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Kaempferia rotunda L.


Kaempferia longa Jacq., Kaempferia versicolor Salisb., Zerumbet zeylanica Garsault [Invalid][4].

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Janda Lepak, Gendang Lepak
English Chinese Keys, Resurrection Lily, Round-rooted Galangale, Tropical Lily, Round Zedoary
China Hai Nan San Qi, Shan Nae, Shan La, San Nae, San Lae
Indonesia Kencur, Kunci, Kunci Pepet, Temu Rapet, Ardong (Java); Kunir Putih (Sunda); Konce Pet. (Madura); Temu Putrid, Temu Rapet (Malay)
Thailand Kencur, Waan Hao Non, Krachai
Philippines Gisol Na Bilog
India Chandramalu; Bhuchampaka, Bhumichampa, Hallakah (Sanskrit); Chengzhineer, Malankoova (Malayalam); Neerpichin (Tamil)
Germany Runde Gewurzlilie, Gefkecjte Gewurzlilie, Runder kentjur. [1] [3] [5] [7] [8]

General Information


The rhizome of K. rotunda L. is tuberous. The lingual is broadly triangular and 0.3cm long. The petiole is 2cm long and channeled. The blade is pale green above and purplish below, lanceolate, 17cm x 7.5cm to 25cm x 9.5cm, and cuneate at the base. The inflorescence is sessile, with 4-6 flowers, and emerges from the rhizome before the leaves. The flowers are fragrant. The bracts are light purple-brown. The braceoles are 2cm long and the apex is bifid. The calyx is 4.5-7cm long and trifid. The corolla lobes are spreading, white, linear, and 5cm long. The lateral staminodes are erect, white, lanceolate, and 5cm x 0.5cm long. The labellum is lilac, orbicular, and bifid. The gynoecium is 0.5cm long and hairy. [2]

Plant Part Used

Young root, rhizomes, leaves. [1][2][5][6][7]

Chemical Constituents

(-)-6-acetylzeylenol; (-)-Zeylenol; (E)-1-(2-Hy-droxy-4,6-dimeth-oxy-phen-yl)-3-(4-meth-oxy-phen-yl)prop-2-en-1-one; 1,2’-hydroxy-4,4’,6’-trimethoxy-chalcone; 2-acetylrotepoxide B; 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; 3-deacetyl-crotepoxide; b-pentadecane; b-sitosterol; benzyl benzoate; camphene; chavicvol; cineole; crotepoxide; four acylated derivatives of 1-benzoyloxymethyl-1,6-epoxycyclohexan-2,3,4,5-tetrol; Diels-Alder adduct of 3-benzoyl-1-benzoyloxymethylcyclohexa-4,6-dien-2,3-diol. [2][6][9][10][11]

Traditional Uses

The rhizome of K. rotunda is considered bitter and cooling with anti-inflammatory, carminative and wound healing enhancement properties. Generally an external application is used for inflammatory diseases where the fresh rhizome is pounded and applied over the lesion or the powdered dried rhizome is made into paste and applied over it. Inflammatory conditions where this is used include swelling due to trauma, sprains, and haematoma. It is also applied over wounds to enhance healing processes. [2][5][6][7] In Malaysia and Indonesia the local Malay communities used the rhizome to treat various gastrointestinal disorders including indigestion, flatulence, and abdominal colic. This is normally given in the form of a decoction of either the fresh rhizome or powdered dried rhizomes. [2][7]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

At least one compound isolated from the rhizome of K. rotunda showed promising antioxidant activity. 1,2’-hydroxy-4,4’,6’-trimethyl-chalchone, a compound isolated from the chloroform-soluble extract, showed significant scavenging effect on DPPH free radicals (IC50=180 µg/mL). [12]

Antiplatelet-activating factor (PAF)

Extracts of K. rotunda yielded two compounds that showed significantly strong PAF receptor binding inhibitor. These compounds are 3-deacetylcrotepoxide with IC50 value of 45.6 µM and 2-hydroxy-4,4',6'-trimethoxychalcone with IC50 of 57.4 µM. [13][14]

