Fingerroot: A flavorful spice bursting with advantages

Fingerroot: A flavorful spice bursting with advantages

Fingerroot (boesenbergia rotunda) is a kind of rhizome from the ginger (Zingiberaceae) household. Many individuals throughout Asia take into account this a beneficial addition to meals and potential treatment for sure sicknesses.1 If you happen to’re inquisitive about what this vibrant spice has to supply and how one can develop it at house, learn this information.

What’s fingerroot?

Fingerroot is well-known as a spice and therapeutic crop2 that is grown in India, Sri Lanka, southern China and Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. It is often known as Chinese language keys, krachai-dang, temu kuncithree or Chinese language ginger.four

Yellow and slender fingerroots come from a small plant that is 50 centimeters (20 inches) tall. It options three to 4 undivided, elongated and oblong-shaped leaves measuring 7 to 11 centimeters (2 to four inches) extensive and 25 to 50 centimeters (10 to 20 inches) lengthy.5 The plant bears aromatic pink flowers. Most individuals develop fingerroot from cuttings as a decorative plant, though the rhizomes and roots can be utilized for different functions.6

Well being advantages of fingerroot

Fingerroot displays the next health-boosting properties:7

Antiparasitic (assists with eliminating helminth and spherical worms in your intestines)


Some research have additionally highlighted that fingerroot was utilized in conventional medication to assist tackle well being issues like:Eight,9

Dental caries, and different tooth and gum illnesses

Dry mouth
Dry cough and chilly


Outcomes of a 2012 Proof-Primarily based Complementary and Different Drugs examine confirmed that the plant might assist alleviate rheumatism, muscle ache, febrifuge, gout, flatulence, abdomen aches, dyspepsia, peptic ulcers and pores and skin itchiness brought on by mite bites. Fingerroot can be a recognized ingredient within the conventional Indonesian tonic “jamu,” usually given to ladies who simply gave beginning or utilized by teenage women for beauty functions.10

Culinary makes use of of fingerroot

As a spice, fingerroot is principally utilized in Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Chinese language and Indian cuisines, particularly in soups and curries. It may be ready like typical greens, and has an fragrant taste that may ship appetite-boosting capabilities.11 The fingerroot plant’s leaves, mixed with teak tree leaves, could also be used to wrap a standard Indonesian fermented soy bean cake known as tempeh. When you have younger fingerroots, you’ll be able to take pleasure in them uncooked, too.12


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Elements of fingerroot

A number of substances have been found in fingerroot. A 2017 Pharmacognosy Critiques article lists the doubtless health-boosting elements discovered within the rhizome:13

Flavonoids akin to alpinetin, boesenbergin, cardamonin, geraniol, krachaizin, panduratin, pinostrobin, pinocembrin, rotundaflavone, silybin, rubranine, sakuranetin and extra
Polyphenols like caffeic acid, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, hesperidin, kaempferol, naringin and quercetin

What can fingerroot important oil do?

Important oil created from fingerroot comprises useful compounds like:14



Methyl cinnamate


Extra analysis famous that important oil15 and extracts16,17,18 derived from fingerroot exhibited antibacterial properties in opposition to micro organism strains.

What do research say about fingerroot?

Fingerroot possesses antimicrobial properties. One 2006 examine discovered that turmeric and fingerroot extracts labored as a remedy for Mongolian gerbils with gastric lesions brought on by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial an infection.19

One other examine revealed in the identical yr discovered that compounds extracted from the fingerroot plant’s roots, particularly pinostrobin and purple oil, along with dihydroguaiaretic acid from Myristica fragrans (accountable for producing the spices nutmeg and mace20) had been efficient in opposition to the identical micro organism.21 Researchers found that fingerroot may exhibit the next health-boosting skills:

Aphrodisiac22 On this 2011 animal examine, mature rats that ingested fingerroot juice exhibited higher sperm high quality, which can be linked to improved fertility.23
Anticancer ⁠— Fingerroot extract assisted in inhibiting improvement of breast, colon, cervical and ovarian most cancers cells.24
Antimicrobial ⁠— Extracts from ginger, turmeric, fingerroot and galangal (Thai or Siamese ginger25) might fight pathogens that trigger spoilage, and probably work as pure preservative brokers.26

How is fingerroot grown?

In response to Helpful Tropical Crops, fingerroot will be grown in areas the place daytime temperatures fall both between 64.four and 86 levels F (18 to 30 levels C) or between 53.6 and 95 levels F (12 to 35 levels C). Nonetheless, should you stay someplace with temperatures that attain 10.four levels F (-12 levels C) to 30.2 levels F (-1 levels C), it is in all probability greatest to not attempt to develop this plant, as it could be susceptible to extreme harm or loss of life.

Fingerroot is greatest grown in moist, well-drained soil with excessive quantities of natural matter, ideally with pH ranges between 6 and seven, or 5.5 and seven.5 if situations allow.27 A examine revealed in 2015 additionally highlighted that fingerroot crops might thrive properly in a rising medium composed of excessive quantities of purple soil and black soil, with little portions of sand.28

Cultimate fingerroot in locations the place annual rainfall falls between 1,200 and three,000 millimeters (47 to 118 inches), or in some circumstances, 1,000 and 5,000 millimeters (39 to 197 inches). Develop your crops underneath full solar or a lightweight shade. Propagating the crops in shady areas might lower the quantity of cineole in fingerroots.

All the time ensure that to prune your crops, as they will develop by means of their roots and kind into an enormous neighborhood that you could be discover problem sustaining.

Because the plant grows, it should bear lengthy, straight and carrot-like rhizomes. Fingerroot crops might stay for 5 months, producing younger shoots and rhizomes you should use within the coming years. You might begin harvesting mature roots at the very least 4 to 5 months after planting. If you wish to use younger fingerroots, look forward to round one to 2 months after planting to reap them.

What are the attainable uncomfortable side effects of fingerroot?

A examine carried out on male rats discovered that fingerroot extracts had been protected and did not set off uncomfortable side effects.29 Nonetheless, it is best to remain protected and speak to your physician earlier than consuming, dealing with or rising fingerroot. You’ll have allergy symptoms to it or a few of its elements, or have situations which will forestall you from reaping its well being advantages.

Why it is time to strive the colourful fingerroot

Identical to folks from Asian nations who’ve been utilizing it for a few years, you might depend on fingerroot for potential well being advantages. Though it might not be as fashionable as different members of the ginger household, some research have confirmed it could be as useful. It is by no means too late to strive including fingerroot to your dishes to see the way you prefer it.

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