Medicinal potential and health benefits of torch ginger (Etlingera elatior)


  • Nor Asiah ISMAIL Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, 43400 Serdang Selangor (MY)
  • Raihana RIDZUAN Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor (MY)



Etlingera elatior, herb, phytochemicals, torch ginger, Zingiberaceae


Indo-Pacific Region has a rich diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants. Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) from the Zingiberaceae family in exemplary, is one of the valuable sources for condiment, ornamental and medicinal purposes.  This perennial herb can be found growing in clumps of aromatic rhizomes with their distinctive inflorescences, borne on erect stalks and showy bracts. Their torch-like flowers are edible, usually appeared during the second year of cultivation and continuous harvesting is feasible for the flower production. The varieties of torch ginger with pink-color flowers are often cultivated compared to white and red flower varieties due to the market demand. Interestingly, almost every part of this herb produces certain percentages of beneficial phytochemicals.  In this review, the botanical aspects of torch ginger as well as their progresses in usage and properties in different forms as fresh, extract and essential oils have been conversing with respect to their plant parts. Major compounds found in torch ginger are phenols, polyphenols, flavonoids and terpenoids. Those compounds correlate with the significant health benefits of torch ginger such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumor, antihyperuricemic, antiallergic, cytotoxicity, antidiabetic as well as their cosmeceutical potential in skin care application. Moreover, the prominent pharmacological activities of this herb with particular attention to the chemical composition also have been uncovered, suggesting the substantial medicinal benefits of torch ginger.


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How to Cite

ISMAIL, N. A., & RIDZUAN, R. (2023). Medicinal potential and health benefits of torch ginger (Etlingera elatior). Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 15(4), 11489.



Review articles
DOI: 10.55779/nsb15411489