Antibacterial and Antiproliferative activities

A lectin which proved to be a 29.0 ± 1.0 kDa polypeptide was purified from the extracts of K. rotunda tuberous rhizome by glucose-sepharose affinity chromatography. This lectin showed toxicity against brine shrimp nauplii with LC50 value of 18 ± 6 µg/mL. The antiproliferative activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells revealed 51 % inhibition in vivo in mice given with 1.25 mg/kg/day lectin and 67 % inhibition at the lectin dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day. It also showed strong agglutination activity against seven pathogenic bacteria and partial growth inhibition of six bacteria. [15]


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

The presence of anti-PAF activity in the rhizome of K. rotunda signals cautionary measures when patients are on anticoagulant therapy. This activity can potentiate the effects of anticoagulants and a revision of dose would be necessary. [13] [14]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Seidemann J. World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2005 pg. 192
  2. Wiart C. Medicinal Plants of China and its Neighbourhood: Bioresources for Tomorrow’s Drugs and Cosmetics CRC Press, Boca Raton 2012 pg. 62 – 63
  3. Niar RV. Controversial Drug Plants Universities Press (India) Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, 2004 pg. 39
  4. Available at The Plant List Accessed on 28th July 2013
  5. Butagal PA, Kanniah J, Lee SY, Oliver JT. Medicinal Plants Research in Asia – Volume 1 – The Framework and Project Workplans IPGRI-APO, Serdang 2004 pg. 165
  6. Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer, Berlin 2007 pg. 351 – 352
  7. Dalimartha S. Atlas Tumbuhan Obat Indonesia Volume 3 Niaga Swadaya, Jakarta, pg. 59 – 61
  8. Morrison R. A Dictionary of the Chinese Language Volume 3 Black, Parbury and Allen, London 1822 pg. 239
  9. Stevenson PC, Veitch NC, Simmonds MS. Polyoxygenated cyclohexane derivatives and other constituents from Kaempferia rotunda L. Phytochemistry. 2007 Jun;68(11):1579-86. Epub 2007 May 9.
  10. Sirat HM, Feng YS, Hazni H, Awang K, Ng SW. (E)-1-(2-Hy-droxy-4,6-dimeth-oxy-phen-yl)-3-(4-meth-oxy-phen-yl)prop-2-en-1-one from Kaempferia rotunda Val. Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online. 2010 Oct 30;66(Pt 11):o2944.
  11. Sirat HM, Feng YS, Awang K, Ng SW. [1R-(1α,2α,4α,5β,6α,7α)]-4-Benzoyl-oxymethyl-5,6-dihy-droxy-3,8-dioxa-tricyclo-[5 .1.0.0]octan-5-yl acetate (3-deacetyl-crotepoxide) from Kaempferia rotunda Val. Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online. 2010 Oct 30;66(Pt 11):o2945.
  12. Lotulung PD, Minarti, Kardono LB, Kawanishi K. Antioxidant compound from the rhizomes of Kaempferia rotunda L. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 15;11(20):2447-50.
  13. Jantan I, Pisar M, Sirat HM, Basar N, Jamil S, Ali RM, Jalil J. Inhibitory effects of compounds from Zingiberaceae species on platelet activating factor receptor binding. Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1005-7.
  14. Jantan I, Raweh SM, Sirat HM, Jamil S, Mohd Yasin YH, Jalil J, Jamal JA. Inhibitory effect of compounds from Zingiberaceae species on human platelet aggregation. Phytomedicine. 2008 Apr;15(4):306-9. Epub 2007 Oct 29.
  15. Kabir SR, Hossen A, Zubair A, Alom J, Islam F, Hossain A, Kimura Y. A new lectin from the tuberous rhizome of Kaempferia rotunda: isolation, characterization, antibacterial and antiproliferative activities. Protein Pept Lett. 2011 Nov;18(11):1140-9.

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