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Fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata)

Plant family

Zingiberaceae (ginger family).

Botanical synonyms

Kaempferia pandurata


Southern China and Southeast Asia.

Used plant part


Sensoric quality

Strongly medical.

Main constituents

Fingerroot contains 1 to 3% of an essential oil. Several aroma components have been identified, 1-8 cineol, camphor, d-borneol and methyl cinnamate being the most important. Trace components are d-pinene, zingiberene, zingiberone, curcumin, zedoarin and others. In other context, the rose-flavoured monoterpenoid alkohols geraniol and nerol are named.

Fresh fingerroot


This spice is an old Chinese medicine and has found limited use as spice in some parts of South East Asia. Its center of popularity, however, is Thailand, where the grated rhizome is added to vegetable or fish curries; it appears frequently in Thai curry pastes. Slices of the dried rhizome are used if no fresh rhizome is available.

Source :

European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands