Zingiber ottensii Valeton

Last updated: 09 Mar 2017

Scientific Name

Zingiber ottensii Valeton


No documentation.

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bolai hitam, kunyit hitam, [1], berseh hitam, kunyit terus hitam, lampoyang hitam [2]
Indonesia Bunglai hantu, panglai hideung [1][2]
Thailand Phlai dam, phlai muang, puu loei dam [1]

Geographical Distributions

Zingiber ottensii is found in Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), Peninsular Malaysia, and Thailand. [3]

Botanical Description

Zingiber ottensii is a member of Zingiberaceae family. It is a rhizomatous, perennial herb with leafy shoots, which can grow up to 1.5 m tall. Its rhizome is purplish inside and with a very pungent smell. [3]

The leaves are elliptical, 35-40 cm x 6-8 cm. [3]

The inflorescence is like spike-shaped and is locating on separate 25-40 cm long stalk. The bracts are obovate, 4 cm long, convex with incurved tips and bright red. Bracteoles are linear and they are 3 cm long. The spike is ellipsoidal to cylindrical. It is 10-12 cm x 4 cm. The sepal is 2.3 cm long and white while the petal is 5.7 cm long and cream to yellow. The lip is 5.5 cm long with pale yellow. The lip markings are red-brown or faintly pink and densely interspersed with large and small pale yellow spot, including the 2 cm diameter circular midlobe. [3]

The fruit is a red cylindrical capsule. Z. ottensii can easily be distinguished by its purplish rhizome flesh. [3]


Z. ottensii is commonly found in moist, partially shaded evergreen and monsoon forests on soils rich in organic matter, but also in secondary forests, open habitats at forest edges, disturbed sites and bamboo thickets on rocky soils. [3]

Chemical Constituent

The rhizome of Z. ottensii was found to contain 1,10,10-trimethylbicyclo[7,4,0]tridecane-3,6-dione; (E)-14-hydroxy-15-norlabda-8(17),12-dien-16-al; (E)-labda-8(17),12,14-trien-15(16)-olide; (E)-14,15,16-trinorlabda-8(17),11-dien-13-oic acid; and rel-(3R,5S)-3,5-dihydroxy-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-7-(3, 4-dihydroxyphenyl)heptanes. [4]

Essential oil from Z. ottensii rhizome was found to contain p-cymene, humulene, sabinene, terpinen-4-ol, and zerumbone. [5]

Plant Part Used

Stems, rhizomes and leaves. [2]

Traditional Use

The stem of Z. ottensii is used as part of a sedative lotion by the Javanese. In Sumatra it is used in potherb for postpartum care. For the same purpose, the traditional midwives of Perak used the rhizome and leaves as a poultice applied on the body of the women in confinement. The leaves are also used as a poultice for lumbago. [2]

Preclinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

A protein with three types of subunits, 32.5, 15.2 and 13.8 kDa, was isolated from the rhizome of Z. ottensii. This protein and its subunits exhibit α-glucosidase inhibitory activity which was pH-independent within the range of 2-10, but was affected by buffer salts and relative temperature. The amino acid sequence of an internal fragment had similarity with the sequence from the plant cysteine proteinase family. [6]

Anticancer activity

The cysteine protease extracted from the rhizome of Z. ottensii was found to be similar to zingipain-1 of Z. officinale. Further analysis found it to be a glycoprotein containing 26.30% by weight of carbohydrate. This protease was found to have strong antiproliferative effects against five human cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 1.13 µg/mL (hepatoma, HEP-G2) to 5.37 µg/mL (colon cancer, SW620). [7]

Antimicrobial activity 

The glycoprotein with cysteine protease activity isolated from the rhizome of Z. ottensii was found to possess antiproliferative activity against three fungal species but no antibacterial activity. [7]

Enzyme inhibitory activity

The protein extract from the rhizome of Z. ottensii showed the highest angiotensin-1 converting enzyme inhibitory (ACEI) activity amongst 15 Zingiberaceae plant rhizomes. Of the five NaCl enriched (0, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1M) fractionation process, F75 fraction which is the bound proteins that was eluted at 0.75M was found to have the highest activity suggesting enrichment to or near to homogeneity. [8]

Anti-inflammatory activity

The crude protein extract of Z. ottensii rhizome was amongst 15 extracts tested for their ability to inhibit nitric oxide (NO) production in macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cell lines. It was found that this extract showed the highest inhibitory activity apart from suppressinglipopolysaccharide- and rm-interferon (IFN)-γ-mediated increase in the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS, interleukin (IL)-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNA transcript expression levels. [9]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

There would appear to be possible summative effects with antidiabetic drugs and antihypertensive drugs when the rhizome of Z. ottensii is taken together with them for whatever reason. [6][8]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of Z. ottensii [3].


  1. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 838-839.
  2. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 2. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 2302.
  3. Jansen PCM. Zingiber ottensii Valeton In: de Guzman CC, Siemonsma JS, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 13: Spices. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 267-268.
  4. Akiyama K, Kikuzaki H, Aoki T, Okuda A, Lajis NH, Nakatani N. Terpenoids and a diarylheptanoid from Zingiber ottensii. J Nat Prod. 2006;69(11):1637-1640.
  5. Thubthimthed S, Limsiriwong P, Rerk-am U, Suntorntanasat T. Chemical composition and cytotoxic activity of the essential oil of Zingiber ottensii. Act Hort. 2005;675:107-109.
  6. Tiengburanatam N, Boonmee A, Sangvanich P, Karnchanatat A. A novel α-glucoside inhibitor protein from the rhizomes of Zingiber ottensii valeton. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010;162(7):1938-1951.
  7. Karnchanatat A, Tiengburanatam N, Boonmee A, Puthong S, Sangvanich P. Zingipain, a cysteine protease from Zingiber ottensii Valeton rhizomes with antiproliferative activities against fungi and human malignant cell lines. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2011;41(2):138-153.
  8. Yodjun M, Karnchanatat A, Sangvanich P. Angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitory proteins and peptides from the rhizomes of Zingiberaceae plants. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2012;166(8):2037-2050.
  9. Chantaranothai C, Palaga T, Karnchanatat A, Sangvanich P. Inhibition of nitric oxide production in the macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cell line by protein from the rhizomes of Zingiberaceae plants. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2013;43(1):60-78.