Research News

Aug 28, 2023

  • Human Life and Ecology

New study reveals anti-cancer properties in Kencur ginger

A Southeast Asian ginger, could be a potential component for new anti-cancer markers

Kencur(Kaempferia galanga L.)a tropical plant of the ginger family cultivated mainly in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries

Jamu – an Indonesian drink prepared from Kencur ginger

Credit: Akiko Kojima, Osaka Metropolitan University

You may know it as an aromatic spice to add flavor to your dishes or as a soothing herbal remedy to use for upset stomachs, but researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University have uncovered promising findings that Kencur, a tropical plant in the ginger family native to Southeast Asia, possesses anti-cancer effects.

Led by Associate Professor Akiko Kojima of the Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology, the researchers demonstrated that Kencur extract and its main active component, ethyl p-methoxycinnamate (EMC), significantly suppressed cancer cell growth at the cellular and animal levels.

While previous studies on EMC indicated its anti-cancer potential by decreasing the expression of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), which is associated with cancer cell proliferation, the exact mechanism remained unclear until now.

“The results of this study confirm the anti-cancer effects of Kencur extract and its main active ingredient, EMC. It is highly expected that TFAM will become a new marker for anti-cancer effects in the future as research advances in related fields,” Professor Kojima stated.

Their findings were published in Heliyon.


JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number {JP20K11626}

Paper Information

Journal: Heliyon
Title: Kaempferia galanga L. extract and its main component, ethyl p-methoxycinnamate, inhibit the proliferation of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells by suppressing TFAM expression
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17588
Author: Yutaro Sasaki, Toshio Norikura, Isao Matsui-Yuasa, Ritsuko Fujii, Leenawaty Limantara, Akiko Kojima-Yuasa
Published: 23 June 2023



Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology
Akiko Kojima
E-mail kojima-yuasa [at]

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