4-methylthiazole, hexyl formate, isobutyl disulfate, 2-cyclohexyethyl acetate, isobutyl beta-2-furylacrylate, linoleoyl chloride and pentadecane) [8, 9, 10].

Volatile oil of K. galanga rhizomes has been found to contain phenylpropanoids (e.g. ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate, methyl cinnamate), monoterpenes (e.g. carvone, eucalyptol) and other miscellaneous compounds (e.g. pentadecane) [11].

MEDICINAL USES

Uses described in folk medicine, not supported by experimental or clinical data

The leaves and rhizomes are chewed to treat coughs, or pounded and used in poultices or lotions applied to relieve many ailments such as sore throats, fevers, swellings, rheumatism (used hot) and sore eyes. The juice of the rhizome is also used as an expectorant and carminative and is often a part of children’s medicines especially for abdomen problem [12].

Biological and pharmacological activities supported by experimental data

Anti-allergic activity

Ethanolic extract of K. galanga rhizome (10 mg/mL) showed mild anti-allergic activity of histamine releasing mast cell line (RBL-2H3) with inhibition concentration at 50% of growth (IC50 = 78.6 μg/mL) compared to ketotifen fumarate (IC50 = 20.2 μg/mL) [13].

Aqueous extract of K. galanga rhizome (10 mg/mL) showed moderate anti-allergic activity with a RBL-2H3 cell line activity inhibition concentration at 50% of growth (IC50 = 49.5 μg/mL) compared to ketotifen fumarate (IC50 = 20.2 μg/mL) [13].

Antimicrobial activity

Essential oil of K. galanga rhizome (200 µL) showed antibacterial effect to Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus with minimum inhibition concentration at 50% (MIC = 333 µg/mL), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans with minimum inhibition concentration at 50% (MIC = 111 µg/mL) using disc diffusion method [14].

Ethanol extract of K. galanga rhizome (5 mg/disc) inhibited the growth of S. aureus with inhibition zones (21.30 ± 0.08 mm), S. faecalis (19.70 ± 0.37 mm), B. subtilis (19.70 ± 0.20 mm), B. cereus (18.40 ± 0.41 mm), E. coli (17.80 ± 0.55 mm), Enterobacter aerogens (16.20 ± 0.37 mm), Salmonella typhi (15.50 ± 0.17 mm), Klebsiella pneumoniae (14.90 ± 0.95 mm), Vibrio cholerae (12.30 ± 0.16 mm) and P. aeruginosa (12.10 ± 0.40 mm) compared to kanamycin (30 µg/disc) (20-25 mm) using disc diffusion assay [15].

Methanol extract of K. galanga rhizome (5 mg/disc) inhibited the growth of S. aureus with inhibition zones (18.10 ± 0.30 mm), S. faecalis (16.40 ± 0.34 mm), B. subtilis (15.10 ± 0.57 mm), B. cereus (14.20 ± 0.13 mm), E. coli (12.80 ± 0.34 mm), E. aerogens (15.60 ± 0.26 mm), S. typhi (11.40 ± 0.50 mm), K. pneumoniae (12.30 ± 0.30 mm), V. cholerae (12.40 ± 0.05 mm) and P. aeruginosa (12.40 ± 0.40 mm) compared to kanamycin (30 µg/disc) (20-25 mm) using disc diffusion assay [15].

Volatile oil of K. galanga rhizome (5 mg/disc) showed antibacterial effect to S. aureus (inhibition zone = 1.46 ± 0.044 cm) and E. coli (1.33 ± 0.057 cm) compared to gentamicin (S. aureus  1.43 ± 0.044 cm, E. coli ± 1.3 cm) using disc diffusion method [16].

Antifungal activity

Ethanol extract of K. galanga rhizome (5 mg/disc) inhibited the growth of Aspergillus niger with inhibition zones (16.30 ± 0.45 mm), Aspergillus flavus (15.30 ± 0.36 mm), compared to nystatin (30 µg/disc) (23-25 mm) using disc diffusion assay [15].

