Why is Fingerroot Good for Health?

Updated on February 20th, 2020
finger root

With a scientific name boesenbergia rotunda, fingerroot is a kind of rhizome from the ginger family, that many folks across Asia consider a valuable addition to meals and a potential remedy for certain illnesses.

A well-known spice and a therapeutic crop, fingerroot is grown in India, Sri Lanka, southern China, and Southeast Asian countries, like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Interestingly, the fingerroot was named due to the way it is shaped, with multiple fingers meeting at a certain point.

Nutritional value of fingerroot

Fingerroot is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, like sodium, potassium, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin C, flavonoids, prenyl, and essential oils.

Fingerroot benefits

1. Gastrointestinal disease treatment

Due to its superior efficacy, fingerroot has been popular in folk medicine to treat gastrointestinal issues, like diarrhea, stomach ache, flatulence, and colic disorder amongst others. Blended with other herbs, it may be used to treat constipation and bloating. Fingerroot has also been proven to be effective in strengthening the stomach. It helps in preventing the formation of gas in our gastrointestinal tracts and even helps to expel gas from our intestinal tracts.

[Read: Probiotics for Gastritis]

2. Can be used as a diuretic

A diuretic promotes the easy passage of urine. If you have been experiencing difficulty in passing urine, try combining and using Pimpinella anisum (anise), and fingerroot together in a blend. This diuretic may be effective for both children and adults.

3. Anti-inflammatory properties


Inflammation is the body’s sign of fighting an affliction. However, sometimes inflammation can be painful and need to be controlled. Fingerroot contains anti-inflammatory properties and may be used to treat gout, muscle pain, rheumatism, and arthritic pain amongst others. It might also be traditionally used to reduce inflammation in women’s uterus.

4. Great for dental care

Fingerroot is great for dental care and may be used for fighting tooth decay and cavities, oral odor, denture stomatitis, mouth irritation, and other tooth and gum ailments. You may also use a fingerroot to treat bad breath, which occurs as a result of odor from the stomach, tonsil, esophagus, and nose.

[Read: Herbs for Toothache]

5. Antiseptic properties

Fingerroot has certain antiseptic properties, and a tincture of it may be used for effective healing and treating wounds. Antiseptics help to prevent infections and may slow or stop the growth of germs or bacteria in a wound. Fingerroot also has strong antibacterial properties and may be effective in battling bacteria.

6. Antimicrobial and antifungal properties

Aqueous extracts of fingerroot possess antimicrobial properties and are quite effective in inhibiting the growth and spread of food-borne pathogens such as E. coli. The anti-fungal properties of fingerroot and its chloroform extract, have been proven to stop the spread of Candida species of fungi on the human body.

7. Anti-cancer properties

cure of cancer
Image: Shutterstock

One of the most important aspects of fingerroot is its use in fighting cancer. It contains certain compounds that inhibit the activity of certain enzymes. As time progresses, researchers are delving more into using plants and herbs as a potential solution for cancer intervention(1).

8. Treatment of parasites

Fingerroot has anti-anthelmintic properties and is very effective for expelling parasitic worms. Fingerroot may be blended together with coconut milk and may be used for the removal of helminths. Fingerroot extract is also effective against parasites like roundworms, and protozoan parasites. Therefore, if you have parasites, consult your physician and find out if fingerroot may be a natural cure instead of allopathic medicines.

[Read: Benefits of Finger Root]

9. Aphrodisiac properties

Fingerroot contains aphrodisiac properties and may be used to increase libido and sexual urge. Fingerroot may also be used to treat male sexual dysfunction. In Thailand, fingerroot has been used to increase sperm count and male libido(2).

How to use a fingerroot?

This magical herb may be ingested by the human body in multiple ways. You may consume a concoction known as fingerroot tea, which is made by adding the essence to boiling water. You may also use fingerroot powder mixed in water.

Fingerroot oil may be used externally wherever applicable. When it comes to culinary uses, fingerroot is a popular flavoring and may be used as a good spice for countering certain flavors. You may add fingerroot seasoning to your regular meals to make them more interesting and add a bit of flavor.

[ Read: Benefits of Gravel Root ]

Myths and side effects

Being a natural extract, fingerroot has no side effects. However, as a precaution, it is always better to talk to your doctor before you consume, handle, or attempt to grow this herb. You might be allergic to some of its components. Alternatively, certain pre-existing health conditions may prevent you from reaping its full benefits.

In conclusion, fingerroot is a great herb that may be a wonderful addition to your diet. In addition to having many benefits, it may also add a unique culinary twist to whatever you cook.

Since it is completely natural, you may consume it without worries after consulting with your physician. Whether you decide to use fingerroot alone or in conjunction with other herbs, or use it as an additive in certain dishes is up to you. Given its versatility, the herb may be used in many different ways. So bring this herb into your diet, and improve your lifestyle.


1. Is Fingerroot Good for Weight Loss?

There have been studies to suggest that fingerroot and ginger in general, may enhance calorie burn and reduce hunger pangs, thus leading to weight loss in overweight adults. However, before treating obesity with the herb, it may be prudent to consult a physician.

2. Can You Consume Fingerroot Raw?

The herb has a strong pungent odor. It needs to be washed before it can be consumed.

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