Gisol na bilog

Family • Zingiberaceae - Kaempferia rotunda Linn. - ROUND-ROOTED GALANGAL - Sha jiang

Scientific names

Kaempferia rotunda Linn.

Other vernacular names

BANGLADESH: Bhuichampa, Misri dana.
CHINESE: Hai nan san qi.
HINDI: Bhuichampa
SANSKRIT: Bhuchampaca, Bhumichampa.
THAI: Waan Hao Non.

Common names

Gisol na bilog (Tag.)
Himalayan crocus (Engl.)
Peacock ginger (Engl.)
Round-rooted galangal (Engl.)
Resurrection lily (Engl.)
Tropical crocus (Engl.)
Sha jiang (Chin.)

Kaempferia rotunda is a stemless herb with rhizomes that resemble those of Kaempferia galanga. Leaves are oblong and stained underneath. Spikes are radical, appearing before the leaves. Flowers are fragrant, sessile, purplish white. Calyx is 1-leafed, as long as the tube of the corolla, somewhat gibbous, with the apex generally two-toothed, with a dotted purplish color. Upper segments of the inner series of the corolla are lanceolate and acute, the lower ones divided into two broad obcordate lobes.

Gisol na bilog

– Of recent introduction as an ornamental.
– Cultivated throughout the world.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Evaluation of Antioxidant Potential of Kaempferia rotunda Linn / J Priya Mohanty, L K Nath et al / Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008 May–Jun; 70(3): 362–364. / doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.43002.

(2) Composition of the essential oils of Kaempferia rotunda L. and Kaempferia angustifolia Roscoe rhizomes from Indonesia / Herman J Woerdenbag et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 19 Issue 2, Pages 145 – 148 / Published Online: 20 Jan 2004

(3) Chemical Constituents and Biological Activity of Kaempferia Angustifolia, K. Rotunda,Spermacoce Articularis and S. Exilis / Neoh, Bee Keat / PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

(4) Antioxidant Compound from the Rhizomes of Kaempferia rotunda L. / Puspa D.N. Lotulung, Minarti , L.B.S. Kardono and K. Kawanishi / Pak. J. Biol. Sci., 11: 2447-2450. / DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2008.2447.2450

(5) In-Vitro anthelmintic activity of Kaempferia rotunda / S. Agrawal*, A. Bhawsar, P. Choudhary, S. Singh, N. Keskar3and M. Chaturvedi / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACY & LIFE SCIENCES, 2(9): Sept 2011.

(6) A New Lectin from the Tuberous Rhizome of Kaempferia rotunda: Isolation, Characterization, Antibacterial and Antiproliferative Activities / Rashel Kabir, Syed; Amir Hossen, Md.; Abu Zubair, Md.; Jahangir Alom, Md.; Farhadul Islam, Md.; Anowar Hossain, Md.; Kimura, Yoshinobu

Gisol na bilog2

– On distillation, rhizomes yield 0.2% essential oil of light yellow color, with an unpleasant odor, similar to camphor and later, of tarragon oil.
– Oil contains cineol.
– Plant yields flavonoids, crotepoxide, chalcones, quercetin, flavonols, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, syringic acid, protocatechuic acid and hydrocarbons.
– Study yielded three new cyclohexane diepoxides together with crotepoxide and (-)-zeylenol from the rhizomes of K. rotunda.


– Rhizomes are cooling and diuretic.
– Reported poisonous nature of the rhizome juice when administered internally for throat affections, producing profuse salivation and vomiting.

Parts used

– In Java, rhizomes and young leaves used to flavor food.
– In Malaysia, leaves are eaten fresh or cooked as vegetables; also used for flavoring.

– Rhizomes use internally for gastric complaints.
– Externally, rhizomes used with coconut oil as a cicatrizant.
– Rhizomes used in mumps, for bruises and wounds.
– Ointment made from the powder used for healing wounds.
– Rhizomes used as diuretic.
– Juice of rhizomes used as resolvent of phlegm, of dropsical afflictions of the hands and feet, and for joint effusions.
– In India, powdered roots used for mumps; as poultice, used for suppurations.
– In Bangladesh, used for treatment of diabetes and pain.

Gisol na bilog4

Cosmetics: Rhizomes and leaves used in making cosmetic powders.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant: The antioxidant property of the extract was compared with the standard antioxidant ascorbic acid. The scavenging of radicals by the methanol extract of K rotunda correlates with the antioxidant potential of the plant, with a potential to control age-dependent diseases such as myocardial infarction, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, etc. Study showed the chloroform extract of rhizomes of K. rotunda showed significant scavenging effect of DPPH free radicals.
• Essential Oils: Study on the volatile constituents of the rhizomes showed the most abundant constituents to to be benzyl benzoate, n-pentadecane, and camphene.
• Insecticidal: Extracts from rhizomes of K rotunda and Z cassumunar, incorporated into artificial diets displayed significant insecticidal activity against neonate larvae of the pest insect Spodoptera littoralis. Rhizomes of K rotunda yielded two active metabolites – crotepoxide and benzyl benzoate. Benzyl benzoate exhibited insecticidal activity only when applied locally.
• Antimicrobial / Larvicidal / Antioxidant / Chemical Constituents: In a study of 4 medicinal plants, K rotunda was shown to yield five pure compounds – crotepoxide, tetracosanoic acid, benzoic acid, stigmasterol and p-sitosterol. The major constituent of the essential oil was benzyl benzoate. Extract showed activity against tested microbes (P aeruginosa, S typhimurium, B subtilis), moderate antioxidant activity, and some larvicidal activity.
• Antihelmintic: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of alcoholic extract of rhizomes against Pheretima posthuma and Ascardia galli. The alcoholic extract exhibited significant antihelmintic activity.
• Lectin / Cytotoxicity / Antibacterial / Antiproliferative: Study purified a lectin (KRL) from the extracts of rhizome. The lectin showed toxicity against brine shrimp nauplii and strong agglutination activity against seven pathogenic bacteria. It also showed antiproliferative activity activity against Harlech ascites carcinoma.
• Antihyperglycemic / Antinociceptive: study of rhizome extract showed significant antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive activity validating its use in Bangladesh for the treatment of high blood sugar and relief of pain.