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Boesenbergia pandurata


Boesenbergia rotunda (L.) Mansf., Curcuma rotunda Linn., Kaempferia ovate Rosc., Kaempferia pandurata Roxb., Zingiber xanthorrhizum Moon, Gastochilus pandurata (Roxb.) Ridley [1]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Temu Kunci
Indonesia Temu Kunci (Sumatra, Jawa, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi); Anipa Waking, Uni Nowo, Aruhu Konci, Sun, Rutu Kakusi, Ene Sitale, Tamputi (Maluku)
Thailand Kae-aen, Kra Chai, Wan-phraa-thit
Vietnam Ngai num kho, Bong nga truat, Cu ngai
Chinese Soh Shi
India Chekkur
English Galingale, Chinese Key, Lesser Ginger, Tropical Crocus
French Petits Doigts
German Runde Gewurzlilie, Fingerwurzel [1]

General Information


Boesenbergia pandurata is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It is a rhizomatous herbaceous plant. The leafy shoots are short, each with 3 or 4 leaves with bladeless red sheaths at the base. The leaf blade measures 28cm by 10cm, slightly asymmetric, elliptic, shortly pointed, base cuneate, the midrib at least slightly hairy beneath; petioles measuring 5-12cm long, slightly winged, channelled; lingual-lobes broadly triangular, about 5mm long; sheaths with thin edge decurrent from the lingual, the longest sheath is about 12-15cm long. The inflorescence is completely enclosed by the leaf sheaths except the extreme tip of the bracts. The bracts are about 4.2cm long and 4mm wide, green in colour. The bracteoles are as long as the bracts and about as wide. The calyx with ovary about 1.8cm long. The corolla tube is about 6cm long with lobes 1.5cm long and pink in colour. The lip is about 2.5cm long, not deeply saccate, apex reflexed and slightly bilobed, coloured a deeper pink than the petals and staminodes. The stamen is about 1cm long. The anther about 0.5cm, with short narrow reflexed bilobed crest. [4]

Plant Part Used

Rhizome and roots. [1]

Chemical Constituents

Cardamonin, panduratin A – I, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, alpinetin, isopanduratin A, 4-hydroxypanduratin A.

Traditional Used:

B. pandurata is considered hot herb like other members of the Zingiberaceae family. Being native of Southeast Asia, it is used widely in the region as spice and also as medicine. The main part used of B. pandurata are rhizome and roots, while the mildly aromatic leaves used in the treatment of skin diseases.

As a spice, the rhizome functions as an antiflatulance, digestives and anthelmintic. [5] To treat oral thrush and mouth ulcers, the fresh rhizome is chewed on. The liquid extracts of  B. pandurata is kept in the mouth for a while and then swallowed.[2] [3] To treat round worm using this plant, the Indonesians take orally by mixed the pounded rhizome with coconut milk and sulphur powder.[3] The extract of B. pandurata also used in gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia and gastritis.[2][3][5] The decoction of the leaves are given for treatment of food poisoning and allergic reactions to food. [5]

The rhizome also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties by using it in the treatment of various skin infections including ringworm, impetigo, and abscesses. [2] For ringworm, the rhizome and the leaves of B. pandurata is made into a paste and it is applied over the lesion. [3] It is also useful in the treatment of rheumatism and malaria.[2]

The diuretic property of the rhizome is useful in the treatment of urinary tract diseases including infection of the bladder.[2][3]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antimicrobial activity
The preliminary studies on hydrodistilate of B.pandurata showed it could inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Listeria monocytogenes.[1] Subsequent to this interest had been excited in looking into its ability to inhibit biofilm formation by various bacteria. [7] Yanti et al. did a series of study on this effects concentrating on its ability to inhibit the growth of oral pathogens in particular Porphyromonas gingivalis.[8-12] The resultd concluded that the B. pandurata extracts suppresses MMP-2 expression at the protein and gene levels via downregulating the principle JNK and CREB signalling pathway concluding that it would make a potent drug for periodontal therapy.[12]

Panduratin A has also been found to be a very potent inhibitor of Staphylococcus strains.[15]

Inhibition of melanin biosynthesis
In two studies done by Yoon et al. on the effects of chalcone compounds isolated from the rhizome of B. pandurata, three compounds were able to inhibit the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of melanin, significantly. [13] [14] These compounds are isopanduratin A and 4-hydroxypanduratin A isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction of ethanol extracts and panduratin A. [13] [14]

Anti-aging activity
Hwang et al. did two studies on the effects of B. pandurata photoaging processes of skin upon exposure to UV light. In these studies, B. pandurata (in particular Panduratin A) was able to significantly inhibit the matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and induced type-1 procollagen in human skin fibroblast.[16][17] The result showed that it was mediated via the extracts ability to inhibit the UV-induced phosphorylations of extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK), Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase which resulted in decreased c-Fos expression and c-Jun phosphorylation induced by UV light.[17]

Cytotoxic activity
The panduratins D–I showed mild cytotoxic activity against human pancreatic PANC-1 cancer cells under nutrient deprived conditions.[18] The crude extract of rhizome of B. pandurata was found to be strongly positive as inhibitors of Ca2+ signalling pathway in zds1Delta-yeast proliferation based assay. This extract yields three chalcones (i.e. pinostrobin, alpinetin and pinocembrin) which were found to be the compounds responsible for the cytotoxic activity.[19] Further biochemical experiments confirmed that pinostrobin possesses this inhibitory activity on Ca2+ signals involved in the control of G2/M phase cell cycle progression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.[19]

Using the Mitsunobo and Claisen/Cope reactions to convert pinostrobin to its C6 and C8 prenylated derivatives resulted in yielding the target compounds and five new intermediary compounds. All these compounds showed cytotoxic activity towards SK-BR-3, MCF-7, PC-3, and Colo-320DM human tumour cell lines and all of them had significantly lower IC50 values than pinostrobin.[20]

