Boesenbergia rotunda

Botanical Name : Boesenbergia rotunda
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Boesenbergia
Species: B. rotunda
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms:Boesenbergia pandurata,Kaempferia pandurata

Common Names: Chinese keys, Fingerroot, Lesser galangal or Chinese ginger

(In English, the root has traditionally been called fingerroot, because the shape of the rhizome resembles that of fingers growing out of a center piece.)

It is known as temu kunci in Indonesian  and in Manipuri, it is called Yai-macha .

Habitat :Boesenbergia rotunda is native to China and Southeast Asia.(Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand)

This species is a rhizome geophyte which grows in humid forest and deciduous forest. It is cultivated throughout Indo-China. Zingiberaceae species grow naturally in damp, shaded parts of the low-land or on hill slopes, as scattered plants or thickets.

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Description:
Boesenbergia rotunda is a small perennial plant of about 15–40 cm in height. Its leaves are broad and light green while the leaf sheath is red. Each shoot consists of 3–5 elliptic-oblong-red sheathed leaves of about 7–9 cm in width and 10–20cm in length. The underground portion of the plant consists of a small globular shaped central subterraneous rhizome (1.5–2.0?cm in diameter) from which several slender and long tubers sprout all in the same direction like the fingers of a hand, thus the common name fingerroot. The tubers are about 1.0–1.5cm thick in diameter and 5–10cm long. The tissue of the tuber is looser, softer, and more watery than the central rhizome. Both the colour of the central rhizome and the tubers are dependent on the variety of B. rotunda. The yellow variety produces bright yellow rhizomes, while other varieties produce red and black rhizomes. They are strongly aromatic although different from each other. The flowers are scarlet and bloom throughout the year in tropical countries. These beautiful flowers are usually hidden at the base of the foliage, making them unnoticeable....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  Boesenbergia rotunda is very easy  to grow. It is found it to be just as successful in the ground as it is in containers. The plant prefers rich, well drained soil. Simply plant the rhizome 1″ deep, and keep evenly moist. It will emerge in approximately two weeks.

Edible Uses:
It is widely used in Javanese cuisine in Indonesia. In Thai cooking it is called krachai  and is an ingredient of dishes such as kaeng tai pla. It is used in some kroeung pastes of Cambodian cuisine and is known as k’cheay (Khmer). In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen. It is sometimes confused with Alpinia officinarum, another plant in the family Zingiberaceae which is also known as lesser galangal.

Medicinal Uses:
Boesenbergia rotunda root is used  to treat colic and diarrhoea  in China.

Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug  discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is  always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerroot
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/49521/
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44392164/0
http://www.randys-tropicalplants.com/Boesenbergia-rotunda.html
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/473637/
http://www.allrareherbs.com.au/products/Chinese-Keys%2C-500ml-pot.html

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