Facts about the Joint-whip Ginger

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Joint-whip Ginger Quick Facts
Name: Joint-whip Ginger
Scientific Name: Alpinia conchigera
Origin East India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, China (Yunnan), Sumatra
Native to tropical or subtropical range, Joint-whip Ginger does well in shaded and moist environment of valleys and humid rainforest from 600 to 1000 m elevation. It is commonly found in open wet grounds such as edges of rice fields, streams and under the shade of palm oil and rubber trees. It is the cold tolerant of ginger species.

The herbaceous perennial grows 2-5 ft tall and found in eastern Bengal and Southwards to Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. It is known as lengkuasranting, lengkuas padang, lengkuas kecil, lengkuas geting and chengk-enam. Rhizome is used as a condiment in northern states of Peninsular Malaysia and intermittent in folk medicine along east coast for treating fungal infections. In some states of Peninsular Malaysia, rhizomes are used as post-partum medicine and young shoots are made into vegetable dish.

Plant description

Joint-whip Ginger is a slender perennial herb that grows to the height of 0.6–2 m high with slender, woody and aromatic rhizome i.e. cream colored in cross section. Leaves are glabrous, dark green, shortly petiolated, lanceolate-oblong and about 30 cm by 9 cm. An inflorescence is erect, 1-2 branched, 20-25 cm long. Secondary branches are cincinni and bract is small. Flowers are small and 1.5 cm across. Corolla lobes are white to greenish-yellowish. Lateral staminodes are quadrate, red and filament is slender, 5 mm long and pale yellowish to pinkish. Anther is 2 mm and ovary is glabrous and pyriform. Fruit is a small capsule usually glabrous, green ripening to red, globose, 8 mm across that contains 3 to 5 seeds and is strongly aromatic.

Traditional uses

  • Apply the poultice of boiled leaves or leaves and rhizomes to treat rheumatism.
  • In Peninsular Malaysia, infusion is used for bathing.
  • Rub the rhizome poultice on the body for bone pains.
  • Use the pounded leaves as a poultice for confinement.
  • In Malaysia, root decoction is used as a shampoo to eliminate lice or pounded leaves are used as a poultice for swellings and boils on stomach after childbirth.
  • Drink the mixture of rhizome juice and water for dysmenorrhea.
  • Rub the mixture of ground rhizome and vinegar or kerosene on fungal skin infection.
  • Apply the essential oil topically for strains and muscle pains.
  • In Indochina, rhizome is used to treat bronchitis, jaundice, headache and vertigo.
  • In Thailand, rhizomes are used to treat abscesses and indigestion, poultice made from leaves and rhizomes are used for ringworm infections.
  • In China, roots are used to treat chest or abdominal pain and digestive disorders.
  • Rhizomes are used in Myanmar for gout, cold and digestion.
  • It is used for treating diabetes mellitus in Thailand.
  • Use the juice extracted from boiled rhizomes and leaves for treating abdominal pain, spleen and indigestion.
  • Use the water from boiled leaves for bathing and burned leaves are used for rheumatic pains.

Culinary uses

  • In Indochina, rhizome is used to flavor rice spirit and food.
  • Slender rhizomes are used for rheumatism, arthritis and various ailments.
  • In Thailand, young shoots are consumed raw or cooked in curries.
  • In Peninsular Malaysia, rhizome is used as a condiment.

References:

http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Alpinia.html

https://academia.edu/8082307/Essential_oils_of_Alpinia_conchigera_Griff._and_their_antimicrobial_activities                               

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