Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anti-aging plants

Torch ginger, Etlingera elatior,  has long been posted here several times, and by several bloggers. Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden even gave several uses and posted some recipe because the heart of the flowers are considered vegetables mixed in stews in Malaysia.

It comes with many names in different countries, and many uses too. Sometimes it is also called Philippine wax flower. However here in the country, it is not eaten but considered a commercial ornamental plant. Due to the big sizes at the vegetative stage, they need plenty or room to grow, hence they are normally seen in wide landscapes of big buildings, hotels and resorts. And the cutflowers are used in big flower arrangements used also in functions for big establishments; hotels, restaurants, and conferences.  

nicely camouflaging the rock walls of a big hotel, green leaves are also aesthetically suited for this use, as well as backgrounds for shorter flowering plants

The flower stalks come out directly from ground and not at the terminal ends of the plant. This habit lends itself favorably to be used as cutflowers. On the other hand, the rhizomes typical of plants in the ginger family, are the ones planted and also being sold to gardeners.


Flowers at all stages of development are very beautiful, which show already some reddish tinges even at the flower stalks. The above photos show all the flower stages.

the fully mature inflorescence, showing the bracts drooping down at the sides exposing the torch-looking inflorescence

 Aside from its use as food and aesthetics, Etlingera elatior leaves have been reported to produce the   highest antioxidant, antibacterial and tyrosinase inhibition activities among five Etlingera species. Some of these antioxidant compounds are three caffeoylquinic acids including chlorogenic acid (CGA), and three flavonoids of quercitin, isoquercitin and catechin. Source:  Wikipedia

Anti-oxidant properties are the compounds which not only help humans stay healthy, but also help us stay young, active and beautiful. These compounds react with the products of metabolism like toxins, and the much publicized free radicals.

These are some medicinal uses of quercitin:

Quercetin is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems. It is also used for diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcer, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), preventing cancer, and for treating chronic infections of the prostate. Quercetin is also used to increase endurance and improve athletic performance. Source: http://www.webmd.com/

A lot more uses of quercitin are enumerated here: as in anti-inflamation and allergies, and a lot more.
Source: http://www.supplementfacts.com/BioflavonoidBookS3.htm

For other medicinal properties please visit www.stuartxchange.org/TorchGinger.html



  1. Hi Andrea we have a herbal supplement called Q10 here and now I know where it originates from. This plant just looks amazing. I had never heard or seen it until I read this.

  2. This is certainly a distinctive plant.
    The flowers are gorgeous.

  3. aloha andrea,

    its one of my favorite gingers and takes no major effort to grow and bloom in gardens here.

    thanks for sharing the other qualities of these amazing plants

  4. Wow !!! This is a very beautiful flower.

  5. What a pretty flower in all stages of growth. That was a nice write up on the plant too.

  6. Wow, that ginger has a gorgeous bloom, and I think I am one who may need some of that supplement. Will have to be on the lookout....

    Great post!

  7. I had never heard of that...pretty flowers too...Michelle

  8. I must grow this. It is really beautiful.

  9. All ginger family look exotic when you plant them in your garden and not only they are used for cooking, most of them have gorgeous flowers like this one, so beautifully captured. Great write-up and photos!

  10. My dear, thank you very much for the kind mention. I have never regretted growing this plant eventhough it takes up a lot of garden space. We eat the the raw flower buds, mainly as garnishing. So glad to know about the medicinal properties.

  11. Very beautiful torches! I didn't know they had so many uses

  12. Hi Andrea,

    How can one harvest the antioxidant from this plant? Can it be boiled or does it have to be processed? I have high cholesterol and I need all the antioxidant I can get. For those like me, I would recommend reading this report about lower cholesterol.


Your comments inspire me to post more, and our conversations make life and gardening more meaningful.

However, Anonymous comments and personal back links give me problems, so i don't publish them. Anonymous + back links = SPAM = DELETE

Related Posts with Thumbnails