Antiobesity activity
Panduratin A, from B. pandurata extract, has been found to be a LKB1-dependent AMPK stimulator. It has been found to reduce weight gain, fat mass, fatty liver and improved serum lipid profiles in obese rats. It also reduced ectopic fat accumulation and increased the proportion of slow-twitch myofibres and mitochondria content in skeletal muscles, thus increasing running endurances. All these were achieved through it stimulating direct binding of the AMPKα2 subunit to PPARα/δ and dysregulating lipid metabolism thus attenuating HFD-induced obesity.[21][22]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Johannes Seidemann. World Spice Plants Springer Science and Business Media New York; 2005. p. 67.
  2. Rahmat Rukmana H. Temu-temuan, Apotek Hidup di Pekarangan Kanisius Jakarta; 2004. p. 19.
  3. Fauziah Muhlisah IR.Temu-Temuan & Empon-Empon, Budi Daya dan Manfaatnya Kanisius Jakarta 2004pg. 67.
  4. Holttum RE. The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula. The Garden’s Bulletin Volume XIII Part I Singapore; 1950. p. 115–116.
  5. Pierce Salguero C. A Thai Herbal – Traditional Recipes for Health and Harmony. Finfhorn Press Foress; 2003. p. 100.
  6. Norajit K, Laohakunjit N, Kerdchoechuan O Antibacterial effect of the Zingiberaceae essential oils Molecules 2007 12(8):2047–60.
  7. Limsuwan S, Voravuthikunchai SP. Boesenbergia pandurata (Roxb.) Schltr., Eleutherine americana Merr. and Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Aiton) Hassk. as antibiofilm producing and antiquorum sensing in Streptococcus pyogenes. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2008 Aug;53(3):429-36.
  8. Yanti, Oh HI, Anggakusuma, Hwang JK. Effects of panduratin A isolated from Kaempferia pandurata Roxb. on the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by porphyromonas gingivalis supernatant-induced KB cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2009 Jan; 32(1):110-5.
  9. Yanti, Rukayadi Y, Lee KH, Hwang JK. Activity of panduratin A isolated from Kaempferia pandurata Roxb. against multi-species oral biofilms in vitro. J Oral Sci. 2009 Mar; 51(1): 87-95.
  10. Yanti, Anggakusuma, Gwon SH, Hwang JK. Kaempferia pandurata Roxb. inhibits Porphyromonas gingivalis supernatant-induced  matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression via signal transduction in human oral epidermoid cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 22;123(2):315-24.
  11. Yanti, Lee M, Kim D, Hwang JK. Inhibitory effect of panduratin A on c-Jun N-terminal kinase and activator protein-1 signaling involved in Porphyromonas gingivalis supernatant-stimulated matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in human oral epidermoid cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2009 Oct;32(10):1770-5.
  12. Yanti, Hwang JK. Suppressive effect of ethanolic Kaempferia pandurata Roxb. extract on matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression in Porphyromonas gingivalis-treated human gingival fibroblasts in vitro. J Oral Sci. 2010 Dec; 52(4): 583-91.
  13. Yoon JH, Shim JS, Cho Y, Baek NI, Lee CW, Kim HS, Hwang JK. Depigmentation of melanocytes by isopanduratin A and 4-hydroxypanduratin A isolated from Kaempferia pandurata ROXB. Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Nov; 30(11): 2141-5.
  14. Lee CW, Kim HS, Kim HK, Kim JW, Yoon JH, Cho Y, Hwang JK. Inhibitory effect of panduratin A isolated from Kaempferia panduarata Roxb. on melanin biosynthesis. Phytother Res. 2010 Nov; 24(11): 1600-4.
  15. Rukayadi Y, Lee K, Han S, Yong D, Hwang K. In vitro activities of Panduratin A against clinical Staphylococcus strains. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2009 53(10):4529–32.
  16. Shim JS, Kwon YY, Hwang JK. The effects of panduratin A isolated from Kaempferia pandurata on the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and type-1 procollagen in human skin fibroblasts. Planta Med. 2008 Feb;74(3):239-44.
  17. Shim JS, Choi EJ, Lee CW, Kim HS, Hwang JK. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 inhibitory activity of Kaempferia pandurata Roxb. J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3): 601-7.
  18. Win NN, Awale S, Esumi H, Tezuka Y, Kadota S. Panduratins D-I, novel secondary metabolites from rhizomes of Boesenbergia pandurata. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2008 Apr; 56(4): 491-6.
  19. Wangkangwan W, Boonkerd S, Chavasiri W, Sukapirom K, Pattanapanyasat K, Kongkathip N, Miyakawa T, Yompakdee C. Pinostrobin from Boesenbergia pandurata is an inhibitor of Ca2+-signal-mediated cell-cycle regulation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Jul;73(7):1679-82.
  20. Poerwono H, Sasaki S, Hattori Y, Higashiyama K. Efficient microwave-assisted prenylation of pinostrobin and biological evaluation of its derivatives as antitumor agents. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2010 Apr 1; 20(7): 2086-9.
  21. Kim D, Lee MS, Jo K, Lee KE, Hwang JK. Therapeutic potential of panduratin A, LKB1-dependent AMP-activated protein kinase stimulator, with activation of PPARα/δ for the treatment of obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011 Jul;13(7):584-93.
  22. Kim DY, Kim MS, Sa BK, Kim MB, Hwang JK. Boesenbergia pandurata Attenuates Diet-Induced Obesity by Activating AMP-Activated Protein Kinase and Regulating Lipid Metabolism. Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(1): 994-1005.

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