Family • Zingiberaceae - Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoes - RING MALACCA - Mao ban shan jiang

Scientific names

Languas haenkei (Presl.) Merr.
Languas malaccensis (Burm.f.) Merr.
Alpinia haenkei Presl.
Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Rosc.
Alpinia philippinensis Ridl.

Other vernacular names

INDIA: Jangali adrak.
INDONESIA: Laja gowah, Langkuas malaka, Susu.
MALAYSIA: Puar, Bangle.
THAI: Kha paa.
VIETNAMESE: Rieng malacca.

Common names

Bagumbung (Tag.)
Barapat (Ig.)
Birao-birao (Sul.)
Kalaueg (Ig.)
Punan (C. Bis.)
Sigiapag (Neg.)
Simionan (Buk.)
Tagbak-babae (Tag.)
Tagbak-lalaki (Tag.)
Tagusahis (P. Bis.)
Talbak (Tag.)
Tamo-tamo (Sbl.)
Tukang-maya (Tag.)
Kha pa (Thai.)
Ring malacca (Viet., Engl.)
Mao ban shan jiang (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe / Common names / GLOBinMED

(2) Chemical compositions of the rhizome oils of two Alpinia species of Malaysia. / Sirat HM, Basar N, Jani NA. / Nat Prod Res. 2011 Jun;25(10):982-6. / doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.529079.

(3) Ethnomedicinal Studies of Tubers of Hoshangabad M. P. / Ravindra Kumar Abhyankar and Ravi Upadhyay* / Bulletin of Environment, Pharmacology & Life Sciences Volume 1, Issue 1, December 2011: 57- 59

Tagbak-babae is a herbaceous plant growing to about 2 meters tall. Leaves are oblong, 30 to 60 centimeters long, 10 to 13 centimeters wide, smooth on both surfaces except on the edges and at the base where it is hairy. Bracts are large spathaceous, about 2 centimeters long. Calyx is spathaceous, urn-shaped, cleft on one side, irregularly toothed, and as long as the corolla tube, 10 to 13 millimeters long. Corolla tube is broad, with the lobes, white, silky, broad, oblong, about 2 centimeters in length and 7 millimeters wide. Lip is about 3 centimeters long, broad, and yellow with purple spots.


– Common in primary forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines in most or all islands and provinces.
– Native of Indonesia and Malaysia.
– Cultivated in India and China.

– Phytochemical screening of leaf extract yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, carbohydrates, tannins, saponins, and glycosides.
– Essential oil of leaves yielded 47 constituents, the majority of which were terpenoids. The oil was dominated by a-phellandrene (31.80%), eucalyptol (13.76%), O-cymene (11.45%), b-pinene (11.34%) and limonene (6.44%).

Parts used
Fruit, seeds.

– Decoction of fruit or crushed seeds used in cases of gastralgia with tympanitisa.
– Decoction also used as puerperal bath and for fevers.
– In India past of tuber with hot water applied on sores in the mornings and evenings until cured.

Study Findings
• Phytochemicals: Study isolated one kavalactone and four labdane-type diterpenoids, one chacone and two flavanones from the rhizomes of A. malaccensis.
• Antimicrobial / Antioxidant: In a study screening Zingiberaceae extracts for antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, M. malaccensis showed significant antimicrobial activity. All extracts showed strong antioxidant activity comparable to or higher than that of a-tocopherol.
• Leaf Extract / Antioxidant: Study evaluated a methanol leaf extract of A. malaccensis for antioxidant activity using various assays. The total phenolic content of the methanol extract was found to be 76-25 mg gallic acid equivalent/ g of extract. Results suggest a potential source of natural antioxidants
• Rhizomes / Essential Oils: Study of the essential oils of rhizomes yielded 20 compounds representing 99.7% of the rhizome oil; the major constituent was methyl (E)-cinnamate (78.2%).

Seeds and extracts in the cybermarket.