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Family Zingiberaceae
Luyang pula
Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum.
Hong guo shan jiang

Scientific names Common names
Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum. Luyang pula (Tag.)
Alpinia grandis K. Schum. Alpinia jungle king (Engl.)
Guillainia novo-ebudica F.Muell Ginger lily (Engl.)
Guillainia purpurata Vieill. Ostrich plume (Engl.)
Languas purpurata (Vieill.) Kaneh Red ginger (Engl.)
Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K.Schum. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hong guo shan jiang.
SAMOAN: Teuila.

Luyang-pula is a rhizomatous perennial, leafy herb forming large clumps, growing to 3-4 meters tall. Leaves are lanceolate, glabrous. Inflorescence is a terminal spike, often pendulous, showy, up to 90 centimeters long. Flowers are small, white, 1 or 2 , arising from the red bracts of the spike, 2.5 centimeters long. Fruit is a capsule. Pseudostems formed by leaf sheaths emerge from underground rhizomes.

- Recently introduced to the Philippines.
- Ornamentally cultivated.
- Widely cultivated and naturalized in the tropics.

- Subextracts of leaves yielded a mixture of C28-C32 fatty alcohols, a 3-methoxyflavone and two steroid glycosides. The two latter metabolites were identified as kumatakenin, stiosteryl-3-O-6-palmitoyl-ß-D-glucoside and ß-sitosteryl galactoside. (see study below) (6)
- Essential oil of A. purpurata leaves and flowers yield a predominance of α-pinene, β-pinene and 1,8 cineol.
- Study of essential oil of inflorescences showed A. purpurata to be composed mainly by mono- and sesquiterpenes. The major compounds were ß-pinene and α-pinene, trans-caryophyllene, camphene, and 7-epi-α-selinene. (see study below) (17)
- Phytochemical evaluation of an n-hexane leaf extract yielded alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids, cardioglycosides, oils and fats, tannins and carbohydrates. (18)
- GC-MS analysis of n-hexane leaf extract yielded 4-morpholinomethyl-7-methoxycoumarin (1.42%), methanesulfonate of (3R,4S)-3-propargyloxy-4-[(R)-1-hydroxy-3-phenyl-3-butenyl]-1-(p-methoxyphenyl)-2-azetidinone (2.28%), 5-butyl-3-methyl-1,2,3, 8a-tetrahydroindolizine (6.48%), phenol, 4-(3,7-dimethyl-3-ethenylocta-1,6-dienyl)- (6.99%), 1-naphthalenepropanol, α-ethenyldeca hydro-α,5,5,8a-tetramethyl-2-methylene-[1S-[1α (R*),4aα, 8aà]]-(9.29%), methenolone (10.93%), and nonanamide, 5-hydroxy-5-methyl-2-(2-methylpropyl)-N-benzyl-(25.80%). (18)
- Study of flowers by GC/MS yielded 42 essential oil components with a-pinene, ß-pinene, and ß-caryophyllene as major constituents. (see study below) (20)

- Studies suggest antioxidant, antimicrobial, antimycobacterial, anticancer and vasodilating properties.

Parts used
Bark, fruit, leaves and seeds.

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In the West Indies, used for stomach complaints.

Flavonoids / Leaves:
Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of A. purpurata obtained from dried leaves. The flavonoids kaemferol-3-O-glucoronide and rutin were detected at higher concentration in the EA and butanolic extracts, with the latter showing highest flavonoid percentage (94.3%). (1)
Volatile Oils / Leaves and Flowers:
The major components of leaf oil of A. purpurata were 1,8-cineole, ß-pinene and (E)-methyl cinnamate; the oil from the flowers was dominated by ß-pinene and a-pinene. (2)

