Curcuma zedoaria (zedoary, white turmeric, or temu putih) is a member of the genus Curcuma, family Zingiberaceae, and is a perennial herb. It is also known as white turmeric.

Scott Zona, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Uses for Zedoary:

Zedoary is most commonly used for colic, spasms, loss of appetite, indigestion, and/or to treat inflammation, pain, and a variety of skin ailments including wounds, ulcers and some menstrual irregularities (not recommended for menorrhagia – heavy periods).

The Plant:

There are two kinds of Zedoary, the long and the round. The long is in slices, or oval fingers; the round in transverse, rounded sections, twisted and wrinkled, greyish-brown in color, hairy, rough, and with few root scars. The odor is camphoraceous, and the taste warm, aromatic, and slightly bitter, resembling ginger.

The plant boasts lovely tulip-like blooms from spring to autumn.

The five commercial varieties come from China, Bengal, Madras, Java and Cochin-China, and vary in size and color. When chewed they turn the saliva yellow. The powder is colored brown-red by alkalis and boric acid. Some varieties of Zedoary are used as an ingredient in condiments and curries.

This herb is aromatic and a stimulant. It is useful in flatulent colic and debility of the digestive organs. However, ginger gives the same, or better results.

The part used is the rhizome, or underground stem.

Essential Oil from Zedoary:

The essential oil produced from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma zedoaria is used in perfumery and soap fabrication, as well as an ingredient in bitter tonics.

Dosage:

It relies on age and other health factors. Generally range frrom 10 grains to 1/2 drachm. If taking a fluid extract use 10 to 30 drops. As an infusion use 1/2 an ounce to a pint of boiling water and take one 1 tablespoonful.

Precautions:

No harmful side effects have been reported, however more research is needed.

Note: Rinse fresh or raw zedoary thoroughly before using.

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