Temu Kunci/Fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata)


Figure 1 : Fingerroot rhizome

Figure 2. Fingerroot Plant

1. Name of Plant
Scientific name : Boesenbergia pandurata
Synonym: Gastrochilus panduratum (Roxb) Schult.; Kaempferia pandurata (Roxb); Boesenbergia rotunda
Common name / trade: Temu kunci
Local name : Temu kunci (Indonesia), koncih (Sumatera), Tamu kunci (Minangkabau), Konce (Madura), Kunci (jawa tengah), Dumu kunci (Bima), Tamu konci (Makasar), Tumu kunci (Ambon), Anipa wakang (Hila-Alfuru), Aruhu Konci (Haruku), Sun (Buru) Rutu kakuzi (Seram), Tamputi (Ternate)
Foreign name: Fingerroot (Inggris), Krachai (Thailand), Chinese key (Cina).

2. Classification of Plants
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Liliopsida
Order : Zingiberales
Family : Zingiberaceae
Genus : Boesenbergia
Species : Boesenbergia pandurata

3. Description of Plant

Fingerroot is a low herb, creep in the soil. Within a year of growth 0,3-0,9 cm. The trunk is the original rod in the ground as rhizomes, yellow brown, aromatic, thickened, sized 5-30 x 0,5-2 cm. The stem above the ground is pseudo-stem (pelepah daun). The leaves of this plant are generally 2-7 strands, leaves under the form of a red leaf midrib without the leaf blade. This plant petiole grooved, hairless, length 7-16 cm, triangular tongues widen, resemble membranes, length 1-1,5 cm, leaf midrib often equal in length to the petiole; its leaves erect, lanceolate shape width or rather elliptic, pointed leaves tip, smooth surface but the bottom bit hairy, especially along the bone leaves, color light green leaves, width 5-11 cm.
This plant flowers such as grain composition unlimited, in the leaves axillary, protected by 2 spatha, stem length 41 cm, generally stalk hidden inside 2 leaves most end. 3 pieces of loose petals, pointy. Crown of flowers 3 pieces, the color pink or yellow-white, tubular 50-52 mm, parts of the plant that is above ground be split apart, lancet-shaped with a width of 4 mm and length 18 mm. Stamen 1 large fertile, anthers line-shaped open lengthwise. Other such as lip (staminodia) obovate obtuse, pink or lemon yellow, bald, 6 bone leaves and its size 25×7 cm. Pistil of the flower such as ovary 3 space, many seeds in each space (Plantus, 2008).

4. Habitat and distribution

These plants are grown from lowland tropical regions. Flowering time in January-February, April-June. Regional distribution and habitat of this plant was growing wild in the plains, in the teak forests. This plant grows well in hot and humid climate in the relatively fertile soil with air exchange and good water governance. In the land of poor water governance (frequently flooded by water, or muddy the growth will be disturbed and rhizome rot faster) (Plantus, 2008). Reproduce fingerroot can be done by cutting the rhizome into several parts (each section there are at least 2 buds) and planting at a spacing 3000 cm.

5. Benefits of Plant

Generally, public using the fingerroot rhizome as sputum or cough to cope, laxative fart, appetite enhancer, heal canker sores, spices, and hyper secretion of breast milk. Essential oils of rhizome fingerroot ( Boesenbergia pandurata) also have an effect on the growth of Entamoeba coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; otherwise it can have an effect on the dissolution of calcium kidney stones in in vitro. Juice and infusion rhizome fingerroot, has analgesic and antipyretic power. Beside it can have the effect of abortivum, resorption and affect the weight of rat fetuses. Rhizome extract soluble in ethanol and acetone as an antioxidant effect in experiments with fish oil so as to inhibit rancidity process. From other studies, it is known that fingerroot rhizome extract can inhibit bacterial isolates of Orf disease (Ektima kontagiosa) (Plantus, 2008).

Besides Indonesia evidently many other countries that also take the advantage of fingerroot. In Thailand, rhizome of fingerroot commonly used as seasoning. In addition, this plant has also been used as a medicine aprodisiac, dysentery, anti-inflammatory, colic, and to maintain a healthy body. In Malaysia, the rhizome is used as a key meeting as an upset stomach and dekoksi in women after childbirth.

