Family • Zingiberaceae - Zingiber zerumbet Linn. - SHAMPOO GINGER - Hong qiu jiang

Scientific names

Amomum zerumbet Linn.
Zingiber cassumunar Naves
Zingiber zerumbet Sm. var. magnum Elm.
Zingiber zerumbet Linn.

Common names

Balauag (Bik.)
Barik (Tag.)
Lampayang (Buk.)
Langkauas (Tag.)
Layag sasulug (Bik.)
Luiang-usiu (Tag.)
Tamohilang (Buk.)
Tumbong-aso (Tag.)
Lempoyang (Malay)
Broad-leaved ginger (Engl.)
Pinecone ginger (Engl.)
Shampoo ginger (Engl.)
Wild ginger (Engl.)
Zerumbet ginger (Engl.)
Hong qiu jiang (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Zurunbah, Zurunbâd.
BENGALI: Maha baribach, Ekangi.
FRENCH: Amome sauvage, Gingembre blanc, Gingembre fou, Zérumbet.
GERMAN: Wilder Ingwer, Zerumbet.
ITALIAN: Zenzero bianco, Zenzero salvatico.
JAPANESE: Niga shouga.
MADURESE: Lampojang.
MALAY: Lempuyang (Java), Kathu inshi kua.
PORTUGUESE: Gengibre amargo.
SPANISH: Jengibre, Jengibre amargo.
SUNDANESE: Lampuyang.
COUNTRY: Haeo dam, Hiao dam, Hiao kha, Hiao daeng, Kaen, Ka thue, Kra thue, Ple phon, Wanfai.
TURKISH: Yabani zencefil, Zurunbad, Zerunebat, Zernebat.
VIETNAMESE: Gừng đại, Gừng gió, Ngải xanh, Rieng daï.

Luiang-usiu is a smooth, erect, herbaceous plant. Rootstocks are large and tuberous, pale yellow within. Leafy stem is 0.6 to 2 meters high. Leaves are numerous, distichous, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 15 to 30 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide. Flowering stem from the rootstock is 10 to 30 centimeters long, clothed with long, appressed, obtuse sheaths, bearing at the apex an ovoid, oblong, or cylindric spike, red or green in color, 5 to 20 centimeters long. Bracts are numerous, imbricate, orbicular, 2 to 3 centimeters long, greenish, merging into red, and holding water. Flowers are 5 centimeters long, white or cream colored, the tube as long as the bracts, with 3-lobed lips. Fruit is oblong, about 2.5 centimeters long. Seeds are oblong, black, about 4 millimeters in diameter.


– From norther Luzon to Mindanao, in most islands and provinces, In thickets and near settlements at low and medium altitudes.
– A native of tropical Asia.
– Now pantropic.

– Volatile oils of the rhizomes contain zerumbone, humulene and camprene.
– Phytochemical screening of rhizomes also showed phenolic compounds, tannins, amino acids and alkaloids.
– Studies have isolated bioactive compounds: humulene, monoterpenes, zerumbone from the essential oil.
– (Z)-nerolidol have been isolated from extracts of stems, leaves, and flowers.
– Ethanol extract has yielded sesquiterpene and zederone.
– Aqueous extract has yielded phenolic compounds, saponins and terpenoids.
– Study isolated two aromatic compounds, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and vanillin, and six kaempferol derivatives from the rhizomes.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Anti-pyretic and Analgesic Activity of Zingiber zerumbet / Somchit M.N, Shukriyah M.H.N, Bustamam A.A, Zuraini A / International Journal of Pharmacology, 1(3): 277-280, /2005;

(2) ANTI INFLAMMATORY PROPERTY OF ETHANOL AND WATER EXTRACTS OF ZINGIBER ZERUMBET / M Nhareet Somchit and M H Nur Shukriyah / Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2003; 35: 181-182

(3) Identification of zerumbone in Zingiber zerumbet Smith as a potent inhibitor of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced Epstein-Barr virus activation / Mura kami A, Takahashi M, Jiwajinda S, Koshimizu K, Ohigashi H / Bioscience, Biotechnology and Boichemistry, 1999, Vol 63, No 10, pp 1811-1812.

(4) Antitumor effects of zerumbone from Zingiber zerumbet in P-388D1 cells in vitro and in vivo. / Huang GC et al / Planta Med. 2005 Mar;71(3):219-24.

(5) Anti-hypersensitive and anti-inflammatory activities of water extract of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith / Hso-Chi Chaung et al / Food and Agricultural Immunology, Volume 19, Issue 2 June 2008 , pages 117 – 129 / DOI: 10.1080/09540100802047783

(6) Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith: A Review of Its Ethnomedicinal, Chemical, and Pharmacological Uses / N J Yob, S Mohd Jofrry, M M R Meor et al / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2011 (2011), Article ID 543216 / doi:10.1155/2011/543216

(7) An in vitro evaluation of anthelmintic activity of Zingiber zerumbet rhizomes and Cucurbita maxima seeds on Pheretima posthuma model: A comparative study / Awanish Pandey, Shambaditya Goswani et al / Journ of Pharm and BioAllied Sci, 2011, Vol 3, No 2

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

(9) Absence of Genotoxic and Mutagenic Effects of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith (Zingiberaceae) Extract / Chia Ju Chang, Thing-Fong Tzeng, Shorong-Shii Liou, Yuan-Shiun Chang, and I-Min Liu / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) / doi:10.1155/2012/406296

(10) Antimicrobial activities of the rhizome extract of Zingiber zerumbet Linn / Golam Kader, Farjana Nikkon, Mohammad Abdur Rashid, Tanzima Yeasmin*/ Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2011)409-412 / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60090-7

– Considered antihyperglycemic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antioxidant, anti-platelet activating factor, antimicrobial.


