Alpinia conchigera Griff.

Last updated: 18 Jan 2016

Scientific Name

Alpinia conchigera Griff.


Alpinia humilis Teijsm. & Binn. [Illegitimate], Alpinia laosensis Gagnep., Alpinia sumatrana (Miq.) K.Schum., Languas conchigera (Griff.) Burkill, Languas sumatrana (Miq.) Merr., Strobidia conchigera (Griff.) Kuntze, Strobidia oligosperma Kuntze, Strobidia sumatrana Miq. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Langkuas kechil, chengkenam [2], jerunang, langkuas kecil, langkuwas, lengkuas padang, ranting [3], lengkuas ranting, lengkuas kecil, rumput kelemoyang [4]
China Jie bian shan jiang [3]
India Khetranga [3]
Thailand Khaa ling [3]
Vietnam Ri[eef]ng r[uwf]ng [3]
Bangladesh Khet ranga [3].

Geographical Distributions

A. conchigera is found in Eastern India through continental Asia to Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. [2]

Botanical Description

A. conchigera falls under the family of Zingiberaceae. It is a slender herb, 0.6-1.5 m tall with slender rhizome. [2]

The leaves are oblong with a size of 15-30 cm x 4-8 cm, ciliate margins and hairless. The petiole is about 5 mm long, entire ligule that up to 5 mm long and hairy. The raceme is 20-30 cm long, sometimes with 1 basal branch, numerous cincinni, small bracts and broadly funnel-shaped. [2]

The flowers are small, up to 1.5 cm long, short sepal which is 3 mm long and thick while the petal tube is short, elliptical-oblong lobes, about 13 mm long, white to greenish-white, obovate labellum, strongly concave, yellowish or pinkish-white with red stripes on each side, 2 short teeth (staminodes) at the base, 5 mm long filament, curved and yellow. [2]

The 8 mm in diameter fruit is globular, pink or red and hairless. The seed is strongly aromatic. [2]


A. conchigera occurs in rubber or oil-palm plantations, swampy areas, open country near villages, semi-wild or planted. [2]

Chemical Constituent

Essential oils of A. conchigera dried leaves isolated by hydrodistillation has been reported to contain α-pinene, sabinene, β-pinene, myrcene, σ-3-carene, p-cymene, 1,8-cineole, limonene, (E)-2-octenal, γ-terpinene, terpinolene, linalool, α-phellandrene epoxide, camphor, terpinen-4-ol, myrtenal, α-terpineol, (E)-2-decenal, chavicol, bornyl acetate, ethyl benzaldehyde, eugenol, σ-elemene, geranyl acetate, α-copaene, β-elemene, (Z)-cyclodecene, β-caryophyllene, germacrene D, (E)-α-bergamotene, α-humulene, (Z)-β-farnesene, zingiberene, β-selinene, (E)-β-farnesene, eugenyl acetate, β-bisabolene, β-sesquiphellandrene, β-elemol, (E)-nerolidol, and 3-tetradecen-5-yne. [4]

n-hexane and DCM extracts A. conchigera dried and ground rhizomes and pseudostems has been reported to contain a mixture of two triterpenes (i.e. stigmasterol and β-sitosterol), caryophyllene oxide, chavicol acetate 1, p-hydroxy cinnamaldehyde 2, 1'S-1'-acetoxychavicol acetate 3, trans-p-coumaryl diacetate 4, 1'S-1'-acetoxyeugenol acetate 5, 1'-hydroxychavicol acetate 6, p-hydroxycinnamyl acetate 7 and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde. [5]

 A. conchigera rhizomes has been reported to contain phenylpropanoid (e.g. 1'S-1'-acetoxyeugenol acetate). [6]

A. conchigera whole plants extract  has been reported to contain sesquineolignans (e.g. conchignans A, conchignans B, conchignans C, vanillin and phloroglucinol). [7]

Plant Part Used

Rhizome [8]

