A Different Kind of Ginger: Getto ‘Shell Ginger’

Ginger Family

Alpinia zerumbet or Alpinia speciosa

The Getto plant can be found in most Okinawan people’s backyards and alongside many streets and paths of the island. It is not just used as a beautiful decoration though. It is used for a variety of ailments, food, and makeup in Japan. It is mainly cultivated in Japan and China and surrounding country areas of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is also found in South Florida, Hawaii, the Amazon, and a few other sub-tropical/tropical areas. It is a part of the ginger family but looks different from your typical ginger. The leaves, seeds, and rhizome are harvested and used to make food and cosmetics.

Despite it being cultivated in so many places,

the health benefits and its uses in goods are often overlooked.

Strong Antioxidant


A Good Source of Health-promoting Polyphenols

This study found Getto to be a powerful anti-oxidant and to have phenolic compounds.

Polyphenols are compounds that contain the anti-oxidant activity and give food and goods it’s color and taste.
Eating concentrated polyphenols directly is toxic (be careful of scams!), but eating it contained within natural fruit and vegetables is enormously beneficial for health. Some phenolic compounds are even linked to preventing cancer.

The polyphenols found in Getto is similar to that in red wine, but the Getto’s polyphenols activity is 34 times stronger than red wine.


Research shows Getto has significant anti-microbial activity against bacteria. Essential oils extracted from Getto expressed anti-bacterial activity against both gram-positive bacteria and gram-negative bacteria, as well as Candida.

Another study shows Getto has anti-fungal activity. Essential oil of Getto produced inhibition zones of 10mm against dermatophytes, a fungus that leads to athlete’s foot and ringworm.



Positive for Cardio Health

Research for Getto’s affect on the heart and muscle shows to be advantageous. Getto tea has been researched to play a part in regulating blood pressure and relieve hypertension.

Another study concluded Getto has cardio-depressive effects, in other words, reduces the heart rate, by partially relaxing the cardio muscle. It also is a vasorelaxant, a relaxant of the cardio muscles.


This study concluded Getto to be effective on the lifespan of C. elegans, or a non-parasitic roundworm, that fights free radicals in the body and boosts the number of stress-resistant proteins necessary for preventing wrinkles and other aging symptoms. It proves to be an effective ingredient in aging and age-related diseases dietary supplements.


Research shows Getto’s phenolic compounds are effective against secondary platelet aggregation, or blood clotting, which leads to stroke and heart disease.

This research delves even further into the numerous qualities Getto that help the health of the body with no toxic side-effects. It covers its anti-hypertensive action, drops in blood pressure, and improve symptoms of headaches and hot flashes of menopause, varicose veins (enlarged veins near the skin’s surface), insomnia, and anxiety.

The study concludes with the statement that the species of the Getto plant shows no side effects and is inexpensive compared to current treatments towards these types of ailments.


Research has concluded Getto has anxiolytic effects. In this study, the mice showed relaxed reactions in their behavior under observation when under pressure or expecting anxiety or nervousness.


Getto has relaxing and antipsychotic effects when used on mice and observing their locomotor activity, depression, anxiety, and nervousness. Plus, the leaves are used for other neuropsychiatric symptoms and chronic problems that are associated with reproductive hormone imbalances in women.


Hispidin, DK, and DDK, compounds of Getto, has proven to have anti-obesity properties by reducing triglycerides, which are fat lipids, or the unused calories stored into fat cells after you eat.

Hispidin stimulated glycerol release and suppressed lipid accumulation which is essentially the build-up of fat.

Getto has significant potential to be used towards weight-loss.


Analgesic Action,



Getto has antinociceptive effects, or in other words, has abilities to reduce sensitivity to painful stimuli. Getto has effects similar to painkillers when consumed.

This study includes three qualities: anti-inflammatory, painkiller, and fever reducing. The research concluded oil extracted from the rhizome of Getto has better anti-inflammatory effects than standard drug i.e. indomethacin. It has significantly stronger painkiller effects than standard drug paracetamol. It also showed significant fever reducing abilities in contrast to standard drug paracetamol.

 * The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this website is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.