What is bamboo ginger? studies suggest

Scientific names Common names
Alpinia luteocarpa Elmer Luyang itim (Tag.) 
  Bamboo ginger (Engl.)
  Dwarf bamboo ginger (Engl.)
  Red bamboo ginger (Engl.)
  Purple ladder (Engl.)
  Small shell ginger (Engl.)
Alpinia luteocarpa Elmer is an unresolved name The Plant List

Bamboo Ginger

Bamboo ginger or Genus Alpinia is named after the Italian botanist and physician professor Prospero Alpino (1553-1616). Luteocarpa means yellow fruit.

Bamboo ginger is an aromatic low-growing herb growing up to 1.5 meters high, with horizontal undergrown rhizomes and erect stems. Leaves are lanceolate, grey green to dark green on the upper surface with red or dark reddish purple underside, wide at the base and narrowing to the tip, arranged in a single plane along the stem. Flowers are in clusters of three to five at the ends of branches, each flower with several dark brown to purple bracts that clasp the stalk of the flower. Each flower has a pink to red calyx fused along its length, with white petals fused along half their length. Each flower contains six stamens, with one fertile pollen-producing stamen. Fruit is yellow, round, and three parted, containing many small seeds.


– Native to the Philippines.

– Also occurs in India, Thailand, and the Malay Peninsula.

– A related species, Alpinia galanga, also known as Kha or Galangal, is native to India.


– Rhizome considered aromatic and carminative.

– Like other Alpinias, leaves smell gingery when crushed, with a mild, fruity fragrance.

Parts used


Edibility of bamboo ginger

– Fruit reported as inedible.

Folkloric traditional benefits and uses of bamboo ginger

– Rhizome used for digestive disorders.

– Used in traditional Chinese medicine for its warming properties.

Studies on bamboo ginger

There are few studies on bamboo ginger among them the antimicrobial action of bamboo ginger makes it effective in many diseases.

Pathogenesis-Related Protein 5: Pathogenesis related protein 5 (PR5) is a family of proteins induced by different phytopathgens in many plants and share a sequence similar to thaumatin. In the study, 8 putative PR5 genes were clone from different species of Zingebereaceae, including A. luteocarpa. Analysis of various protein properties led to the identification of putative antimicrobial domains the these PR5s.


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