Articles

Lengkuas

Plant Part Used

Rhizome

Active Constituents

A. galanga essential oil A, A. galanga essential oil B, kampheride, alpinin, galangin, methyl cinnamate , cincole,1’-acetoxychavicol acetate, 1’-hydroxychavicol acetate, galantin-3-methyl ether, a-terpineol, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, trans-coniferyl diacetate,trans-p-courmaryl diacetate, a-bergamotene, b-bisabolene, borneol, borneol acetate, butanol acetate, campene, carveol I, carveol II, chavicol acetate, citronellol acetate, a-copaene, curcumene, p-cymene, p-cymenol, eugenol methyl ether, 1’-acetoxyeugenol acetate, trans-b-farnescene, geraniol acetate, a-humulene, limonene, myrcene, nerol acetate, pentadecane, linalool, propanol acetate, 2-methyl sabinene, santalene, b-sesquiphellandrene (Malaysian Herbal Monograph) , g-terpinene, terpinolene, tridecane, caryophyllene oxide, 1’hydroxycineol acetate, p-hydroxycinnamaldehyde, di-(p-hydroxy-cis-styryl)-methane, a-pinene, b-pinene, quercetin, kaempferol, quercetin-3-methyl ether, isorhamnetin and derivative of 4-allylphenol. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10)

Introduction

The plant grows from rhizome underneath the ground. The plant’s stem is non-woody, soft, watery, smooth and green in color. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green and the underneath surface is lighter green, leaf margin is wavy, petiole short, 1-1.5cm long, ligule, brown with very fine hairs. The greenish white flower is bell shaped with a large peduncle at the terminal. The rhizome is cultivated on rather wet ground in Malaysia, India, Indo-China, Indonesia and Philippines. (11) Galanga has a refreshing aroma and thus serves as a very popular spice in the entire South East Asia. Furthermore, its pure refreshing aroma will change to a more medical and sweet taste upon drying.

In Malaysia, Languas galanga is used traditionally for nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis and to improve digestion. It also possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and is used because of these properties in homeopathic medicine.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Not supported by experimental or clinical data:
It is administered as dried powder, sliced or tincture. For treating bronchosparm, small doses of tincture of galanga is needed.

Most Common Dosage

Not supported by experimental or clinical data:
It is administered as dried powder, sliced or tincture. For treating bronchosparm, small doses of tincture of galanga is needed.

Standardization

No standard marker reported. Other standard profiles have been documented in the Malaysian Herbal Monograph. (12)

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Information is not available.

Side Effects

Information is not available.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Safety in pregnant and nursing women has not been established. The use of this herb should be avoided in pregnant and nursing women unless consulted with physician.

Age Limitations

Safety in young and elderly people has not been established.

Pharmacology

Hypoglycemic activity
It was reported that the powdered rhizome and its methanol and aqueous extracts significantly reduced the normal rabbits’ blood glucose level. However, it had no effect on the alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits.

Chemoprevention activity for colon tumorigenesis
Xanthine oxidase inhibitor, 1’-acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) was isolated from Languas galanga and was found to be effective in inhibiting azoxymethan (AOM)-induced colon tumorigenesis in rats. (13) , (14) An experiment on the initiation feeding (before the tumor was induced) and post-initiation feeding (after the tumor was induced) of 500 ppm ACA caused 71% and 93% inhibition in the incidence of colon carcinoma respectively. The activity was shown by ACA to inhibit the development of AOM-induced colon tumorigenesis through suppression of cell proliferation in the colonic mucosal which could make ACA a possible chemotherapeutic agent against colon tumorigenesis.

Reported Traditional Uses:

The rhizome of Languas galanga has been used to treat fever, (15) pharyngopathy, hiccups, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, headache, inflammations, rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, colic, (16) , (17) flatulence, ringworm, (18) puerpera, gastralgia, boborygmus, purify blood, vomiting, diarrhoea, (19) diabetes, tubercular glands, malaria and tinea, pityriasis versicolor, (20) , (21) insanity, (22) menstrual pain, (23) , (24) afterbirth, desquamation of the soles and hands. (25) It is also used for its antiseptic and antibacterial activities. Furthermore, the rhizome was described as a carminative, a stomachic and also a digestive stimulant. It can also be applied externally on carious teeth to relieve a toothache. Flavonoids from the rhizome were clinically proven to have antifungal activity against Trichophyton flocosum and other gram positive and gram negative bacteria. (26) Besides the multiple uses of the rhizome, the leaves of Languas galanga can be boiled and used as a body lotion by the Malays.

Read More

  1) Botanical Info

  2) Cultivation

References

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  13. Tanaka T, Kawabata K, Kakumoto M, et al. Chemoprevention of azoxymethane-induced rat colon carcinogenesis by a xanthine oxidase inhibitor 1’-acetoxychavicol acetate. Jpn J Cancer Res. 1997;88(9):821-830.
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