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Profiling Kapoor Kachli (Hedychium spicatum)

Kapoor Kachli powder comes from a small ginger plant that grows to about 1m. The latin botanical name of the plant is Hedychium Spicatum. Even though it’s considered a kind of ginger, Kapoor Kachli is not a sub-species of Zingiber officinale, which is the Latin name for the ginger root we buy at the grocery store. The English name for the plant from which the herb comes from is Spiked Ginger Lily; characteristically named after it’s spikes and lily like flowers.

kapoor kachli

As typical of many herbs native to the West Indies, spiked ginger lily will have different names based on different growing regions:

  • Kapoor Kachli
  • Kapur Kachri
  • Kapur Kachadi
  • Kapur Kachari

It follows that Kapoor Kachli would have similar characteristics to the common ginger root. It has a tingling sensation although at a much lower dose than cayenne or mint – this sensation is believed to stimulate blood flow to the scalp. Kapoor Kachli is also antiseptic, which makes it an ideal herb for mild scalp conditions like dandruff and infections.
***Kapoor Kachli, like ginger, is also apparently great for hair loss but I really wouldn’t know much about that.

kapoor kachli


  • The thick grain consistency makes it impossible to work with this mud. It’s the worst one I have ever tried.
  • I don’t care for how it smells.
  • It does have a very mild tingling sensation.
  • My hair felt swollen – same effect as brahmi and stinging nettle muds.
  • Post rinsed hair felt no different from a simple rinse.
  • Leaves a lot of grain particles on the scalp and strands (co-washing will fix it over a few days if you are lucky).

Final Thought: Kapoor Kachli has earned its place as the worst herb I have ever tried. And since my hair is basically indifferent to it, I will not be using it once my batch is exhausted. I will attempt to mix it with a finer grain herb like amla, cassia or henna so I can avoid wasting what’s left in my batch.

Kapoor Kachli is relatively rare and will usually be packaged in 50g instead of the usual 100g typical of Indian powdered herbs especially from the Hesh brand. Also at $2.99 a package, Kapoor Kachli is on the pricier side of Indian herbs. You are far better off spending on the regular ginger root, more affordable and much easier to use.

PS: Some recipes suggest mixing Kapoor Kachli with Aritha and Shikakai and using the mixture as a mud wash on the hair root and scalp for 30-45. The proportions vary but I think it’s probably just a hint of the Kapoor Kachli.