Family • Zingiberaceae - GISOL - Kaempferia galanga Linn.- RESURRECTION LILY - Shan nai

Scientific names

Kaemferia rotunda Blanco
Kaemferia latifolia Hornem.
Kaempferia galanga Linn.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Sha jiang.
HINDI: Chandramula.
GERMAN: Kleiner Galgant.
LAOS: ‘Van ‘horn.
INDONESIA: Kencur, Cekur, Bataka.
MALAYSIA: Chekur, Cekur jawa, Cengkur.
RUSSIAN: Kempferiya galanga.
THAI: Proh hom, Waan horn, Waan teen din.
VIETNAMESE: Dia li[eef]n, S[ow]n nai, Tam n[aj]i.

Common names

Disol (Ilk.)
Doso (Bon.)
Dosol (Bon.)
Doto (Bon.)
Duso (Tag.)
Dusog (Tag.)
Dusol (Tag.)
Gisol (Tag.)
Kisol (Buk., Bis.)
Kosol (Bis.)
Kusol (Pamp.)
Shan nai (Chinese)
Lesser galanga (Engl.)
Common resurrection lily (Engl.)

Dusol is a smooth, stemless herb arising from tuberous aromatic rootstocks with fibrous cylindric roots. Leaves are horizontally spreading, orbicular to broadly ovate, 7 to15 centimeters long, with rounded base. Flowers are few, about 4 to 6 or more, with lanceolate bracts which are about 3.5centimeters long. Corolla tube is slender, 2.5 to 3 centimeters long; with a lip cleft to the middle, about 2.5 centimeters wide, white or pale pink spotted with violet. Staminodes are obovate, about 1 to 2 centimeters long. Staminal crest is quadrate, and 2-lobed.


– In open grasslands at low and medium altitudes, in the Bontoc and Baguio areas, the Rizal provinces, and in Mindanao.
– Occurs in India through Malaya to the Moluccas.
– Cultivated in Java, Malaya and India for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Anti-tumour promoter activity in Malaysian ginger rhizobia used in traditional medicine / Br J Cancer. 1999 Apr;80(1-2):110-6./

(2) Hypolipidemic effect of Alpinia galanga (Rasna) and Kaempferia galanga (Kachoori) / C R Achuthan et al / Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. 1997 Jan; 12(1): 55-8

(3) Compositon of the essential oil of rhizomes of kaempferia galanga L./ Flavour and Fragrance Journal / Volume 7 Issue 5, Pages 263 – 266

(4) Larvicidal activity of Kaempferia galanga rhizome phenylpropanoids towards three mosquito species / Kim NJ, Byun SG, Cho JE, Chung K, Ahn YJ / Pest Manag Sci. 2008 Aug;64(8):857-62.

(5) Larvicidal, adulticidal and repellent effects of Kaempferia galanga / W Choochote, D Kanjanapothi et al / The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health (1999), Volume: 30, Issue: 3, Pages: 470-476

(6) Toxicity of Kaempferia galanga rhizome-derived extract and steam distillate to Meloidogyne incognita juveniles and eggs, and their effects on Lycopersicon esculentum germination and growth / Hong, Tae-Kyun, Lee, Jae-, Heo, Jae-Won et al / Nematology, Volume 12, Number 5, 2010 , pp. 775-782(8)

(7) Fighting acne and more Effective natural aprroaches to skin care / Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D. and Lakshmi Prakash Ph.D

(8) Sorting Kaempferia names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(9) Kaempferia galanga / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(10) Study on the anti-carcinogenic effects of three compounds in Kaempferia galanga L / Xue Y, Chen H./ Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2002 Aug;31(4):247-8, 251.

(11) In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of Kaempferia galanga L. rhizome extract / Kochuthressia K. P.. S.John Britto, Jaseentha M.O and Rini Raphael / Am. J. Biotechnol. Mol. Sci., 2012, 2(1): 1-5

(12) Essential oils of leaves and rhizomes of Kaempferia galanga Linn. / Md Nazrul Islam Bhuiyan, Jaripa Begum, MN Anwar / Chittagong University Journal of Biological Sciences > Vol 3, No 1&2 (2008)



• Phytochemical screening of various extracts yielded sterols, triterpenoids, resins, flavonoids, alkaloids, carbohydrates, saponins, proteins.
• 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. a Also, a considerable amount of starch, gum, and mineral matter.
• Malaysian study showed the essential oil to contain 54 components, of which major constituents were: ethyl trans-p-methoxycinnamate (51.6%), ethyl cinnamate, and pentadecane among others.
• Terpenoid constituents amounted to 16.4%.
• Study analyzed leaf and rhizome oils of K. galanga. The leaf oil yielded 108 compounds, the major components of which were linoleoyl chloride, caryophyllene oxide, cubenol, and caryophyllene. Rhizome oil yielded 81 components, main components were 2-propenoic acid, 3-(4-methoxyphenyl),-ethyl ester, ethyl cinnamate, 4-cyclooctene -1-methanol, caryophyllene oxide and limonene.


• Rhizomes considered aromatic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, expectorant.
• Studies on extracts suggest anti-inflammatory, analgesic, nematicidal, repellent, larvicidal, vasorelaxant, sedative, antineoplastic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiallergic and wound healing properties.

Parts utilized 
Rhizomes, leaves.

Edibility / Culinary
– Plant used for flavoring rice.
– In Thailand, rhizome is an ingredient for soups and curries.
– In Indonesia, used as a spice.


