Amomum villosum Lour. - Zingiberaceae
砂仁 sha ren (chin.), bastard cardamom, false cardamom, Malabar cardamom, Bastard-Kardamom
Herb up to 1.5m tall, native to Southeast Asia; rhizomes procumbent above ground, clothed with brown, scalelike sheaths; leaves lanceolate to linear; flowers white, labellum with yellow, purple-tinged midvein, 2 purple spots at base, and yellow apex.
Amomum villosum var. villosum (capsule purple when mature and fresh)
Amomum villosum var. xanthioides (capsule green or brownish when mature and fresh)
„Similar to cardamom, the plant is cultivated for their fruits, which dry into pods when mature and contain strongly aromatic seeds. The pods are used in Chinese cuisines to flavour soups and in Chinese herbology to treat stomach ache and dysentery.“
Of the chemical costituents of the essential oil of A.villosum lour seeds cultivated in Nanping have been separated and identified: α-pinene (0.46%) , β-pinene (3.2%), camphene (3.42%), myrcene (1.82%), limonene (2.65%), δ-fenchene (3.26%), d-camphor (17.15%), d,l-camphor (10.75%), borneol (14.3%), and bornylacetate (40.6%). The main chemical constituents are similar to the oil of A.villosum grown in the original region, Kwangtung.
[Study on the chemical constituents of the essential oil of Amomum villosum Lour seeds cultivated in Nanping [J]. Zhihuan, L. J. W. G. C., Journal of Fujian College of Forestry, Vol.4, 1987, 12]
„The leaf oil of A. villosum produced in Yunnan was examined by a combination of GC/MS and GC/FTIR. The major compounds of the oil were: α-pinene (31.29%) and β-pinene (58.52%).“
[The essential oil of Amomum villosum Lour. Fan, P., Jian-Qin, C., Zheng-Ju, Z., Journal of Essential Oil Research, Vol.1(4), 1989, 197-198]
„The principal components of volatile oils from fruits of Amomum villosum Lour growing in different production regions were similar, the top three main ingredients were high in content, totally up to 70% or more, but had different percentage of each component in these volatile oils. The content of borneol acetate is the highest in authentic fruits of Amomum villasum growing in Yanchuan county, Guangdong.“
[GC-MS Analysis of Chemical Constituents of Essential Oil from Fruits of Amomum villosum Lour Growing in Different Production Regions [J]. Chen, F. U., Ri-shui, Z. H. O. U., Guang-xiong, Z. H. O. U., Lishizhen Medicine and Materia Medica Research, Vol.10, 2010, 51]
„Amomum villosum, a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, has been cultivated in the understory of seasonal rain forest for 40 years in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Cultivated area has reached 58.11 km2 much of which is distributed within nature reserves. This practice has caused controversy on whether A. villosum cultivation would alter the structure and function of the primary forest. This study examined the effects of medicinal plant cultivation on seasonal rain forest by comparing plant diversity, biomass, litterfall and soil nutrients of primary rain forest with disturbed areas where A. villosum is cultivated. The results indicate that plant diversity, tree biomass, litter production and soil nutrients are significantly lower in the disturbed than in the primary rain forest. These results suggest that the cultivation of A. villosum affects the structure and function of the seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna.“
[The impact of Amomum villosum cultivation on seasonal rainforest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China, Liu, Hongmao; Gao, Lei; Zheng, Zheng; Feng, Zhili, Biodiversity and Conservation Vol.15 (9), 2006, 2971–2985]
Amomum villosum var. villosum, drawing: Flora of China, http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=60333&flora_id=2