Medicinal value of plants can’t be denied and people are using them to cure certain ailments from ancient times. Herbal medicines have astonishing effect and scientists are focusing to discover more beneficial aspects of these naturally occurring substances. It is found enormous facilities and opportunities are prevailing in Indonesia possesses which can enhance the chances to flourish in field of indigenous medication. In this regard, torch ginger Etlingera elatior (famous Indonesian native plant) has become the focus of researchers. In Indonesia, this precious species is a rich source of nutrition and is cultivated particularly for gastronomic purpose to add extra taste in traditional dishes 1.
Fascinatingly, potential of E. elatior to cure certain ailments is gaining attention of experts. It is being utilized as an alternative medicine due to convenient supply, availability, affordability and minimum or zero side effects. This plant exhibits bioactivities because of treasure of secondary metabolites including phenols, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, steroids, terpenoids2,3. Hence, E. elatior has been reported of its broad range of pharmacological activities including anti-hyperglycemic4, anti-hyperuricemic5, anti-inflammatory4, anti-microbials6, anti-oxidant7 and anti-tumor activity8. Furthermore, it is also being used for commercial used as natural ingredient in cosmetic formulation, inflorescence of torch ginger, for skin whitening9, anti-aging9 and lipstick preparation10.
A review was performed to examine botanical aspects, nutritional quality, phytoconstituents and pharmacological attributes of E. elatior. Accordingly, investigations on this meticulous plant were conducted in Malaysia (55.5%), Indonesia (33.3%), Thailand (8.3%) and Singapore (2.7%). This thorough study has discovered that the most prominent pharmacological activities exhibited by this species were anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and anti-tumor activities including significant amount of flavonoids, terpenoids and phenols. However, extended and integrated research should be proceeded towards intensive research relating to isolated phytoconstituents and its bioactivities, pharmacokinetics, bioavailability, molecular mechanism of its specific pharmacological activities and safety as well.
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