Family • Zingiberaceae - Hedychium coronarium Koenig - GINGER LILY - Jing hua

Scientific names

Hedychium coronarium Koenig
Hedychium lingulatum Hassk.

Common names

Banai (Bis.)
Donsuli (Buk.)
Kamia (Tag., Bik., Sp., C. Bis.)
Katkatan (Bis.)
Katotant (Bis.)
Gandasuli (Moro)
Butterfly ginger (Engl.)
Ginger lily (Engl.)
White butterfly (Engl.)
White ginger lily (Engl.)
Jing hua (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Dolon champa.
CUBA: Flor de mariposa.
FIJI: Cevuga vula.
HAWAIIAN: Awapuhi ke’oke’o.
HINDI: Dolan champa.
INDONESIA: Gondasuli, Gandasoli, Mandasuli.
MALAYSIA: Gandasuli, Suli.
KANNADA: Suruli sugandhi.
MARATHI: Sonataka.
NEPALESE: Dudh kevara.
THAI: Hanghong, Mahaahong, Tha haan, Hun kaeo.
SAMOA: Teuila paepae.
VIETNAM: B[aj]ch di[eej]p, Na[ar]i ti[ee]n.

Kamia is an erect shrub with a stout rootstock, growing 0.5 to 1.5 meters high. Leaves are smooth or the lower surfaces moderately hairy, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 10 to 50 centimeters long, 3 to 11 centimeters wide, with slender pointed tip. Ligule is prominent, 1 to 3 centimeters long. Ellipsoid spike is at the top of the stem, 5 to 12 centimeters long. Bracts are green, ovate to obovate, about 4 centimeters long, and each with 2 or 3 very fragrant flowers, with a fragrance that is more pronounced in the evening. Calyx is tubular, clefted on one side, and about 4 centimeters long; lobes are narrow, involute, and about 4 centimeters long. Lip is obcordate or obovate, 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, white and pale yellow in the center. Staminodes are white, oblong-elliptic, obtuse, narrowed at the base, 4 to 5 centimeters long and 2 to 2.5 centimeters wide. Capsule is oblong, smooth, many seeded, with orange-yellow valves inside. Aril is red.


– Cultivated for ornamental use.
– In some regions of the southern Philippines, naturalized.
– Prehistoric introduction in Mindanao; recent in Luzon.
– Native of India, now pantropic in distribution.

Parts utilized 
Rhizome, stems.

– Dried rhizome contains: starch, 3 %; glucose, 4.58 %; albumen, 1.65 %; fats, 0.33%; resinous acid, 3.6%; resinous acid, 3.66%; resin, 5.93 %; extractive matter, 0.91%; essential oil; gum, 13.75 %; organic acids, 5.5%; cellulose, 29.68%.
– The flower yields a fragrant essential oil; the rhizome, a volatile oil.
– Study on rhizomes yielded coronarin -D, coronarin -D ethyl ether, coronarin -E, and a new diterpene identified as (+)-14β-hydroxylabda-8(17),12-dieno-16,15-lactone, assigned the trivial name of isocoronarin-D.
– Several labdane-type diterpenes–coronarin A, B, C, D, E, and F have been isolated from the rhizome.
– Water extract of H. coronarium yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, tannins, steroids and terpenoids, saponin, cardiac glycosides, and oil.
– Study of leaf and rhizome essential oils yielded β-Pinene (33.9%), α-pinene (14.7%), 1,8-cineole (13.3%), r-elemene (11.0%) and carotol (9.1%) as main components in the leaf oil, including 82.0% terpenoid compounds; and 1,8-cineole (37.3%), β-pinene (23.0%), α-terpineol (10.4%) and α-pinene (9.9%), comprising 80.6% as major constituents of the rhizome oil.

