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.
Found near ravines and lakes in Mindanao.
Grown ornamentally in gardens.
Bitter and acrid.
Aperient and resolvent.
Expectorant, deobstruant, carminative.
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
Fruit is extremely sour and edible
Flower used in Southeast Asia for cooking, in salds and as soup garnish.
• 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.