Sabtu, 20 April 2013


Kaempferia galanga (Cekur)

Scientific Classification

Kingdom : Plantae , SubKingdom : Tracheobionta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Liliopsida, Subclass : Zingiberidae
Order : Zingiberales
Family : Zingiberaceae
Subfamily : Zingiberoideae
Genus : Kaempferia
Species : galanga L.
The genus Kaempferia is named after the German botanist Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716). Kaempfer’s most important achievement was the first thorough description of Japanese flora by a European scientist.

Vernacular Name

CHINESE : Shan nai, Sha jiang.
•ENGLISH : resurrection lily, Lesser galangal.
•HINDI : Chandramula.
•GERMAN : Kleiner Galgant.
•MALAY : Chekur.
•INDONESIAN : Kencur . Kencur is derived from Sanskrit 'kachora' which means another plant
•RUSSIAN : Kempferiya galanga.
•THAI : Proh hom.

There are no history for the uses of K. galanga in other ethnic except fot the malays and the Javas(Indonesian).

Botany - Morphology


Smooth, stemless herb arising from tuberous aromatic rootstocks with fibrous cylindric roots. Leaves are solid green, horizontally spreading, orbicular to broadly ovate, 7-15 cm long, with rounded base.

The flowers are at the cuntre of the plant, small and inconspicious but absolutely beautiful. The colour is primarily white and purple in the middle. Flowers are few, about 4-6. with lanceolate bracts. Corolla tube is slender, 2-3 cm long with a lip cleft in the middle. Staminodes are obovate, about 1-2 cm long.


Dried Rhizome and Fresh Rhizome
The shape is like fingers (That is why it is called finger root). It ia very aromatic. It resembles ginger in shape in that the subunits are flat (elliptical cross-section), but it is much smaller (5 cm). It has a dark reddish-brown skin, and the soft interior is nearly white.

The will go completely dormant in late fall, even in the tropics where it is native. During dormancy care should be taken not to keep the soil too wet, but during the growing season it should be grown in well drained woodland soil kept regularly watered, and mild applications of fertilizer might be needed if the soil is low in nitrogen
The reproduction is through rhizomes and sexually through the production of flower

In open grasslands at low and medium altitudes. It is best planted in a humid and covered area. It is a native of south India. It is found primarily in open areas in southern China, Taiwan, Combodia and India. It is also widely cultivated throughout Southeast Asia. As an ornamental, it makes an interesting groundcover. It will go completely dormant in late fall, even in the tropics where it is native. During dormancy care should be taken not to keep the soil too wet, but during the growing season it should be grown in well drained woodland soil kept regularly watered, and mild applications of fertilizer might be needed if the soil is low in nitrogen. In Malaysia, it is planted as an ornamental plant and also to be used as ingredient in culinary .

Properties - Chemical constituents and characteristic
Rhizome contains a volatile oil and small amounts of cinnamic acid ethyl ester, borneol, camphene, cineol, paraumarin, cinnamic acid, and anisic acid.• Also contains a small amount of alkaloid. Also, a lot of starch, gum, and mineral matter. Rhizomes are carminative, stimulant, expectorant and diuretic. The rhizome contains about 2.5 to 4% essential oil, whose main components are ethyl cinnamate (25%), ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate (30%) and p-methoxycinnamic acid; furthermore, 3-carene-5-one was found (Phytochemistry, 26, 3350, 1987). Other literature reports 4-butylmenthol, β-phellandrene, α-terpineol, dihydro-β-sesquiphellandrene, pentadecane and 1,8-cineol. The rhizome is also reported to display cytotoxic properties. (Chem. Pharm. Bull., 33, 3565, 1985).

K. galanga is grown for medicine and also as spice. The parts that are used are the leaves and the rhizomes. So generally the whole plant is being used. The leaves are edible and the malays eat it as 'ulam'. The rhizome can be used as herbs, culinary and also medicine.
In Bali, the balinese used it to cook roasted roast duck bebek betulu. The food is a favourite among tourists. A whole duck is rub inside and outside with a paste that are made of onions, ginger, lemon grass, chilies and kencur, wrapping in banana leaves, the duck is first steamed and then roasted in an oven which makes the meat extraordinarily tender.
In other parts of Asia, it is not known as a spice, though it is widely cultivated as a medicinal herb. It has, though, some culinary usage in China, particularly in the cooking of the Sichuan province. IT is always used dried in Chinese cooking. Chinese cookbooks often refer to it as “sand ginger”, translated from Chinese sha jiang .
Among the malays in Kedah, the young leaves are use as one of the spices for the delicious nasi ulam.

The malays also use the rhizome
  • as a tonic after giving birth. It is believe to stimilate the contraction of the uterus.
  • as herbs to relief indigestion.
  • also can be used as remedy for mestrual pain
  • as remedy for acne
Commercial Use
Now the plant is widely cultivated in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philipine as a medicinal herbs. There are a lot of traditional/alternative medicine that use this plant as an ingredient in their products . Here are a few examples products from K. galanga.
K. galanga : Sold as tablets - For medicinal purpose
K. galanga : The ingredients in a facial cleanser -to treat acne

Scientific Studies of K. galanga
•Extracts of the plant using methanol have shown larvicidal activity against the second stage larva of dog roundworm (Toxocara canis).
• It was also found to be effective as an amebicide in vitro against three species of Acanthamoeba which cause granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis.
•In 1999 the rhizome extract was found to inhibit activity of Epstein-Barr virus.
•Further research has demonstrated that the extract effectively kills larvae of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus and repels adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, both of which are serious disease vectors.
•wound healing activity of alcoholic extract of Kaempferia galanga in wistar rats: Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids in K galanga with enhanced wound contraction effect that could be of use in the healing of open wounds.
•Sedative activity of hexane extract of Keampferia galanga L. and its active compounds: Study results showed considerable sedative and relaxant effects suggesting a potential for its application in aromatherapy.

Here are some ethnobotanical uses of K. galanga from Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.
Abdomen Burkill,1966; Cosmetic Burkill,1966; Cough Burkill,1966; Fever Burkill,1966; Mastitis Burkill,1966; Ophthalmia Burkill,1966; Otosis Burkill,1966; Rheumatism Burkill,1966; Sore(Throat) Burkill,1966; Swelling Burkill,1966
Ache(Head) Woi.5; Ache(Tooth) Bliss; Cancer Hartwell; Carminative Bliss, Keys, Steinmetz, Woi.5; Chill(Veterinary) Woi.5; Cicatrizant Uphof; Dandruff Bliss, Uphof, Woi.5; Diuretic Steinmetz, Woi.5; Dyspepsia Woi.5; Expectorant Steinmetz, Woi.5; Eye Woi.5; Fever Woi.5; Malaria Woi.5; Odontalgia Keys; Pediculicide Bliss, Steinmetz; Perfume Steinmetz; Repellant(Insect) Bliss; Rheumatism Woi.5; Scabies Bliss; Sore(Throat) Woi.5; Stimulant Bliss, Keys, Steinmetz, Woi.5; Stomachic Bliss, Keys; Tumor Woi.5.

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