Decoction of the rhizome is anti-rheumatic, tonic and excitant.
In Ayurveda, considered febrifuge, tonic, stimulant and antirheumatic.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of essential oil from Hedychium coronarium / Beena Joy et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 21 Issue 5, Pages 439 – 443 /

(2) Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Zingiberaceae Plants in Taiwan / 10.1007/s11130-007-0063-7 / Plant Foods for Human Nutrition


(3) New Diterpene From Hedychium coronarium (Zingiberaceae) / S Singh, Al Gray, BW Skelton et al / Australian Journal of Chemistry 44 (12) 1789 – 1793 / doi:10.1071/CH9911789

(4) Epimers of labdane diterpenes from the rhizomes of Hedychium coronarium J. Koenig / F.N. Taveira; A.B. Oliveira; J.D. Souza Filho; F.C. Braga / Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.15 no.1 João Pessoa Jan./Mar. / 2005http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2005000100012

(5) Chemical constituents of the rhizomes of Hedychium coronarium and their inhibitory effect on the pro-inflammatory cytokines production LPS-stimulated in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. / Kiem PV, Thuy NT, Anh Hle T, Nhiem NX, Minh CV, Yen PH, Ban NK, Hang DT, Tai BH, Tuyen NV, Mathema VB, Koh YS, Kim YH. / Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011 Dec 15;21(24):7460-5. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

(6) Sorting Hedychium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(7) Hedychium coronarium / Common names / GLOBinMED

(8) Chemical Composition and Trypanocidal Activity of the Essential Oils from Hedychium coronarium J. Koenig (Zingiberaceae) / Danilo Fernando Rodrigues, Angela María Arenas Velásquez, Carlos Cavaleiro, Lígia Salgueiro, Gilmárcio Zimmermann Martins, Nathália Oliveira Magalhães, Maria Bernadete Gonçalves Martins, Regina Maria Barretto Cicarelli, and Raquel Regina Duarte Moreira / ISRN Infectious Diseases, Volume 2013 (2013) / http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2013/639275

(9) PHYTOCHEMICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF HEDYCHIUM CORONARIUM J. KOENING FOR ANTIUROLITHIATIC ACTIVITY / Yogendr M. Bahuguna and Neeraj Kumar / World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2014; 2(1): 112-122

(10) Phytochemical Analysis And Determination Of Total Phenolics Content In Water Extracts Of Three Species Of Hedychium / Kh. Lemino Singh1 and G.C. Bag* / International Journal of PharmTech Researchm Vol.5, No.4, pp 1516-1521, Oct-Dec 2013

(11) Preliminary assessment of Hedychium coronarium essential oil on fibrinogenolytic and coagulant activity induced by Bothrops and Lachesis snake venoms / Cíntia A SF Miranda, Maria G Cardoso*, Mariana E Mansanares, Marcos S Gomes and Silvana Marcussi / Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2014, 20:39 doi:10.1186/1678-9199-20-39

(12) Antimicrobial, Mosquito Larvicidal and Antioxidant Properties of the Leaf and Rhizome of Hedychium coronarium / Jiau-Ching Ho* / Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society, Volume 58, Issue 4, pages 563–567, August 2011 / DOI: 10.1002/jccs.201190021

(13) The Feasibility of hedychium coronarium as a paper marker ink / Lumata, Lloyd L. / DOST

Hedychium coronarium

Young buds and flowers are edible. Used as flavoring.
Roots used as famine food.

– Decoction of stems near the rhizome used as a gargle for tonsillitis; or the raw stem chewed for same purpose.
– In the Moluccas the base of the stem is chewed and the juice applied to swellings.
– In Brazil decoction of rhizome is antirheumatic, tonic and excitant.
– In India, sold in bottles of extract called Gulbakawali Ark; used as eye tonic and for to prevent eye cataracts. Certain tribal groups of Bihar use the rhizome of the plant as febrifuge.
– In Bangladesh plant rhizome used for diabetes.
– In Chinese medicine, used for headache, inflammatory pains, rheumatism.
– In the Moluccas used as antirheumatic, tonic, and excitant.
– In Hawaii juice of mature seeds use as treatment for hair and skin afflictions.
– In Thailand, boiled leaves are applied to relieve stiff and sore joints.


– Fragrant bouquets: In the provinces, the fragrant flowers popular in the making of wreaths and bridal bouquets.
– Wreaths: Stems are 45% cellulose, used in making paper.