6. Researches

Sohn et al. (2005) states that panduratin A strong inhibiting cell growth of cancer HepG2 induced by tert-Butylhydroperoxide (t-BHP). tert-Butylhydroperoxide (t-BHP) is a compound that is commonly used to induce cancer formation mechanism of intermediates free radical. Panduratin A protect cells HepG2 through improvement of oxidative damage caused by t-BHP by capturing free radicals. Trakoontivakorn et al. (2001) stated that the methanolic extract of the rhizome fingerroot have antimutagenic effect in Trp-P-1 in Amest test. Six active substance that showed antimutagenic are kalkon, cardamonin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, 4-hidroksipanduratin, and panduratin A. IC50 each substance is 5.2 ± 0.4m M, 5.9 ± 0.7 m M, 6.9 ± 0.8 m M, 5.3 ± 1.0 m M, 12.7 ± 0.7 m M and 12.1± 0.8. Sixth contents of this fingerroot showed similar inhibition induced mutagenesis. All of them is a strong inhibitor N-hydroxylation Trp-P-2. Mechanism of action of these active substances which inhibit the first activation of heterocyclic amines. Kirana et al. (2006) have observed that panduratin A can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells MCF7 and colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 in humans through inhibition of COX-2 which is an important factor in the development of inflammatory and tumor cells. Additionally, panduratin A also been demonstrated to have antimutagenic activity through induction Quinon Reduktase (QR) which is a phase enzyme II. Phase enzyme II has an important role in the cellular defense mechanism and metabolism, such as detoxification of electrophilic compounds. Cells HT-29 were treated with panduratin A shows the symptoms of apoptosis, such membranes are bulging, shortening of chromatin and or nucleus fragmentation and apoptotic bodies when the cells were stained with Hoechst 33258. Yun et al. (2006) have proved that Panduratin A which is derived from kalkon also have various biological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant. In previous studies, it has been proven that panduratin A has anti-inflammatory effects in cell models RAW 264.7. However, further research showed that Panduratin A potential as anticancer with the mechanism of action induces apoptosis in colon cancer cells HT29. In colon cancer, panduratin A more potent than a selective inhibitor COX-2, for example Celecoxib; and antitumor drugs (5-flurouracil and Cisplatin). Panduratin A can also stimulate apoptosis through caspase activation. Caspase enzymes play an important role in the mechanism of apoptosis. Evidence suggests that TRAIL and FAS signaling pathway plays a role in chemotherapy-induced apoptosis, the activation of initiator caspase 8 or caspase 3, 6 and 7. Induction of apoptosis and or inhibition of cell division is closely linked to the activation of intracellular signaling pathways to stop the cell cycle at the G1 phase, S, or G2 / M. Treatment with panduratin A in CaP cells, indicating a decrease in the protein levels of cyclin B1, cdc25C and Cdc2. At certain doses, the use of panduratin A can also reduce levels of cyclins D1 and E1 simultaneously will also reduce the activity of CDK2, CDK4, and CDK6. These data indicate that panduratin A is important in the regulation of the cell cycle. Research has shown that the cell cycle stops at the G2 / M transition by DNA destroyer agents associated with induced expression of p21WAF / Cip1. p27KIP1 is another member of the Cdk1 inhibitor that can bind and inhibit the activity of CDK. It was found that p27KIP1 and / or p21WAF / Cip1 experience in PC3 and DU145 upregulation by use Panduratin A. Thus, it can be said that, in the presence of upregulation of p27KIP1 and / or p21WAF / Cip1 least will lower cyclins expression and activation CDK. This is panduratin A mechanism to inhibit CaP cell growth and trigger the cells to stop dividing.


Kirana, C., Jones, G.P., Record, I.R., and McIntosh, G.H., 2006, Anticancer Properties of Panduratin A Isolated from Boesenbergia Pandurata (Zingiberaceae), Journal of Natural Medicine, 61:131-137.

Plantus, 2008, Fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata Roxb. Schult). [15 Maret 2008].

Sohn, J.H., Han, K.L., Lee, S.H., and Hwang, J.K., 2005, Protective Effects of Panduratin Against Oxidative Damage of tert-Butylhydroperoxide in Human HepG2 Cells, Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 28(6):1083-1086.

Trankoontivakorn, G., Nakahara, K., Shinmoto, H., Takenaka, M., Kameyama, M.O., Ono, H., Yoshida, H.M., Nagata, T., and Tsushida, T., 2001. Structural Analysis of a Novel Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids in Thai Spice, Fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata Schult.) Against Mutagenic Heterocyclic Amines, J. Agric. Food. Chem, 49(6):3046-3050.

Yun, J.M., Kweon, M.H., Kwon, H.J., Hwang, J.K., and Mukhtar, H., 2006, Induction of Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest by a Chalcone Panduratin A Isolated from Kaempferia pandurata in Androgen-Independent Human Prostate Cancer Cells PC3 and DU145, Carcinogenesis Advance Access, 27(7):1454-1464.

Contributors : Fina Aryani Geonadi, Maya Fitria, Diah Putri Ayu W, Endang Sulistyorini dan Nur Asyiah