Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. - syn.Languas oxyphylla (Miquel) Merrill. - Zingiberaceae
益智 yi zhi (chin.), sharp-leaf galangal, bitter cardamom, Bitterer Kardamom
Perennial herb, up to 3m high, native to China; leaves lanceolate; flowers white with red stripes; seeds brownish, irregularly oblate.
The fruits (Fructus Alpiniae oxyphyllae) have been used as a traditional medicine for intestinal disorders and urosis in Chinese pharmacopeia.
The essential oil from fruits of Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. mainly consists of various sesquiterpenoids, like oxyphyllanene A, oxyphyllol B, nootkatone, nootkatone-11,12-diol, teuhetenone A and teuhetenone B.
[The Effects of Sesquiterpenes-Rich Extract of Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. on Amyloid-β-Induced Cognitive Impairment and Neuronal Abnormalities in the Cortex and Hippocampus of Mice., Shi, S.H., Zhao, X., Liu, B., Li, H., Liu, A.J., Wu, B., Jia, Y., Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2014, 1-11]
„Two antioxidative diarylheptanoids, yakuchinone A (1) and oxyphyllacinol (2), were isolated from the fruits of A. oxyphylla using thin layer chromatography (TLC) autographic assays. The DPPH scavenging activities of the compounds (IC50=1, 57±2.1 μM; 2, 89±3.1 μM) were lower than vitamin C (IC50=51±1.1 μM), but higher than butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, IC50=99±2.2 μM).“
[Antioxidative diarylheptanoids from the fruits of Alpinia oxyphylla., Han, J.T., Lee, S.Y., Lee, Y.H., Baek, N.I., Food Science and Biotechnology, Vol.16(6), 2007, 1060-1063]
illustration from: Flora of China [Deng Yingfeng, redrawn by Cai Shuqin]