Kamia is an erect shrub with a stout rootstock, growing 0.5 to
1.5 meters high. Leaves are smooth or the lower surfaces moderately hairy, lanceolate
to oblong-lanceolate, 10 to 50 centimeters long, 3 to 11 centimeters wide, with slender pointed
tip. Ligule is prominent, 1 to 3 centimeters long. Ellipsoid spike is at the top of
the stem, 5 to 12 centimeters long. Bracts are green, ovate to obovate, about 4
centimeters long, and each with 2 or 3 very fragrant flowers, with a fragrance that is more
pronounced in the evening. Calyx is tubular, clefted on one side, and
about 4 centimeters long; lobes are narrow, involute, and about 4 centimeters long. Lip
is obcordate or obovate, 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, white and pale yellow in the center.
Staminodes are white, oblong-elliptic, obtuse, narrowed at the base, 4 to 5 centimeters
long and 2 to 2.5 centimeters wide. Capsule is oblong, smooth, many seeded, with orange-yellow valves inside. Aril is red.
- Cultivated for ornamental
In some regions of the southern Philippines, naturalized.
- Prehistoric introduction in Mindanao; recent in Luzon.
- Native of India, now pantropic in distribution.
- Dried rhizome contains: starch, 3 %; glucose, 4.58 %; albumen, 1.65 %;
fats, 0.33%; resinous acid, 3.6%; resinous acid, 3.66%; resin, 5.93 %; extractive matter, 0.91%; essential oil; gum, 13.75 %; organic
acids, 5.5%; cellulose, 29.68%.
The flower yields a fragrant essential oil; the
rhizome, a volatile oil.
- Study on rhizomes yielded coronarin -D, coronarin -D ethyl ether, coronarin -E, and a new diterpene identified as (+)-14β-hydroxylabda-8(17),12-dieno-16,15-lactone, assigned the trivial name of isocoronarin-D.
- Several labdane-type diterpenes--coronarin A, B, C, D, E, and F have been isolated from the rhizome.
- Water extract of H. coronarium yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, tannins, steroids and terpenoids, saponin, cardiac glycosides, and oil. (see study below) (15)
- Study of leaf and rhizome essential oils yielded β-Pinene (33.9%), α-pinene (14.7%), 1,8-cineole (13.3%), r-elemene (11.0%) and carotol (9.1%) as main components in the leaf oil, including 82.0% terpenoid compounds; and 1,8-cineole (37.3%), β-pinene (23.0%), α-terpineol (10.4%) and α-pinene (9.9%), comprising 80.6% as major constituents of the rhizome oil. (see study below) (18)
- Rhizomes yielded
carbohydrates, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, and alkaloids. (see study below) (21)
- Decoction of the rhizome is anti-rheumatic, tonic and excitant.
- In Ayurveda, considered febrifuge, tonic,
stimulant and antirheumatic.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive and cytotoxic properties.
Rhizome, stems, seeds, leaves.
Young buds and
flowers are edible. Used as flavoring.
Roots used as famine food.
- Decoction of stems near
the rhizome used as a gargle for tonsillitis; or the raw stem chewed
for same purpose.
- In the Moluccas the base of the stem is chewed and the juice applied to swellings.
- In Brazil decoction of rhizome is antirheumatic, tonic and excitant.
- In India, sold in bottles of extract called
Gulbakawali Ark; used as eye tonic and for to prevent eye cataracts. Certain tribal groups of Bihar use the rhizome of the plant as febrifuge.
- In Bangladesh plant rhizome used for diabetes.
- In Chinese medicine, used for headache,
inflammatory pains, rheumatism.
- In the Moluccas used as antirheumatic, tonic, and excitant.
- In Hawaii juice of mature seeds use as treatment for hair and skin afflictions.
- In Thailand, boiled leaves are applied to relieve stiff and sore joints.
- Fragrant bouquets: In the provinces, the
fragrant flowers popular in the making of wreaths and bridal bouquets.
- Wreaths: Stems are 45% cellulose, used in making paper.
• Antifungal / Antimicrobial / Essential Oil: The
essential oil from fresh and dry rhizomes yielded 44 and 38 constituents
and was shown to have antifungal and antibacterial effects. Antibacterial
effects were higher in the fresh sample than the dried; both showed
activity against Trichoderma sp. and C. albicans, B. subtilis and P
/ Anti-inflammatory: Different
extracts of HC exhibited significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory
activities. The effects could be due to inhibition of prostaglandin
synthesis, inhibition of histamine and/or serotonin. (2)
/ Cytotoxicity: Study of methanol and dichlormethane extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against Gram positive (S aureus, B subtilis, B megaterium, Sarcina lutea) and Gram negative (E coli, S sonnei, S shiga, P aeruginosa and S typhi) bacteria. Cytotoxicity was evaluated against brine shrimp nauplii. (4)
/ Anti-inflammatory: Five
genus of Zingiberaceae plants from Taiwan, including Hedychium, were
studied for their functional properties. Hedychium sp. were found to
have antioxidant properties. Most Zingiberaceae plant extracts exhibited
antimicrobial activity against all food microorganisms; Hedychium did
not show activity against E. coli and Vibrio parahemolyticus.
