Friday, January 8, 2010

Herbs - Etlingera eliator


Let’s start this year with some medicinal plants or herbs. I would like to introduce you guys with this plant but I am sure it is already well-known. If you Google it using scientific name Etlingera eliator you will fine at least 14, 500 results. Meanwhile using English name, Torch Ginger you will get about 58, 000 results and using Malay common name Bunga Kantan you will hit about 128, 000 results. So, it means that this plants is already known by most of people in the world (this is just my random thought, can not be really count on it because maybe some of you doesn’t know about the existence of this plants).

Photocredit to PIER

As describe by Smith (1979) this plant is “a coarse herb growing in large clumps 3-6 m high; its leaves are up to 85 x 18 cm; the scape may be as much as 1.5 m tall, and the inflorescence bracts are bright red; the inner perianth segments are pink, the labellum being red with a yellow or white margin and the anther red; the fruits are green to reddish".
This plant is widely distributed in Malesia, subsequently introduced into the Philippines, and now widely cultivated elsewhere (Smith, 1979). However, it is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and S Thailand but widely cultivated and naturalized in SE Asia.

Photocredit to travelpenang.com

This plant can be cultivated for ornament too despite of most people used it in traditional medicine and as a flavor in local dishes.

I love the aromatic smell very much. Any dishes that prepared with this plant will make my mouth watering.


My trip to one of Murut village last year gives me a chance to see how they prepare food using this herb. However, unlucky that I didn’t snap any photos of the dishes that they served. But, I am telling you that this herb really can spice up any dishes that you prepared.
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