Kaempferia rotunda L.

Last updated: 20 Jun 2016

Scientific Name

Kaempferia rotunda L.


Kaempferia longa Jacq., Kaempferia versicolor Salisb., Zerumbet zeylanica Garsault [Invalid] [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kenchur [2]
English Ginger [2], resurrection lily [3]
China Hai nan san qi [3]
India Bloochampakamu, bhumi champa, karunkuvalai, malan-kua, nelasampige, tuktin-par, utpala [3]
Java Kunir puteh, kunchi pepet, ardong, temu puteri [3]
Bangladesh Bujura phul, mrichenga, raijiong [3]
Nepal Bhuichampa [3]
Germany Runde Gewurzlilie, Gefkecjte Gewurzlilie, Runder kentjur [1][4][5][6][7][8].

Geographical Distributions

Kaempferia rotunda is cultivated throughout Peninsular Malaysia. It is also found in Indonesia, southern China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. It grows in the open grasslands at low and medium altitudes. [2]

Botanical Description

K. rotunda is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. The rhizome is tuberous. The lingual is broadly triangular and 0.3 cm long. The petiole is 2 cm long and channeled. The blade is pale green above and purplish below, lanceolate, 17 cm x 7.5 cm to 25 cm x 9.5 cm, and cuneate at the base. [9]

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 2 cm long and the apex is bifid. The calyx is 4.5-7 cm long and trifid. The corolla lobes are spreading, white, linear, and 5cm long. The lateral staminodes are erect, white, lanceolate, and 5 cm x 0.5 cm long. The labellum is lilac, orbicular, and bifid. The gynoecium is 0.5cm long and hairy. [9]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

Kaempferia rotunda has been reported to contain (-)-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, β-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. [9][10][11][12][13]

Plant Part Used

Young root, rhizomes, leaves [4][6][7][9][10]

Traditional Use

The rhizome of K. rotunda 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. [6][7][9][10]

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. [6][10]

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). [14]

Antiplatelet activity

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. [15][16]

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. [17]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation

Interaction & Depletion

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. [16][17]


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Kaempferia rotunda  L.[homepage on the Internet] .c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2016 Jun 20] Available from:http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-250834
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 73.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume III E-O. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 653.
  4. Seidemann J. World spice plants: Economic usage, botany, taxonomy. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2005; p. 192.
  5. Niar RV. Controversial drug plants. Hyderabad, India: Universities Press, 2004; p. 39.
  6. Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT, editors. Medicinal plants research in Asia - Volume I: The framework and project workplan. Serdang, Selangor: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute-Regional Office for Asia, the Pacific and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), 2004; p. 165.
  7. Dalimartha S. Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia Jilid 3. Jakarta: Puspa Swara, 2003; p. 59-61.
  8. Morrison R. A dictionary of the Chinese language Part I Volume 3. London: Black, Parbury and Allen, 1822; p. 239.
  9. Wiart C. Medicinal plants of China and its neighbourhood: Bioresources for tomorrow’s drugs and cosmetics. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 62-63.
  10. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007; p. 351-352.
  11. Stevenson PC, Veitch NC, Simmonds MS. Polyoxygenated cyclohexane derivatives and other constituents from Kaempferia rotunda L. Phytochemistry, 2007;68(11):1579-1586.
  12. Sirat HM, Feng YS, Hazni H. (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;66(Pt 11):o2944.
  13. Sirat HM, Feng YS, Awang K. [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;66(Pt 11):o2945.
  14. Lotulung PD, Minarti, Kardono LB. Antioxidant compound from the rhizomes of Kaempferia rotunda L. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008;11(20):2447-2450.
  15. Jantan I, Pisar M, Sirat HM. Inhibitory effects of compounds from Zingiberaceae species on platelet activating factor receptor binding. Phytother Res. 2004;18(12):1005-1007.
  16. Jantan I, Raweh SM, Sirat HM. Inhibitory effect of compounds from Zingiberaceae species on human platelet aggregation. Phytomedicine. 2008;15(4):306-309.
  17. Kabir SR, Hossen A, Zubair A. A new lectin from the tuberous rhizome of Kaempferia rotunda: isolation, characterization, antibacterial and antiproliferative activities. Protein Pept Lett. 2011;18(11):1140-1149.