• Flower Essential Oil
/ Anti-inflammatory: Study on the oil exhibited significant inhibition of paw edema but showed poor antioxidant activity with DPPH. There was no direct correlation between inflammatory and antioxidant activity of the essential oil. (5)
/ Antioxidant: Study showed HC to have the highest phenolic content and ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant capacity of leaves of 26 ginger species.
/ Cytotoxic Labdane Diterpenes: Study of hexane extract isolated two new labdane diterpenes, 1 and 2, along with 10 other known metabolites. Isolates were studied for cytotoxic activity against lung cancer, human neuroblastoma, breast cancer and cervical cancer cell lines. (8)
• Labdane-type Diterpenes /
Anti-Inflammatory: Study yielded three new labdane diterpenes 1-3, named coronarins G, H, and I, together with 7 known coronarin D. Compounds 1, 2, and 6 (hedyforrestin C) showed to be potent inhibitors of LPS-stimulated TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 productions. (9)
• Trypanocidal / Essential Oils: Study of essential oil of leaves and rhizomes of H. coronarium. Caryophyllene was the major component in rhizomes, which showed a remarkable activity against T. brucei strains, with highly increased trypanocidal activity in synergism with caryophyllene oxide plus pentamidine. (13)
• Antiurolithiatic / Roots: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic activity of roots of Hedychium coronarium on experimental kidney stones. Alcoholic root extracts showed the highest dissolution of calcium oxalate stones. (14)
• Phenolic Contents: Study evaluated the water extracts of three different species of genus Hedychium i.e., H. spicatum, H. coronarium and H rubrum. Results showed all three contained a good quantity of phenolic compounds. (see constituents above) (15)
• Anti-Venom / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the potential inhibitory effects of H. coronarium essential oil of leaves on the coagulant and fibrinogenolytic activities induced by venoms of Lachesia muta, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops moojeni. Results showed the oils interact with venom proteases and plasma constituents, with inhibition of clotting effect when the oils were previously incubated with venoms. Results showed the essential oil can be used as alternative to complement serum therapy. (16)
• Mosquitocidal / Dengue Vector Aedes Aegypti: Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of 3 different solvent extracts of H. coronarium against dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Results showed the methanol extract of HC to be more effective than other extracts. (17)
• Antimicrobial / Mosquitocidal / Antioxidant / Leaf and Rhizome: Study evaluated the essential oil, methanolic and aqueous extracts of leaves and rhizomes of H. coronarium. Leaf and rhizome oil exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against all five fungal and four bacterial strains tested, attributed to its high terpenoid contents. Both oils showed mosquito larvicidal activity, with β-Pinene, α-pinene and 1,8-cineol as the principal larvicidal components of both oils. Polar extracts showed antioxidant activity. (see constituents above) (18)
• Ink Source / Flowers: Study evaluated if H. coronarium flower extract is a feasible marker ink. Results showed the camias flower extract is a feasible color-changing marker ink for papers. (19)
• Hypoglycemic / Rhizome: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of ethanolic extract of H. coronarium rhizome in alloxan induced diabetes rat model. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose, serum insulin, serum catalase and haemoglobin in alloxan induced diabetic rats. (21)
• Cytotoxicity / Phytochemicals / Rhizome: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of rhizomes for phytochemicals and cytotoxicity activity by brine shrimp lethality bioassay. Screening yielded carbohydrates, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, and alkaloids. It showed potent cytotoxic activity on brine shrimp lethality assay with an LC50 value of 0.39 µg/ml, compared to LC50 of reference drug vincristine sulfate at 0.52 µg/ml. (22)
• Floral Scent / Headspace Volatile Compounds: Study of headspace volatile compounds of flowers yielded monoterpene hydrocarbons (34.9%), oxygenated monoterpenes (34.4%) and sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons (13.2%). Major components and major contributors to the flower scent were (E)-ß-ocimene (28.7%), linalool (19.3%), and 1,8-cineole (14.5%). (23)
• Thiamethoxam: Study evaluated the presence of thiamethoxam from water, soil, and rhizomes and leaves of H. coronarium. Thiamethoxam® (4-[(2-chloror-5-thiazoly)methyl]tetrahydro-5-methyl-N-nitro-4H-1,3,5-oxadiozin-4-imine) belongs to a new class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which act as agonists of the post-synaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Study showed the presence of thiamethoxam in leaves, but not in rhizomes. (24)
• Antinociceptive / Rhizomes: Study in mice evaluated the antinociceptive activity of a methanolic extract of H. coronarium rhizomes. Results showed substantial rise in pain threshold with the tail immersion method and writhing inhibition in acetic-acid induced writhing test. Diclofenac was used as standard. (25)
Cultivated and wildcrafted.