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.
Decoction of the rhizome is anti-rheumatic, tonic and excitant.
In Ayurveda, considered febrifuge, tonic,
stimulant and antirheumatic.
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.
In the provinces, the
fragrant flowers popular in the making of wreaths and bridal bouquets.
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.
/ 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.
/ 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.
/ 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.
• 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.
Cultivated and wildcrafted.