Parts utilized

– Used as food flavoring and appetizer in various Malays’ cuisines.

– In the Philippines, decoction is prescribed for asthma, and as a topical for rheumatism.
Luiang-usiu3– Pulverized rhizome also used for diarrhea.
– The fluid squeezed from the swollen ends of club-shaped stems is used for shampoo.
– Rhizome is used like the common ginger, as a remedy for coughs, asthma, parasitism, and variety of skin diseases.
– In China, used for stomach aches, tonic and stimulant.
– Malays use the fresh rhizome for edema, stomach aches, sores. The juice of boiled rhizomes are used to treat worm infestation in children.
– In Thailand, fresh rhizomes are used as antiflatulent.
– In China, rhizomes macerated in alcohol are used as tonic, depurative, stimulant.
– In Taiwan, plant used as antiinflammatory adjuvant for stomach pains, fever and sprains.
– In India, rhizome powder mixed with Morinda citrifolia used for severe pain. Cooked and softened rhizome used for toothache, asthma, cough, worms, leprosy and other skin diseases.
– In Hawaii, compressed rhizomes used for bruises and cuts and to treat headaches, toothaches, ringworm, joint sprains. The milky juice from the pine cones are used as shampoo.
– In Southeast Asia, used for fever, toothache, loss of appetite, constipation and pain.
Latino healers in NY use ZZ for uterine fibroids.

– Perfume: Powdered rhizomes used as perfume.

Study Findings
• Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study showed ethanol and aqueous rhizome extracts of ZZ to have both analgesic and antipyretic activities possibly through prostaglandin inhibition.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive: Study of the methanol extract of ZZ rhizomes showed anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities probably involving the inhibition of bradykinin-, prostaglandin-, histamine- and opioid-mediated processes.
• Antiinflammatory: Study of water-soluble extract of rhizomes of Zingiber zerumbet yielded a potent inhibitor of acute inflammation. The extracts were devoid of any toxicity up to 500 mg/kg in rats. The anti-inflammatory effect was similar to the reference drug mefanamic acid.
• Zerumbone / Anti-Inflammatory: Study yielded zerumbone and kaempferol pyranosides. Compounds 1 and 2 demonstrated potent inhibition of NO production.
• Zerumbone / Inhibitor of Tumor Promoter: Study isolated zerumbone from the rhizomes of Z. zerumbet as a a potent inhibitor of tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced Epstein-Barr virus activation.
• Anti-tumor / Zerumbone: Zerumbone, an active principle from Zingiber zerumbet, exhibited antitumor effects in P-388D1 cells in vitro and in vivo: Results suggest a potential lead compound for the development of anticancer drugs.
• Apoptosis in Liver Cancer / Zerumbone: Zerumbone was found to induce the apoptotic process in HepG2 cells through the up-and-down regulation of Bax/Bcl-2 protein independently of functional p53 activity.
• Immunomodulation: Anti-hypersensitive and anti-inflammatory activities of water extract of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith: Results show ZZ can be beneficial for asthmatic patients through immunomodulation and cytokine production. Study evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of zerumbone isolated from ZZ. Results showed zerumbone can be used as an immunomodulatory agent which can react toward the immune cell cytokine production in a dosage dependent pattern.
• Chemopreventive: A study on the modifying effects of dietary feeding of zerumbone isolated from ZZ showed zerumbone to have possible chemopreventive abilities through expression of COX-2 expression, cell proliferating activity of colonic mucosa and induction of detoxification enzymes in the development of carcinogen-induced ACF.
• Antiproliferative: A study showed ZZ extracts and fractions exhibited antiproliferative effect on human breast carcinoma cell lines.
• Anti-Asthma / Antiinflammatory: A study showed ZZ extracts have beneficial effects for the treatment of asthmatic patients through its ability to inhibit synthesis of LTC4 and through immunomodulation of Th1/Th2 cytokine production.
• Essential Oils: A study yielded 29 components in the leaf oil, the major components as zerumbone, a-caryophyllene and camphene. The rhizome oil yielded 30 components, the main ones being zerumbone, a-caryophyllene, 1,5,5,8-tetramethyl-12-oxabicyclo[9.1.0]dedeca-3,7-diene.
• Antiplatelet Aggregation: Methanol extract exhibited strong antiplatelet aggregation in human whole blood in vitro.
• Anthelmintic: In a comparative study, it was observed that Z. zerumbet showed better activity than C. maxima compared to the standard Albendazole. The study concludes the potential use of the ethanol extracts of both plants as anthelmintic against P. posthuma in an invitro model.
• Absence of Genotoxic Effects: Study evaluated the potential genotoxicity of the ethanol extracts of rhizome. Results suggest the use of the extract in traditional medicine pose no risk of genotoxicity.
• Antimicrobial Effects: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract and fractions of ZZ against pathogenic bacterial and fungi. Results showed potent antibacterial and antifungal phytochemicals in the extracts. The crude ethanol extract showed highest activity against Vibrio parahemolyticus.