Shati (Hedychium spicatum) Herb Overview

Shati (Hedychium spicatum) image

Shati (Hedychium spicatum), commonly known as spiked ginger lily, is found in the entire Himalayan region. It is a perennial rhizomatous herb, commonly found in Central and Western Himalayas at altitudes of 3500-7500 ft. Shati plant requires a rich moist soil and sunny weather. It can be grown in a sunny border as a sub-tropical bedding plant, tolerating temperatures down to -2oC.

Traditionally, the rhizomes are used in the management of respiratory disorders, fevers, hypotensive, acts as an anti spasmodic, CNS depressant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti asthmatic, hypoglycemic, vasodilator, antioxidant, antifungal, pediculicidal and cytotoxic activities.     

 Scientific Classification of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliphyta
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Genus: Hedychium
  • Species: spicatum

Shati (Hedychium spicatum) Synonyms:

  • English: Spiked ginger lily
  • Hindi: Kapurkachari
  • Bengali: Shati, Kachri, Kapurakachari
  • Gujarati: Kapurkachari, Kapurkachali, Kapur
  • Kannada: Goul kachora, Seena kachora, kachora, Gandhashati
  • Malayalam: Katcholam, Katchooram
  • Marathi: Kapurakachari, Gablakachari
  • Punjabi: Kachur, kachoor, Bankela, Kachur, Banhaldi, Shalwi, Sheduri
  • Tamil: Poolankizangu, Kichili Kizongu
  • Telugu: Gandhakachuralu
  • Oriya: Gandhasunthi

Shati (Hedychium spicatum) Description:

Shati (Hedychium spicatum)a) Macroscopic: The rhizomes of Shati are 15-20 cm long, 20-25 mm in diameter. Externally it is yellowish-brown but on storage it changed to dark brown. The edge of each piece is covered by a rough reddish-brown layer marked with various scars and circular rings. The rudiments of root-lets visible, odor are camphoraceous, and taste is bitter.


Microscopic view of Shati (Hedychium spicatum)b) Microscopic: The transverse section of rhizome shows an outermost thick layer of suberised, and dark brown cells of outer cork consisting of 10-15 or more layers of irregular parenchymatous cells. The inner cork consisting of a few layered light brown, rectangular, radially arranged cells followed by a wide zone of cortex. Some cortical cells filled with flattened and oval-oblong starch grains. A thin endodermal layer present beneath cortex. The central cylinder distinguished by presence of peripheral plexus of irregular congested vascular bundles with poorly developed mechanical tissues.

The vascular bundles scattered irregularly throughout ground tissue, bundles closed and collateral possessing group of two or more xylem elements. The ground tissue is composed of large parenchymatous cells with abundant starch grains and oil.

Identity, Purity, and Strength of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

  • Foreign matter                                      Not more than 1 per cent,                     Appendix                2.2.
  • Total Ash                                               Not more than 8 per cent,                     Appendix                2.3.
  • Acid-insoluble ash                                 Not more than 2 per cent,                    Appendix                 2.4.
  • Alcohol-soluble extractive                     Not less than 4 per cent,                     Appendix                 2.6.
  • Water-soluble extractive                        Not less than 8 per cent,                     Appendix                  2.7.

Chemical Constituents of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

The essential oil of Shati contains beta-terpineol, limonene, beta- phellandrene, cineole, gamma-terpinene, pcymene, linalool as major constituents. The plant is rich in starch, carbonic acid and volatile oils.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

  • Rasa (taste): Katu, Tikta, Kshaya
  • Guna (quality): Laghu, Tikshana
  • Virya (potency): Ushna
  • Vipaka  (taste conversion after digestion): Katu
  • Karma: Grahi, Shoolhara, Kaphavataghana, Mukhashodhana

Ayurvedic Formulations made by Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

The major compositions of Shati are Agastya Haritaki Rasayana, Satyadi churna.

Therapeutic Uses of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

Shati can be used in Vrana, Kasa, Shwasa, Rakta shodhaka, Hidhma, Maladaurgandhya, Mukhavairasya, Kandu, Chardi, Rakta shodhaka,

Dose of Shati (Hedychium spicatum):

1-3 g of the drug in powder form.


Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India.


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