– In the Philippines, the rhizome mixed with oil is an effective cicatrizant (healing by scar formation). Internally, decoction rhizome decoction used as tonic and carminative, for dyspepsia, headaches and agues. Decoction used as gargle and for alleviating coughs.
– In the Visayas, rhizomes given to women after childbirth.
– Leaves, topically, for sore throat.
– For mumps, rhizomes are chopped and applied as poultice on the swollen glands for 30 minutes 3 times daily.
– Sliced rhizomes topically to furuncles to hasten ripening.
– Hot roasted rhizomes are applied on rheumatic afflictions.
– Poultice and lotions of leaves and rhizomes for sore throat, fevers, swellings, rheumatism, sore eyes.
– Rhizomes used as wash for dandruff or head scabs.
– Leaves used as perfume in washing hair.
– Internally, decoction of rhizomes used as a tonic; also, for dyspepsia, headache, and malarial chills.
– Rhizomes have been used postpartum.
– Rhizomes when chewed are useful for alleviating coughs.
– Rhizome decoction applied to wounds with purulency and coagulated blood.
– In India powder or ointment of rhizome applied to wounds and bruises to reduce swellings; also, to mumps and cancerous swellings.
In China, decoction or powder used for indigestion, colds, abdominal pains, headache and toothache.
In Malaysia, used for stomach pains and cough.
In Ayurveda, used for inflammatory diseases, diabetes and obesity.

– Cosmetics: Rhizome is used for cosmetics, making of perfumes and protecting clothes from insects.
– In Borneo, used in the preparation of yeast and dyes.
– Repellent: Rhizomes used to preserve cloths from insects.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Chemical components and biological activities of volatile oil of Kaempferia galanga Linn.: Study showed the essential oil of K. galanga could be used for treatment of microbial infections which supports the traditional use of the plant for the treatment of some fungal and bacterial skin diseases.
• Larvicidal: Methanol extracts of the plant shown to have larvicidal activity against dog roundworm Toxocara canis. Found to kill the larva of mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus and repels Aedes aegypti mosquitos.
• Amebicidal: Found to be effective as an amebicide against Acanthamoeba.
• Antiviral: Found to inhibit activity of Epstein-Barr virus.
• Wound Healing: 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 / Relaxant: Sedative activity of hexane extract of Kaempferia galanga L. and its active compounds: Study results showed considerable sedative and relaxant effects suggesting a potential for its application in aromatherapy.
• Antitumor: Zingiberaceae rhizomes used in traditional Malaysian medicine, including K. galanga, were screened for antitumor promoter activity. Seven, including K galanga, were found to possess inhibitory activity towards TPA-induced EBV activation with not cytotoxicity effect. Study results suggest a potential for the development of cancer prevention methods at the tumor-promoting stage.
• Toxicity Studies : Ethanolic rhizome extract study of K galanga showed no mortality at acute and subacute toxicity studies.
• Hypolipidemic: Oral administration of extracts in high-cholesterol fed wistar rats lowered the serum and tissue levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, with an increase in HDL.
• Antinociceptive: Methanol extract of KG markedly demonstrated antinociceptive action in experimental animals, probably through b both peripherally and centrally mediated mechanisms involving opioid receptors. The results support its traditional use for pain in various disorders.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic : Study of alcoholic extract of K. galanga in rats exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in the carrageenan and cotton pellet granuloma model and significant analgesic activity in the tail flick model.
• Mosquitocidal / Phenylpropanoids : KG rhizome-derived materials, esp ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate showed activity against the larvae of three mosquito species. Results suggest potential and further study as a mosquito control agent.
• Larvicidal / Repellent: Hexane fraction was found to exhibit the highest larvicidal effect toward fourth instar Culex quinquefasciatus. In a lab study, it showed repellency against Aedes aegypti. In a field study, it could protect against certain mosquitos. Also, the hexane fraction showed no dermal irritation when applied to human skin.
• Nematicide / Fumigant: Study of rhizome-derived material, esp a methanol extract, suggest a potential for KG as a nematicide and hatching inhibitor for control of M. incognita as fumigant with contact action.
• Cosmetic Use / Sun Protection: 100% extract from roots of KG suggested as all-natural source of ethyl-methoxycinnamate with its sun-protecting property. A patented application has been made on its action against ultraviolet rays and its augmenting boost on the activity of conventional sunscreens.
• Anti-Acne: An extract preparation from the roots of KF using a proprietary extraction process has been found to be active against Propionibacterium acnes, with a potential benefit in the management of acne.
• Phytochemistry and Medicinal Properties / Antinociceptive: Studies on extracts suggest anti-inflammatory, analgesic, nematicidal, repellent, larvicidal, vasorelaxant, sedative, antineoplastic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiallergic and wound healing properties. The pharmacologic properties are attributed mostly to ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate and ethyl-cinnamate. The antinociceptive effect is comparable to aspirin. The nematicidal effect is more potent than Carbofuran and metham sodium.
• Anticarcinogenic Effects: Three compounds isolated from K. galanga were studied for anti-carcinogenic effects. Results on various assays and testing showed both -cis and -trans ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate exert a relatively strong anti-carcinogenic potential.
• In vitro Antimicrobial Effects: Various extracts were tested for antimicrobial activity against ten human pathogenic bacteria. All extracts showed significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. The highest zone of inhibition was an ethanolic extract against Staphylococcus aureus.

In the cybermarket, as dried rhizome or powdered form.