Kaempferia bhucampac Jones
Kaempferia longa Jacq.
Kaempferia versicolor Salisb.
Zerumbet zeylanica Garsault
Cultivated plant in Osaka Prefectural Flower Garden, Osaka, Japan
Photograph by: KENPEI
Kaempferia rotunda is a perennial, stemless plant producing a pseudostem with 2 - 4 erect leaves from an underground rhizome that has small tuberous roots. Flowering stems are produced from the rhizome when no leaves are present[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in the tropics.
The juice of the rhizome has been reported to be poisonous. When administered internally in the treatment of throat problems it can produce profuse salivation and vomiting[
E. Asia - southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Monsoon forests and open grassland at elevations from around sea level to 2,600 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a position in partial shade[
]. Grows best in a moist, well-drained, fertile, humus-rich soil[
The rhizomes and young leaves are used to flavour food[
Leaves - raw or cooked as a vegetable[
The rhizome is cooling and diuretic[
The rhizome is ground into a paste and applied externally for the treatment of sprains[
The plant yields flavonoids, crotepoxide, chalcones, quercetin, flavonols, B-sitosterol, stigmasterol, syringic acid, protocatechuic acid and hydrocarbons.
An essential oil that contains cineol is obtained from the rhizome[
]. One of the constituents, benzyl benzoate, has shown antimicrobial activity against various tested microbes (P aeruginosa, S typhimurium, B subtilis), moderate antioxidant activity, and some larvicidal activity[
The plant has an antioxidant potential to control age-dependent diseases such as myocardial infarction, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, etc[
On distillation, the rhizomes yield 0.2% essential oil of a light yellow colour. It has an unpleasant odor, similar to camphor and later, of tarragon oil. The oil contains cineol[
Extracts from the rhizomes, incorporated into artificial diets, displayed significant insecticidal activity against neonate larvae of the pest insect Spodoptera littoralis. The rhizomes yielded two active metabolities - crotepoxide and benzyl benzoate. Benzyl benzoate exhibited insecticidal activity only when applied locally[
Division of the rhizomes
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