Cytotoxic activity

Acetone extract of K. galanga rhizome showed dose dependent (1.25-320 µg/mL) cytotoxic activity on brine shrimp nauplii (Artemia salina) with cytotoxic dose at lethal concentration dose at 50% (LC50)of 4.78 µg/mL compared to vincristine sulphate (LC50 = 0.52 µg/mL) using brine shrimp lethality assay [17].

Petroleum-ether extract of K. galanga rhizome showed dose dependent (1.25-320 µg/mL) cytotoxic activity on brine shrimp nauplii (A. salina) (LC50 = 6.76 µg/mL) compared to vincristine sulphate (LC50 = 0.52 µg/mL) using brine shrimp lethality assay [17].

Chloroform extract of K. galanga rhizome showed dose dependent (1.25-320 µg/mL) cytotoxic activity on brine shrimp nauplii (A. salina) (LC50 = 7.24 µg/mL) compared to vincristine sulphate (LC50 = 0.52 µg/mL) using brine shrimp lethality assay [17].

Methanol extract of K. galanga rhizome showed dose dependent (1.25-320 µg/mL) cytotoxic activity on brine shrimp nauplii (A. salina) (LC50 = 9.77 µg/mL) compared to vincristine sulphate (LC50 = 0.52 µg/mL) using brine shrimp lethality assay [17].

Ethyl acetate extract of K. galanga rhizome showed cytoxicity activity on human epithelial prostate cancer cells (DU-145) with cytotoxic dose at 50% (CTC50)  of 2.50 ± 0.22 µg/mL, human ovarian teratocarcinoma cells (PA-1; 5.26 ± 0.56 µg/mL), human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (SW 620; 8.53 ± 0.72 µg/mL) and mouse skin melanoma cells (B16-F10; 2.08 ± 0.03 µg/mL) compared to control vero cell (39.84 ± 1.36 µg/mL) using microtitration cytotoxic assay [18]

Petroleum ether extract of K. galanga rhizome showed toxicity on human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (SW 620) (CTC50 = 0.55 µg/mL) compared to vero cell (16.75 µg/mL) using microtitration cytotoxic assay [18].

Sedative activity

Acetone extracts and its fractions (petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol) of K. galanga rhizome (200 mg/kg) were respectively administered orally to either male and female Swiss albino mice (aged four to five weeks old) at 30 minutes before induction of sleep using thiopental sodium. The extracts and diazepam-treated standard group (administered intraperitoneally) showed significant (p < 0.05) loss of righting reflex effect (extracts: 247.50–358.55%, diazepam: 231.42%) with decrease in latency to fall asleep (onset of sleep) (extracts: 1.28–1.89 min, diazepam: 1.36 min) and increase duration of sleep (extracts: 176.83–237.83 min, diazepam: 153.5 min) compared to water-treated control group (righting reflex effect: 100%, onset of sleep: 2.06 min, duration of sleep: 66.33 min). [19]  

Acetone extracts and its fractions (petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol) of K. galanga  rhizome (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly (p < 0.05) exhibited between 63.43% to 93.93% suppression of locomotor activity as compared to diazepam (2 mg/kg) which exhibited between 48.78% to 71.70% suppression using hole cross test [19].

Acetone extracts and its fractions (petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol) of K. galanga  rhizome (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly (p < 0.05-0.001) exhibited dose dependent decrease of movement with highest suppression of locomotor activity (93.71%, 92.83%, 89.33% and 89.56%), whereas the standard drug diazepam (2 mg/kg) displayed 70.58 % suppression using open field test [19].

Anti-inflammatory activity

Ethyl p-metoxycinnamate from petroleum ether extract of K. galanga rhizome (200 to 800mg/kg) administered to male Sprague Dawley rats (200-250 g)  twenty-four hour before induction of inflammation using cotton-pellet significantly inhibit (p < 0.001) granuloma tissue formation in a dose dependent manner (38.98% to 51.65%) compared to indomethacin (54.35%) and dexamethasone (69.12%) [20].

Clinical studies

Information and data have not been established.

SAFETY INFORMATION

Preclinical studies (Toxicology studies)

Information and data have not been established.

Others (Adverse reaction, contraindication, side effect, warning, precaution)

Information and data have not been established.

DOSAGE

Information and data have not been established.

STORAGE

Store below 30°C. Protect from light and moisture.

