Luiang-usiu is a smooth, erect,
herbaceous plant. Rootstocks are large and tuberous, pale yellow
within. Leafy stem is 0.6 to 2 meters high. Leaves are numerous,
distichous, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 15 to 30 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide.
Flowering stem from the rootstock is 10 to 30 centimeters long, clothed
with long, appressed, obtuse sheaths, bearing at the apex an ovoid, oblong,
or cylindric spike, red or green in color, 5 to 20 centimeters long. Bracts
are numerous, imbricate, orbicular, 2 to 3 centimeters long, greenish, merging
into red, and holding water. Flowers are 5 centimeters long, white or cream colored, the tube
as long as the bracts, with 3-lobed lips. Fruit is oblong,
about 2.5 centimeters long. Seeds are oblong, black, about 4 millimeters in diameter.
- From norther Luzon to Mindanao, in most islands and provinces, In thickets and
near settlements at low and medium altitudes.
- A native of tropical Asia.
- Volatile oils of the rhizomes
contain zerumbone, humulene and camprene.
- Studies have isolated bioactive compounds: humulene, monoterpenes, zerumbone from the essential oil.
- (Z)-nerolidol have been isolated from extracts of stems, leaves, and flowers.
- Ethanol extract has yielded sesquiterpene and zederone.
Aqueous extract has yielded phenolic compounds, saponins and terpenoids.
- Study isolated two aromatic compounds, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and vanillin, and six kaempferol derivatives from the rhizomes.
- Preliminary phytochemical analysis of rhizomes revealed glycosides, sterols, triterpenes, saponins, tannins, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and volatile oils. (23)
- Study of leaf oil yielded 29 components with major components of zerumbone 36.98%, α-caryophyllene 16.35%, and camphene 9.24%. Rhizome oil yielded major components of zerumbone 46.83%,
α-caryophyllene 19.00%, and 1,5,5,8-tetramethyl-12-oxabicyclo[9.1.0]dodeca-3,7-diene 4.28%. (27)
- Considered antihyperglycemic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antioxidant,
anti-platelet activating factor, antimicrobial.
- Used as food flavoring and appetizer in various Malays' cuisines.
- In the Philippines, decoction is prescribed for asthma, and as a topical for rheumatism.
- Pulverized rhizome also used for diarrhea.
- The fluid squeezed from the swollen ends of club-shaped stems is used
- Rhizome is used like the common ginger, as a remedy for coughs, asthma,
parasitism, and variety of skin diseases.
- In China, used for stomach aches, tonic
- Malays use the fresh rhizome for edema, stomach aches, sores. The juice of boiled rhizomes are used to treat worm infestation in children.
- In Thailand, fresh rhizomes are used as antiflatulent.
- In China, rhizomes macerated in alcohol are used as tonic, depurative, stimulant.
- In Taiwan, plant used as antiinflammatory adjuvant for stomach pains, fever and sprains.
- In India, rhizome powder mixed with Morinda citrifolia used for severe pain. Cooked and softened rhizome used for toothache, asthma, cough, worms, leprosy and other skin diseases.
- In Hawaii, compressed rhizomes used for bruises and cuts and to treat headaches, toothaches, ringworm, joint sprains. The milky juice from the pine cones are used as shampoo.
- In Southeast Asia, used for fever, toothache, loss of appetite, constipation
Latino healers in NY use ZZ for uterine fibroids.
- Perfume: Powdered rhizomes used as perfume.
• Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study evaluated ethanol and aqueous rhizome extracts of ZZ for analgesic
activity using acid induced writhing in mice and antipyretic activity in Brewer's yeast induced pyrexia in rats. Results showed ZZ possess both analgesic and antipyretic activities. Although the mechanism is unclear, the possibility of prostaglandin inhibition is considered.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive: Study of the methanol extract of ZZ rhizomes showed anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities probably involving the inhibition of bradykinin-, prostaglandin-, histamine- and opioid-mediated processes.
• Antiinflammatory / Rhizomes: Study of water-soluble extract of rhizomes of Zingiber zerumbet yielded a potent inhibitor of acute inflammation. The extracts were devoid of any toxicity up to 500 mg/kg in rats. The anti-inflammatory effect was similar to the reference drug mefenamic acid. (2)
• Zerumbone / Anti-Inflammatory: Study yielded
zerumbone and kaempferol pyranosides. Compounds 1 and 2 demonstrated
potent inhibition of NO production.
