Alpinia oxyphylla

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Other Names:

Historical Use of Alpinia oxyphylla

Alpinia oxyphylla in Traditional Chinese Medicine


Chinese Name (pinyin): Yizhi (Yizhiren)

Chinese Name  :

Common Name  :Bitter Cardamon

Specific Name  : Fructus alpiniae oxyphyllae

Scientific Name:
Collection  : The drug is collected in summer and autumn when the fruit turns from green to red, dried in the sun or at a low temperature.

Description  : Ellipsoidal with both ends slightly acute, 1.2 - 2cm long, 1 - 1.3cm in diameter. Externally brown with 13 - 20 longitudinal, uneven and prominent lines on the surface, remains of parianth on the apex and fruit stlk at the base. Pericarp thin and slightly tenacious, adhering closely to seeds. Seeds gathered in groups and divided into three valves by septum with 6 - 11 seeds in each valve. Individual seed irregular oblate with slightly obtuse ribs about 3mm in diameter, externally greyish brown or greyish yellow, covered with pale brown membranous aril. Texture hard, endosperm white, odor characteritically aromatic, taste pungent and slightly bitter.

Identification  : 1.Transverse section of the seed: Parenchymatous cells sometimes remained, epidermal cells of testa subrounded, subsquare or rectangular, slightly radially elongated, relatively thick walled. Hypodermis consisting of 1 row of parenchymatous cells, containing yellowish brown contents. Oil cells 1 row, subsquare or rectangular containing yellow oil droplets, pigment layers consisting of several rows of yellowish brown cells. Scattered with 1 - 3 rows of relatively large subrounded oil cells containing yellow oil droplets. Tegment consisting of 1 row of palisade sclerenchyma cells. Yellowish brown or reddish brown, the inner and lateral walls extremely thick, lumina small containing a silica body. Perisperm cells filled with starch granules. Endosperm cell contain aleurone grains and fatty oil dropletsPowder: Yellowish brown, epidermal cells of testa, strap shaped in surface view, up to 29µm in diameter, walls slightly thickened, often vertical with hypodermis. Cells of pigment layer wrinkled, indistincly bordered, containing reddish brown and dark brown contents. Most cells broken to irregular pigment fragments. Oil cells subsquare, rectangular or scattered among the cells of pigment layer. Sclerenvhymatous cells of tegment yellowish brown, polygonal in surface view, walls thickened and unlignified, containing silica bodies, in section view, showing 1 row of plaisade like cells. The inner and lateral walls extremely thickened, lumina eccentric,, containing silca bodies. Perisperm cells filled with starch masses, aggregated of fine starch granules. Endosperm cells containing aleurone grains and fatty oil droplets.2.Dissolve a quantity of volatile oil obtained under Assay in dehydrated ethanol to produced a solution containing 10µl per ml as the test solution. Produce a solution of Fructus Oxyphyllae reference drug in the same manner use as the reference drug solution. Carry out the method for thin layer chromatography (Appendix Vl B) using silca gel GF254 as the coating substance and n-hexane-ethyl acetate (9:1) as the mobile phase. Apply separately to the plate 5 - 10µl of each of the two solutions. After developing and removal of the plate, dry it in the air, examine under ultra vilet light (254nm). The dark spot in the chromatogram obtained with the test solution correspond in position and color to the spot in the chromatogram obatined with the reference drug solution then spray with dinitrophenylhydrazine dilute Ts and the spots become gradually orange red for a moment.Assay: Carry out the method for determination of volatile oil (Appendix X D). The seeds contain not less than 1.0% (ml/g) of volatile oil.

Processing  : Semen alpiniae oxyphyllae: eliminate foreign matter and pericarp, break to pieces before use.Semen alpiniae oxyphyllae (processed with salt): stir fry as describe under the method for stir frying with salt (Appendix ll D) to dryness, break to pieces before use.

Action  : To warm the spleen, relieve diarrhea and arrest excessive discharge of saliva, and to warm the kidney, and arrest seminal discharge and abnormal urination.

Indication  : cold syndrome of the spleen characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain with cold sensation and salivation; cold syndrome of the kidney characterized by enuresis, frequent urination, seminal emission and whitish discharge from the urethra

Precautions  :

Dosage  : 3 to 9 g.

Storage  : Preserve in a cool and dry place.

Synonymns for Alpinia oxyphylla

Patent Medicines and Medicines with Multiple Ingredients that include Alpinia oxyphylla

Pharmaceutical Information

Chemical Constituents

Evidence or the Use of Alpinia oxyphylla in the Treatment of Epilepesy

Basic Science

Animal Studies

Cohort, Case-Control and Non-Randomized Trials

Randomized Controlled Trials


1st Five Results: pubmed search

Zhi-Hong Ji, Hong Zhao, Chao Liu, Xin-Yu Yu
In-vitro neuroprotective effect and mechanism of 2β-hydroxy-δ-cadinol against amyloid β-induced neuronal apoptosis.
Neuroreport: 2020, 31(3);245-250
[PubMed:31895745] [] [DOI] (I p)

Wenting Shi, Jing Zhong, Qian Zhang, Chunyan Yan
Structural characterization and antineuroinflammatory activity of a novel heteropolysaccharide obtained from the fruits of Alpinia oxyphylla.
Carbohydr Polym: 2020, 229;115405
[PubMed:31826414] [] [DOI] (I p)

Li-Hong Duan, Meng Li, Chun-Bao Wang, Qing-Mei Wang, Quan-Quan Liu, Wan-Feng Shang, Ya-Jin Shen, Zhuo-Hua Lin, Tong-Yang Sun, Zheng-Zhi Wu, Ying-Hong Li, Yu-Long Wang, Xun Luo
Neural Regen Res: 2020, 15(4);682-689
[PubMed:31638092] [] [DOI] (P p)

Yun Mi Lee, Eunjung Son, Seung-Hyung Kim, Dong-Seon Kim
Effect of Alpinia oxyphylla extract in vitro and in a monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis rat model.
Phytomedicine: 2019, 65;153095
[PubMed:31568919] [] [DOI] (I p)

Qing Niu, Yumei Gao, Pinghuai Liu
Prep. Biochem. Biotechnol.: 2020, 50(1);82-90
[PubMed:31545661] [] [DOI] (I p)



Side Effect and Warnings

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Adverse Effects