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Zingiber spectabile Griff.


No documentation

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Chadak, Tepus Halia, Tepus Tanah, Tepus Halia Puar, Tepus Tunduk. [2]

General Information


Zingiber spectabile is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. The rhizome lies just below ground surface, it is off white in colour and fibrous. The leafy stem is about 2m tall, distinctly flattened, basal leafless part is nearly 1m tall, green; lower leaves are well spaced with the uppermost crowded and narrow. The leaves measure 30-50cm by 6-10cm. They are glabrous or slightly pubescent at the underside of the base, thin, apex acuminate and base rounded or cuneate. There are no petiole. Ligule is very thin, glabrous and deeply 2-lobed. The lobes are broad, pale green and scarious when old. The scape is 30-50cm long, sheaths broad, green or slightly reddish. Inflorescence is 12-30cm tall and 6-7cm wide, cylindric and not tapering to the apex. Bracts are at first yellow but turn red when old. The calyx is glabrous and thin, with apex broad and slightly 3-lobed, split deeply down the other side, pink to cream coloured. The corolla tube is 3cm long; lobes are pale yellow. The labellum dark purple with many small pale yellow spots, the throat is yellow with fine purple flecks. [1]

Plant Part Used

Rhizome, leaves. [2]

Chemical Constituents

α-pinene; α-terpineol β-caryophyllene;  β-elemene; β -phellandrene; β-pinene; curcumin; demethoxycurcumin; kaempferol and its four acetylrhamnosides; labda-8(17),12-diene-15,16-dial; spectaflavoside A; terpinen-4-ol; zerumbone. [4-9]

Traditional Used:

In Malaysia it is used to treat inflammation of the eyes where any part of the plant is infused in cold water and dropped into the affected eye. It is also used in the treatment of swellings in general including those due to beri-beri. Here the leaves are pounded and made into a poultice. [2]

Pre-Clinical Data


Iron chelating activity

The compound spectaflavoside A isolated from the rhizome of Z. spectabile exhibit potent iron-chelating actvitity.[4]

Anticancer activity

Nine sesquiterpenes and eight flavonoids were isolated from Z. spectabile and the major compound was found to be zerumbone. Zerumbone exhibited cell growth inhibition against colon carcinoma SW480 cells. [5]

Antibacterial activity

The essential oil extracted from the rhizome of Z. spectabile has weak antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, Klebseilla pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). [7]


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

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. Holttum RE.The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula in The Gardens’ Bulletin Volume XIII(1):56, 1950
  2. Werne R. Medicines in Malay Villages, University of Malaya Press Kuala Lumpur 2002, pg. 183
  3. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Volume 2, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1966, pg. 2345
  4. Sivasothy Y, Hadi AH, Mohamad K, Leong KH, Ibrahim H, Sulaiman SF, Ooi KL, Awang K. Spectaflavoside A, a new potent iron chelating dimeric flavonol glycoside from the rhizomes of Zingiber spectabile Griff. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Jun 1;22(11):3831-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.02.Epub 2012 Mar 7.
  5. Sadhu SK, Khatun A, Ohtsuki T, Ishibashi M. First isolation of sesquiterpenes and flavonoids from Zingiber spectabile and identification of zerumbone as the major cell growth inhibitory component. Nat Prod Res. 2007 Dec;21(14):1242-7.
  6. Zoghbi MGB, Andrade EHA. Volatiles of the Etlingera elatior (Jack) R. M. Sm. and Zingiber spectabile Griff.: Two Zingiberaceae Cultivated in the Amazon, Journal of Essential Oil Research Volume 17(2):209-211 , 2005
  7. Sivasothy Y, Awang K, Ibrahim H, Thong KL, Fitrah B, Koh XP, Tan LK. Chemical composition and antibacterial activities of essential oils from Zingiber spectabile Griff, Journal of Essential Oil Research Volume 24(3):305-313, 2012
  8. Sirat HM, Leh NHN. The Rhizome Oil of Zingiber spectabile Valet, Journal of Essential Oil Research Volume 13(4):256-257, 2001
  9. Lechat IV, Menut C, Lamnaty G, Bessiere JM. Aromatic Plants of French Polynesia. II. Composition of the Essential Oils of Zingiber spectabile Griffith Journal of Essential Oil Research Volume 8(6):671-673 1996

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