Torch ginger

Family • Zingiberaceae - Etlingera elatior (Jack) Horan. - RED GINGER LILY - Xiang Bao Jiang

Other scientific names

Phaoemeria magnifica (Roscoe) K. Schuman
Phaoemeria speciosa (Blume) Koord.
Eletaria speciosa Blume
Nicolaia elatior (Jack) Horaninaw

Common names

Pink ginger bud (Engl.)
Pink torch ginger (Engl.)
Xiang bao Jiang (Chin.)
Torch ginger (Engl.)
Ginger flower (Engl.)
Red ginger lily (Engl.)
Antorcha rosada (Span.)

Torch ginger

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidative Constituents of Etlingera elatior / Habsah Mohamad, Nordin Lajis et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2005, 68 (2), pp 285–288 / DOI: 10.1021/np040098l

(2) Antifungal Effects of Thai Medicinal Plants Against Collectotrichum gloeosporioides Penz. / Yenjit Punnawich et al / PHILIPP AGRIC SCIENTIST ISSN 0031-7454 • Vol. 92 No. 3, 265-270 • September 2009

Torch ginger4Botany
Robust and erect herb, growing to 5 meters. The flowering stalk is separate from the leafy stem. The leaves are distichous, up to 1.5 m long. Flower head is large and surrounded by large, red, involucrate bracts.

Torch ginger2

Found near ravines and lakes in Mindanao.
Grown ornamentally in gardens.

Parts utilized

Properties and constituents
Bitter and acrid.
Aperient and resolvent.
Expectorant, deobstruant, carminative.

Torch ginger3Uses
No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
For culinary use, the young and tight buds.
Gives spice and color to curries, fish soups, stir-fried veggies and salads.
Fruit is extremely sour and edible
Flower used in Southeast Asia for cooking, in salds and as soup garnish.

Study Findings
• Antioxidative Constituents: Phytochemical studies on the rhizomes of Etlingera elatior isolated compounds found to inhibit lipid peroxidation in a more potent manner than a-tocopherol.
• Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: A study on the ethanol extracts of 19 Malaysian traditional vegetables (ulam) for antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities. Etlingera elatior showed antimicrobial activity and cytotoxic activity against human cervical carcinoma cell line.
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Methanolic extracts from the fresh leaves of Etlingera species were screened for total phenolic content, antioxidant and antibacterial activity. Significant antioxidant activity was found in the leaves of E. elatior; total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were highest in the leaves, followed by inflorescences and rhizomes. Leaves of Etlingera species exhibited antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria.
• Volatile Oils: The major components identified in the oils of inflorescence and inflorescence axis of E. elatior were dodecanol, dodecanal and a-pinene.
• Volatile Oils: Phytochemical study showed the essential oils depended on the part of the paltn studied–sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons were highest with the essential oils of the leaves; in the stems and rhizomes, oxygenated monoterpene derivatives; in the flowers, monoterpene hydrocarbons.
• Antifungal: Study of 12 Thai medicinal plants for anti-fungal potential showed the flower buds of E elatior demonstrated high inhibitory activity against C gloeosporioides mycelial growth and suggests a potential for the control of anthracnose diseases.