Dengue fever is one of the mosquito-borne flavivirus which include dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever. There are four serotypes of dengue, and recent research shows that contracting one type of dengue can cause more serious infection when reinfected with other serotypes. The after effects of dengue and other flaviviruses are becoming quite concerning to the global community.
Dengue affects 50-100 million people each year mostly in urban areas as the lifespan of the Aedes aegypti mosquito is only two to four weeks, during which time they travel no more than 500 metres. This has made the epidemic more lethal, as an outbreak is difficult to control in highly populated areas like cities and tourism hotspots in the tropical world.
Western medicine has no effective drugs to treat dengue, and so traditional herbal medicines like temu kunci give new hope as research shows that the flaviviruses are inhibited through the action of natural bioflavonoids and chalcones present in kunci. Certain medicinal parts of plants have been used since ancient times across many different countries and were the main mean in many of the traditional healing modalities. From Chinese herbalists to Indian Ayurvedic traditions and all through Southern Asia, Kunchi has been used for centuries with no known side effects.
Temu kunci, a member of Zingiberaceae is an important medicinal plant. Traditionally, it is used to treat diseases such as leucorrhoea, dysentery and inflammation (Burkill, 1935).
The pharmacological significance of this plant is mainly due to the presence of flavonoid, flavones, essential oil and chalcones (Jaipetch et al., 1982, Trakoontivakorn et al., 2001). Fahey and Stephenson (2002).