Vasodilator Activity: Study showed A purpurata had a better vasodilator effect than control, results in agreement with the quantification of phenolic compounds in the extracts. It presents a possible natural source for bioactive compounds useful for the treatment of hypertension. (4)
Antimycobacterial: Study evaluated hexane and dichlormethane subextracts of leaves for antimycobacterial activity. In addition to anti-inflammatory activity, study also describes the phytochemical potential to treat tuberculosis. (see constituents above) (6)
Antimicrobial: Study evaluated three solvent extracts of leaves, roots, and rhizomes for in vitro activity against six strains of bacteria and four pathogenic fungi. Ethanolic extract of rhizomes showed wide spectrum of activity against all tested bacteria, with notable activity only with Candida albicans. (7)
Anticancer / Antioxidant: Study evaluated an ethylacetate extract of AP for potential in-vitro antioxidant and anticancer activity. Results showed antioxidant and anticancer activity which may be due to the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids and terpenoids in the leaves. (8)
Antioxidant: Study evaluated the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants of leaf extract of Alpinia purpurata. Results showed the potential to scavenge free radicals and protect against oxidative stress causing diseases. (9) Study suggest ethanolic extract of Alpinia purpurata prevent oxidative damage in normal cells through its antioxidant property. (13)
Novel CXC Chemokine Receptor-4 Inhibitors: CXCR4 is the receptor for chemokine, CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor-1, SDF-1) involved in problematic diseases like AIDS, cancer cell metastasis, leukemia cell progression and rheumatoid arthritis. Study aimed to identify the novel CXCR4 inhibitors from bioactive compounds in an EA extract of A. purpurata by GC-MS analysis. The EA extract yielded 32 bioactive compounds, some of which shows the better glide score compared with Cyclophophamide (FDA approved drug). Results suggest the bioactive compounds may act as novel inhibitors for CXCR4. (10)
Antibacterial: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves, roots, and rhizomes of Alpinia purpurata for antibacterial activity. Ethanol extracts of leaves and roots showed highest inhibition zone against E. coli and Lactobacillus. (12)
Vascular Reactivity / Acute Hypotensive Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated the chemical profile, vascular reactivity, and acute hypotensive effect (AHE) of ethanolic extract of leaves of A. purpurata. Results showed a vasodilation action partially mediated by nitric oxide. Rutin-like flavonoids were quantified in the EEAP (1.8 ± 0.03%), and the total flavonoid and polyphenol rations were 4.1 ± 1.8% and 5.1 ± 0.3%, respectively. (14)
Antibacterial / Anti-Cancer / Leaves: Study evaluated phytochemical constituents, antibacterial activity and anticancer activity of A. purpurata leaves. The EA extract of leaves showed antibacterial activity with a zone of inhibition from 5 to 14 mm at various concentrations. It also showed potential anticancer activity against PA1 ovarian cancer cell line with half MIC value of 110.25 µg/mL and dose-dependent decrease in cell count for all concentrations tested. (16)
Essential Oil Toxicity to Maize Weevil: Study evaluated the toxicity of essential oil from Alpinia purpurata inflorescences to Sitophilus zeamais (maize weevil). No toxicity was noted when applied directly on the cuticle of insects. It showed toxicity to adult insects through fumigation with LC50 of 41.4 µL/L in air. (see constituents above) (17)
Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Apoptotic: Study evaluated a n-hexane leaf extract for antioxidant, cytotoxic, and apoptotic activities. Results showed antioxidant activity using DPPH, ABTS, reducing power and ferric reducing activity. In MTT assay, the extract inhibited HeLa cells in a dose dependent manner with IC50 of 41.25 µg/ml. Morphological changes suggested apoptotic activity in HeLa cells.   (19)
Larvicidal / Antibacterial / Essential Oil / Flowers: Oils from red and pink variants showed potent larvicidal activities against 4th instar Aedes aegypti with IC50 values of 80.7 and 71.5 ppm, respectively. Aqueous extracts of the two variants were active against dengue mosquito larvae (IC50 18.3 and 12.6%, respectively). Oils and aqueous extracts showed significant oviposition deterrent effects. Oil from the red cultivar showed significant inhibition of gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial growth. (see constituents above) (20)

Caution !
• Ginger supplements should be avoided by those with known allergy to ginger or other Zingiberaceae family members, including Alpinia purpurata.
• It has been suggested pregnant women should avoid ginger in the excessive amounts (more than 1 gram dry weight per day). The German Commission E recommends avoidance during pregnancy due to its possible inhibition of testosterone binding in the fetus. It should not be used for nausea of pregnancy and should be avoided by pregnant women with a history of bleeding disorders and miscarriages. (see: Luya)
• Ginger decreases platelet adhesiveness and should be used with caution by people on anticoagulant therapy.

- Wildcrafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated July 2016

May 2010

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Detection of flavonoids in Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum. leaves using highperformance liquid chromatograph / Victorio, C.P., Kuster R M, Lage, C L S / Rev. Bras. Pl. Med., Botucatu, v.11, n.2, p.147-153, 2009.
Volatile constituents from leaves and flowers of Alpinia speciosa K. Schum. and A. purpurata (Viell.) Schum. / Maria Das Graças B. Zoghbi et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal / Vol 14 Issue 6, Pages 411 - 414
Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) / An evidence-based monograph prepared by the NATURAL STANDARD RESEARCH COLLABORATION
Vasodilator activity of extracts of field Alpinia purpurata (Vieill) K. Schum and A. zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt et Smith cultured in vitro / Cristiane Pimentel Victorio et al / Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences • vol. 45, n. 3, jul./sep., 2009/
Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K.Schum. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Phytoconstituents from Alpinia purpurata and their in vitro inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis / Oliver B. Villaflores, Allan Patrick G. Macabeo, Dietmar Gehle, Karsten Krohn, Scott G. Franzblau, and Alicia M. Aguinaldo / Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Oct-Dec; 6(24): 339–344. / doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.71785
Antimicrobial efficacy of extracts from Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K.Schum. against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi / K.P. Kochuthressia, S.John Britto*, M.O.Jaseentha, L. Joelri Michael Raj, and S.R.Senthilkumar / Agric. Biol. J. N. Am., 2010, 1(6): 1249-1252 / doi:10.5251/abjna.2010.1.6.1249.1252
Evaluation of in vitro antioxidant and anticancer activity of Alpinia purpurata / Chinthamony Arul Raj, Paramasivam Ragavendran, Dominic Sophia, Muthaiyan Ahalliya Rathi, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan* / Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines 2012, 10(4): 0263−0268 Medicines / doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1009.2012.00263
Enzymatic antioxidant properites of leaf extract from Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum.
Chinthamony Arul Raj, Paramasivam Ragavendran, Dominic Sophia, Thangarajan Starlin, Muthian Ahalliya Rathi, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan / Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, August 2014
Screening of Novel CXC Chemokine Receptor 4 Inhibitors From Ethyl Acetate Extract of Alpinia purpurata Using GC-MS Analysis and its Molecular Docking Studies / Anusooriya, P., Arul Raj, C., Chella Perumal, P., Sowmya, S., Vidya,B., Pratibha, P., Gopalakrishnan, V.K. / International Journal of Pharmacology and Phytochemical Research
Therapeutic value of the genus Alpinia, Zingiberaceae / Cristiane P. Victório*/ Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.21 no.1 Curitiba Jan./Feb. 2011 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2011005000025
In Vitro Studies and Antibacterial Activity of Alpinia Purpurata / Kona Laxmi Anusha, Thofeeq MD* and Venkata Reddy / Austin Journal of Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Vol 2, Issue 4 (2015)
IN-VITRO ANTIOXIDANT AND PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF ALPINIA PURPURATA / Justi Jovitta. C*, Sreenivasan Aswathi and S. Suja / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (2012)
Hypotensive effect and endothelium-dependent vascular action of leaves of Alpinia purpurata (Vieill) K. Schum / Silva, Alessandra Tesch da; Lima,Ewelyne Miranda de; Caliman, Isabela Faco; Porto, Leonardo Luiz Souza; Nascimento, Andrews Marques do; Kalil, Iêda Carneiro; Lenz, Dominik; Bissoli, Nazaré Souza; Endringer, Denise Coutinho; Andrade, Tadeu Uggere de / Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas
Essential oils from Alpinia purpurata (Zingiberaceae): Chemical composition, oviposition deterrence, larvicidal and antibacterial activity / Silva, Alessandra Tesch da; Lima, E
Leaf extract of Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum screened for its phytochemical constituents and antibacterial and anticancer activities. / Arul Raj C, Sophia D, Ragavendran P, Starlin T, Rathi MA, Gopalakrishnan VK. / Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Dec;10(12):1460-4. / doi: 10.3736/jcim20121219.
Evaluation of the toxicity of essential oil from Alpinia purpurata inflorescences to Sitophilus zeamais (maize weevil) / Camila Soledade de Lira, Emmanuel Viana Pontual, Lidiane Pereira de Albuquerque, Laura Mesquita Paiva, Patrícia Maria Guedes Paiva, José Vargas de Oliveira, Thiago Henrique Napoleão, Daniela Maria do Amaral Ferraz Navarro / Crop Protection, Vol 71, May 2015, pp 95–100
PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF N-HEXANE LEAF EXTRACT OF ALPINIA PURPURATA (VIEILL.) K. SCHUM USING UV-VIS, FTIR AND GC-MS / Enock Kiage Oirere, Palanirajan Anusooriya, Chinthamony Arul Raj, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 7, Issue 8 (2015)
Antioxidant, Cytotoxic and Apoptotic Activities of Crude Extract of Alpinia purpurata on Cervical Cancer Cell Line / Enock Kiage Oirere, Palanirajan Anusooriya, Deivasigamani Malarvizhi, Chinthamony Arul Ra, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan / Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 36(2), January – February 2016
Essential oils from Alpinia purpurata (Zingiberaceae): Chemical composition, oviposition deterrence, larvicidal and antibacterial activity / Geanne K N Santos et al / Industrial Crops and Products 40 (2010) 254-260

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