Study Findings
• Antifungal / Antimicrobial / Essential Oil: The essential oil from fresh and dry rhizomes yielded 44 and 38 constituents and was shown to have antifungal and antibacterial effects. Antibacterial effects were higher in the fresh sample than the dried; both showed activity against Trichoderma sp. and C. albicans, B. subtilis and P aeruginosa.
• Analgesic / Anti-inflammatory: Different extracts of HC exhibited significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. The effects could be due to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, inhibition of histamine and/or serotonin.
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxicity: Study of methanol and dichlormethane extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against Gram positive (S aureus, B subtilis, B megaterium, Sarcina lutea) and Gram negative (E coli, S sonnei, S shiga, P aeruginosa and S typhi) bacteria. Cytotoxicity was evaluated against brine shrimp nauplii.
• Antioxidant / Anti-inflammatory: Five genus of Zingiberaceae plants from Taiwan, including Hedychium, were studied for their functional properties. Hedychium sp. were found to have antioxidant properties. Most Zingiberaceae plant extracts exhibited antimicrobial activity against all food microorganisms; Hedychium did not show activity against E. coli and Vibrio parahemolyticus.
• Flower Essential Oil / Anti-inflammatory: Study on the oil exhibited significant inhibition of paw edema but showed poor antioxidant activity with DPPH. There was no direct correlation between inflammatory and antioxidant activity of the essential oil.
• Phenolics / Antioxidant: Study showed HC to have the highest phenolic content and ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant capacity of leaves of 26 ginger species.
• Anticancer / Cytotoxic Labdane Diterpenes: Study of hexane extract isolated two new labdane diterpenes, 1 and 2, along with 10 other known metabolites. Isolates were studied for cytotoxic activity against lung cancer, human neuroblastoma, breast cancer and cervical cancer cell lines.
• Labdane-type Diterpenes / Anti-Inflammatory: Study yielded three new labdane diterpenes 1-3, named coronarins G, H, and I, together with 7 known coronarin D. Compounds 1, 2, and 6 (hedyforrestin C) showed to be potent inhibitors of LPS-stimulated TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 productions.
• Trypanocidal / Essential Oils: Study of essential oil of leaves and rhizomes of H. coronarium. Caryophyllene was the major component in rhizomes, which showed a remarkable activity against T. brucei strains, with highly increased trypanocidal activity in synergism with caryophyllene oxide plus pentamidine.
• Antiurolithiatic / Roots: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic activity of roots of Hedychium coronarium on experimental kidney stones. Alcoholic root extracts showed the highest dissolution of calcium oxalate stones.
• Phenolic Contents: Study evaluated the water extracts of three different species of genus Hedychium i.e., H. spicatum, H. coronarium and H rubrum. Results showed all three contained a good quantity of phenolic compounds.
• Anti-Venom / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the potential inhibitory effects of H. coronarium essential oil of leaves on the coagulant and fibrinogenolytic activities induced by venoms of Lachesia muta,Bothrops atrox and Bothrops moojeni. Results showed the oils interact with venom proteases and plasma constituents, with inhibition of clotting effect when the oils were previously incubated with venoms. Results showed the essential oil can be used as alternative to complement serum therapy.
• Mosquitocidal / Dengue Vector Aedes Aegypti: Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of 3 different solvent extracts of H. coronarium against dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Results showed the methanol extract of HC to be more effective than other extracts.
• Antimicrobial / Mosquitocidal / Antioxidant / Leaf and Rhizome: Study evaluated the essential oil, methanolic and aqueous extracts of leaves and rhizomes of H. coronarium. Leaf and rhizome oil exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against all five fungal and four bacterial strains tested, attributed to its high terpenoid contents. Both oils showed mosquito larvicidal activity, with β-Pinene, α-pinene and 1,8-cineol as the principal larvicidal components of both oils. Polar extracts showed antioxidant activity.
• Ink Source / Flowers: Study evaluated if H. coronarium flower extract is a feasible marker ink. Results showed the camias flower extract is a feasible color-changing marker ink for papers.

Cultivated and wildcrafted.