Kaempferia galanga

Kaempferia galanga L. (Zingiberaceae)

Galangal, Sand Ginger, Aromatic Ginger, Kencur, Cutcherry or Resurrection Lily

Kaempferia galanga L. is a small herb with short underground stems. Leaves are usually in pairs, oval, glabrous, pointed, 6-15 cm long, and spread out above ground with prominent veins. Flowers are in short stalked spikes. The corolla is white or pinkish, with violet spotted lip.


Native to tropical Asia.


Ethyl cinnamate, 1,8-cineole, δ-3-carene, alpha-pinene, camphene, borneol, cyene, alpha-terpineol, alpha-gurjunene, germacrenes, cadinenes, caryophyllenes and others.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

The whole plant is used as a postpartum protective medicine, treatment for stomachache, diarrhoea, dysentery, treatment for rheumatism, swellings, fever, coughs, asthma and as a tonic/lotion. In Malaya, the leaves and rhizomes are chewed to stop cough. In Indonesia, it is used for abdominal pain, for swelling and muscular rheumatism. In the Philippines, the rhizome is used for boils, chills, dyspepsia, headache and malaria. The Indians also use the rhizomes as lotions, poultices for fever, rheumatism, sore eyes, sore throat and swellings. The rhizomes are stimulant, used to treat toothache, chest pains and constipation. They are also used as carminative, prophylactic, stomachic, for dandruff and scabs. A decoction of the rhizome is used for cholera, contusion, dyspepsia, headache, lameness, lumbago, and malaria. It is also roasted and applied to rheumatism and tumours. To facilitate delivery during birth, it is mixed with the juice of Curcuma montana, C. aromatica and ginger rhizomes and consumed.

Pharmacological Activities

Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-hypertensive, Anti-inflammatory, Antineoplastic, Antioxidant, Antiprotozoal, Depressant, Immunomodulatory, Vasorelaxant, Antiallergy, Insect repellent, Insecticidal and Wound healing.


Oral doses range from 3 to 6 g of the rhizome per day, administered in the form of decoction, powder or pill for the treatment of pectoral and abdominal pains, headache, toothache and cold.

Adverse Reactions

No information as yet.


The ethanolic extract injected intraperitoneally in increasing doses of 25, 100, 250 and 800 mg/kg body weight resulted in a decrease in motor activity, respiratory rate, loss of screen grip and analgesia in rats. A dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight was observed to be lethal. Acute and subacute oral toxicity test of Kaempferia galanga produced neither mortality nor significant differences in the body and organ weights between controls and treated rats.


No information as yet.

Drug-Herb Interactions

No information as yet.