REFERENCES

  1. The Plant List: A working list of all plants species [Internet]. Kaempferia galangal [Cited on 5th January 2015] Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org.
  2. Ibrahim H. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. In: de Padua, L.S., Bunyapraphatsara, N. and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). Backhuys Publisher, Leiden, The Netherlands. 1999; p.334–335.
  3. Flora of China. [Internet] Kaempferia galangal L. [cited on 5th January 2015]. Available from: http://www.eFloras.org.
  4. Database on flower of India. [Internet] Kempferia galangal L. [cited on 5th January 2015]. Available from: http://www.flowersofindia.net
  5. Malaysian Monograph Committee. Malaysian Herbal Monograph. Volume 1. Malaysian Monograph Committee. Kuala Lumpur. 1999; p. 41–44.
  6. Othman R, Ibrahim H, Mohd MA, Mustafa MR, Awang K. Bioassay-guided isolation of a vasorelaxant active compound from Kaempferia galanga L. Phytomedicine. 2006; 13:61–66.
  7. Sirisangtragul W, Jarukamjorn K, Nemoto N, Yenjai C, Sripanidkulchai B.  Effect of ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate from Kaempferia galanga on cytochrome P450 enzymes expression in mouse hepatocytes.  Chiang Mai Journal Science. 2011; 38(3):453–462.
  8. Sukari MA, Mohd Sharif NW, Yap ALC, Tang SW, Neoh BK, Rahmani M, Ee GCL, Taufiq YH, Yap, Yusof UK. Chemical constituent variations of essential oils from rhizomes of four Zingiberaceae species. The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences. 2008; 12(3):638–644.
  9. Kumar A. Chemical composition of essential oil isolated from the rhizomes of Kaempferia galanga L. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences. 2014; 5(1):225–231.
  10. Sahoo S, Parida R, Singh S, Rabindra N, Padhy, Nayak S. Evaluation of yield, quality and antioxidant activity of essential oil of in vitro propagated Kaempferia galanga Linn. Journal of Acute Disease. 2014; 124–130.
  11. Tewtrakul S, Yuenyongsawad S, Kummee S, Atsawajaruwan L. Chemical components and biological activities of volatile oil of Kaempferia galanga Linn. Songklanakarin Journal Science Technology. 2005; 27(2):503–507.
  12. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 2. London; Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies. 1966; p.1296–1297.
  13. Tewtrakul S, Subhadhirasakul S. Anti-allergic activity of some selected plants in the Zingiberaceae family. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2007; 109:535–538.
  14. Omar MN, Nor Hazwani MH, Helmi YA, Mohd Ambar Y, Ahmad Muzammil Z. Antimicrobial activity and microbial transformation of ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate extracted from Kaempferia galangal. Oriental Journal of Chemistry. 2014; 30(3): 1037–1043.
  15. Kochuthressia KP, John Britto S, Jaseentha MO, Raphael R. In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of Kaempferia galanga L. rhizome extract. American Journal Biotechnology and Molecular Sciences. 2012; 2(1):1–5.
  16. Arambewela L, Perera A, Thambugala RR, Wijesundera LC, Gunatileke J. Investigation on Kaempferia galanga. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 2000; 28(3):225–230.
  17. Dash PR, Nasrin M, Shawkat Ali M. In vivo cytotoxic and in vitro antibacterial activities of Kaempferia galangal. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2014; 3(1):172–177.
  18. Jagadish PC, Raghu Chandrashekhar H, Vinod Kumar S, Latha KP. Potent selective cytotoxic activity of Kaempferia galangal rhizome against cancer cell cultures. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences. 2010; 2:1–5.
  19. Ali MS, Dash PR, Nasrin M. Study of sedative activity of different extracts of Kaempferia galangal in Swiss albino mice. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2015; 15:158 (DOI 10.1186/s12906-015-0670-z).
  20. Umar MI, Asmawi MZ, Sadikun A, Abdul Majid AMS, Saleih FR. Al-Suede, Ahmed Hassan LE, Altaf R, Khadeer Ahamed MB. Ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate isolated from Kaempferia galanga inhibits inflammation by suppressing interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor-a, and angiogenesis by blocking endothelial functions. Clinics. 2014; 69(2):134–144.