English: White turmeric, Round zedoary, Zerumbet
Sanskrit: Aam Ada
Malayalam: Kachooram- കച്ചൂരം, Channa- ചണ്ണ, Mangaenchi-മാങ്ങയിഞ്ചി, Vella manjal-വെള്ളമഞ്ഞൾ, Adavi-kacholam, Manjakoova
Tamil: Kichilikizhangu, Nirvisham
Zedoary or White turmeric is a deciduous herb of tropic or sub-tropic regions of wetlands, it resembles with turmeric in all parts, except rhizomes are white in color. It grows up to 1.5 meters in height. The fragrant plant bears yellow flowers with red and green bracts. Rhizomes are tasted like mangoes and ginger so it is called in Malayalam Enchi Manga.
The rootstock of palmately branched sessile cylindrical oblong annulate tubers, pale yellow inside, with a camphoraceous odor and bitterish spicy taste. Leaves 4-6 with long petioles 30-60 cm long, oblong-lanceolate, finely acuminate, glabrous on both surfaces, clouded with a purple down the middle. Flowering stem 20-25 cm long, appearing before the leaves, stout, clothed with obtuse sheaths. Flowers yellow in spikes 7.5-12.5 x 5-7.5 cm; flowering bracts 3.8 cm long, ovate, recurved, cymbiform, green tinged with red; bracts of the coma reaching 5 cm long, crimson or purple. Calyx 8 mm long, obtusely 3-toothed. Corolla tube twice as long as the calyx, funnel-shaped; lateral lobes oblong, the dorsal lobe larger, vaulted, arching over the anther. Lip 13 mm broad, sub orbicular, de-flexed, obscurely 3- lobed deep yellow. Capsule ovoid, 3-gonous, thin, smooth, and bursting irregularly. Seeds ellipsoid with a white lacerate aril.
In India, it is traditionally used in the treatment of skin ailments including inflammation, wounds, pain, and ulcers, and also useful in the treatment of irregular menstruation, purifying the blood, gastric disorders, colds, flatulence, and sexual problems.
Useful plant parts:
Rhizome, essential oils used in the production of perfumes
Essential oil from rhizomes contains alpha-pinene, d-camphene, cineole, d-camphor, sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene alcohols. The novel sesquiterpenoids which have been isolated and characterised are cuzerenone, epicuzerenone, isofuranogermerene, curcumadiol, curcumol, curcumenol, isocurcumenol, procurcumenol, dehydrocurdione germacrone-4, 5-epoxide, germ crone, furanodienone, curcumenol, isocurcumenol, curcumanolides A and B and curcumenone. The starch left after the extraction is purified and sold as a commodity of cottage industry in West Bengal under the name ‘Shoti. Ethyl p-methoxycinnamate has been isolated from the alcoholic extract of the plant.
Purgative, stomachic, diuretic, carminative and gastrointestinal stimulant
Propagation: The plant is propagated by whole or split mother rhizomes. Well-developed, healthy and disease-free rhizomes are to be selected. Rhizomes are to be treated with copper oxychloride fungicides and stored in cool, dry places or earthen pits plastered with mud and cow dung. The best season of planting is during April with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers. The land is to be prepared to a fine tilth during February-March. On receipt of pre-monsoon showers in April, beds of size 3 x 1.2 m with a spacing of 40 cm between beds are to be prepared. Small pits are to be taken in the beds in rows with spacing of 25-40 cm.
Harvesting: The time of harvest usually extends from January to March. Harvesting is generally done at about 7-10 months after planting depending upon the species and variety. Harvested rhizomes are to be cleaned of mud and other materials adhering to them. Good fingers separated are to be used for cu
How to prepare medicines:
It is antiseptic and a paste applied locally to cuts and wounds helps heal
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