Traditional Use

The A. conchigera A. conchigera young shoot is eaten as “ulam” dipped in “sambal belachan” [3]. The pounded leaves are applied over the abdomen to aid the involution of the uterus after delivery. [8]

The rhizome is used to flavour dishes prepared by inhabitants of Southeast Asia, as a substitute to Alpinia galanga [3]. The rhizome is considered a diaphoretic and is used in steam bath to treat fever by inducing sweating, included as an ingredient of pot herb used in the treatment of bronchitis, to regulate uterine bleeding and is being given in cases of metritis, used to treat headache, vertigo and parasitic infestation of the scalp (fleas). [8]

The powdered rhizome steeped in boiling water is applied over the abdomen to help relieve stomachache [3]. Pounded rhizome is massaged onto joints and limbs to relieve inflammation and rheumatism/arthritis/ostealgia [9][10]. The rhizome is also used in the treatment of jaundice [9].

A. conchigera is advocated for the treatment of diabetes by the Thais [10]. The Myanmar traditional medicine practitioners used the rhizome to treat digestive problems and gout [9][10]. In Bangladesh the juice of the rhizome is a remedy for dysentery and to allay abdominal pains. The same juice is used to treat stomach upset and gastric pains [11].

Preclinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

A compound cardomin isolated from A. conchigera treated on RAW264.7 cells significantly inhibited the induced expression of NF-kappaB reporter gene by LPS or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in a dose dependent manner. Activation of inhibitor kappaB (IkappaB) kinases and nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB showed its ability for the treatment of pathological condition such as inflammation. The anti-inflammatory activity of A. conchigera was also expressed through deactivation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. [12]

Antinociceptive activity

Ethanolic extract of A. conchigera leaves administered intraperitoneally (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg i.p.) to several animal models (mice and rats) and possessed significant, dose-dependent inhibitory activity in all test models when evaluated for its antinociceptive activity using the acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test, the hot plate test and the formalin test. The analgesic effects mediated through activation of the opioid system after naloxone reversal. [13]

Clinical Data

No documentation

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of A. conchigera [2]

  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Alpinia conchigera Griff. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2015 Sept 20]. Available from:
  2. Ibrahim H. Alpinia conchigera Griffith. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 57-58.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 201.
  4. Ibrahim H, Aziz AN, Syamsir DR, et al. Essential oils of Alpinia conchigera Griff. and their antimicrobial activities. Food Chem. 2009:113(2);575-577.
  5. Aziz AN, Ibrahim H, Syamsir DR, Mohtar M, Vejayan J, Awang K. Antimicrobial compounds from Alpinia conchigera. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;145(3):798-802.
  6. In LL, Azmi MN, Ibrahim H, Awang K, Nagoor NH. 1's-1'-acetoxyeugenol acetate: A novel phenylpropanoid from Alpinia conchigera enhances the apoptotic effects of paclitaxel in mcf-7 cells through nf-kappab inactivation. Anticancer Drugs. 2011;22(5):424-434.
  7. Xu JJ, Zhao HM, Shen Y, et al. Three unusual sesquineolignans from Alpinia conchigera. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2013;15(8):833-839.
  8. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. The wealth of India: A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. H - K, Volume 5. New Delhi: CSIR Publications; 1959.
  9. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research.Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002; p. 34.
  10. Burkill IH. A dictionary of economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1 & 2. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Malaysia, 1966; p. 1240, 1241—2444.
  11. Atiqur Rahman M, Uddin SB, Wilcock CC. Medicinal plants used by Chikma tribe in hill tracts districts of Bangladesh. Indian J Tradit Know. 2007;6(3):508-517.
  12. Lee JH, Jung HS, Giang PM, et al. Blockade of nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway and anti-inflammatory activity of cardamomin, a chalcone analog from Alpinia conchigera. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006;316(1):271-278.
  13. Sulaiman MR, Zakaria ZA, Adilius M, Mohamad AS, Ismail M, Israf DA. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of the ethanol extract of Alpinia conchigera Griff. leaves in various animal models. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2009;31(4):241-247.