• Zerumbone / Inhibitor of Tumor Promoter: Study isolated zerumbone from the rhizomes of Z. zerumbet as a a potent inhibitor of tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced Epstein-Barr virus activation. (3)
• Anti-tumor / Zerumbone: Zerumbone, an active principle from Zingiber zerumbet, exhibited antitumor effects in P-388D1 cells in vitro and in
vivo: Results suggest a potential
lead compound for the development of anticancer drugs. (4)
• Apoptosis in Liver Cancer / Zerumbone: Zerumbone was found to induce the apoptotic process in HepG2 cells through the up-and-down regulation of Bax/Bcl-2 protein independently of functional p53 activity.(12)
• Immunomodulation: (1) Anti-hypersensitive
and anti-inflammatory activities of water extract of Zingiber zerumbet
(L.) Smith: Results show ZZ can be beneficial for asthmatic patients
through immunomodulation and cytokine production. (2) Study evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of zerumbone isolated from ZZ. Results showed zerumbone can be used as an immunomodulatory agent which can react toward the immune cell cytokine production in a dosage dependent pattern.
• Chemopreventive: A study
on the modifying effects of dietary feeding of zerumbone isolated from
ZZ showed zerumbone to have possible chemopreventive abilities through
expression of COX-2 expression, cell proliferating activity of colonic
mucosa and induction of detoxification enzymes in the development of
• Antiproliferative: A study
showed ZZ extracts and fractions exhibited antiproliferative effect
on human breast carcinoma cell lines. (7)
• Anti-Asthma / Antiinflammatory: A study showed ZZ extracts have beneficial effects for the treatment
of asthmatic patients through its ability to inhibit synthesis of LTC4
and through immunomodulation of Th1/Th2 cytokine production.
• Essential Oils: A study
yielded 29 components in the leaf oil, the major components as zerumbone, a-caryophyllene and camphene. The rhizome oil yielded 30 components, the main ones being zerumbone, a-caryophyllene, 1,5,5,8-tetramethyl-12-oxabicyclo[9.1.0]dedeca-3,7-diene. (10)
• Antiplatelet Aggregation: Methanol extract exhibited strong antiplatelet aggregation in human whole blood in vitro.
• Anthelmintic: In a comparative study, it was observed that Z. zerumbet showed better activity than C. maxima compared to the standard Albendazole. The study concludes the potential use of the ethanol extracts of both plants as anthelmintic against P. posthuma in an in vitro model. (17)
• Absence of Genotoxic Effects: Study evaluated the potential genotoxicity of the ethanol extracts of rhizome. Results suggest the use of the extract in traditional medicine pose no risk of genotoxicity. (19)
• Antimicrobial Effects: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract and fractions of ZZ against pathogenic bacterial and fungi. Results showed potent antibacterial and antifungal phytochemicals in the extracts. The crude ethanol extract showed highest activity against Vibrio parahemolyticus. (20)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of an ethanolic extract of Z. zerumbet rhizome. Results showed significant radical scavenging activities on DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays. On cytotoxicity assessment by in vitro trypan blue exclusion test, the rhizome extract was found to be cytotoxic at concentrations higher for human consumption. ZZ was also found to be a rich source of kaempferol. (22)
• Gastroprotective / Zerumbone: Study evaluated the gastroprotective effect of zerumbone, the main bioactive compound of Z. zerumbet rhizome, against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model in rats. Results showed zerumbone promotes ulcer protection, probably attributable to maintenance of mucus integrity, antioxidant activity, and HSP-70 induction. Zerumbone also exhibited antibacterial activity against H. pylori. (24)
• Antiproliferative / Human Breast Carcinoma Cell Lines: Study investigated the effect of extracts and fractions of Z. zerumbet on growth on human breast carcinoma (MCF-7) cell lines. A comparative study between both subfractions and tamoxifen showed that the active subfraction of ZZ displayed a strong antiproliferative effect with EC50 of 2.81 ± 0.24 and 2.49 ± 0.13 µg/mL, respectively on MCF-7, with less cytotoxicity to normal cells. (25)
• Larvicidal / Rhizome: Study of dichlormethane and methanol extracts of Z. zerumbet rhizome showed larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles nuneztovari mosquitoes, higher against AN than the former. (26)
• Anti-Leishmanial / Induction of Apoptosis / Zerumbone: Study showed zerumbone could induce ROS mediated apoptosis in Leishmania donovani promastigotes and was also found effective in reducing intracellular amastigoes in infected-macrophages. (28)
• Zerumbone / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study evaluated the in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of zerumbone isolated from ZZ in rats. Results showed zerumbone potently inhibited inflammation induced by both λ-carrageenan and prostaglandin E2 and potently inhibited pain in the abdominal writhing test. (29)
• Cytotoxicity / Thymoquinone and Zerumbone / Prevention of Leukemia Cancer Progression: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity effects of Nigella sativa and Zingiber zerumbet extracts on acute Human myeloid leukemia cell line (HL60) and compared the compounds thymoquinone from NS and zerumbone from ZZ. Results showed the PE extract of Nx and HEX extract of Zz showed cytotoxic effect on HL60 cells and triggers apoptotic cell death. The HEX extract of Zz was more effective a an anticancer agent than the PE extract of Ns for human myeloid leukemia. (30)