Zedoary(Curcuma Zedoaria)

Botanical Name:Curcuma zedoaria
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Curcuma
Species: C. zedoaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

*Amomum latifolium Lam.
*Amomum latifolium Salisb.
*Amomum zedoaria Christm.
*Costus luteus Blanco
*Curcuma malabarica Velay., Amalraj & Mural.
*Curcuma pallida Lour.
*Curcuma raktakanta Mangaly & M.Sabu
*Curcuma speciosa Link
*Erndlia zerumbet Giseke
*Roscoea lutea (Blanco) Hassk.
*Roscoea nigrociliata Hassk

Common Name : Zedoary
Other Names: wild turmeric
French: zedoaire
German: Zitwer
Italian: zedoaria
Spanish: cedoaria
Indian: amb halad, garndhmul,amb ada(in Bengal),In Telugu called as kacoramu [ kacōramu ] kachoramu.
Indonesian: kentjur

Zedoary is an ancient spice, a close relative to turmeric and native to India and Indonesia. The Arabs introduced it to Europe in the sixth century, where it enjoyed great popularity in the middle ages. Today it is extremely rare in the West, having been replaced by ginger. It is a substitute for arrowroot and used in Indian perfumes and in festive rituals.

Plant Description and Cultivation:
Zedoary grows in tropical and subtropical wet forest regions. It is a rhizome, or underground stem, like turmeric and ginger. The rhizome is large and tuberous with many branches. The leaf shoots are long and fragrant, reaching 1m (3ft) in height. The plant bears yellow flowers with red and green bracts. Pieces of the rhizome are planted, taking two years to mature before it can be harvested..


It is a perennial herb and member of the genus Curcuma Linn. Zedoary is a rhizome that grows in tropical and subtropical wet forest regions. The fragrant plant bears yellow flowers with red and green bracts and the underground stem section is large and tuberous with numerous branches. The leaf shoots of the zedoary are long and can reach 1 metre (3 feet) in height.

The edible root of zedoary has a white interior and a fragrance reminiscent of mango, however its flavour is more similar to ginger, except with a very bitter aftertaste. In Indonesia it is ground to a powder and added to curry pastes, whereas in India it tends to be used fresh or pickled.

Spice Description:
Zedoary is a rhizome with a thin brown skin and a bright orange, hard interior. It’s smell is similar to turmeric and mango. Because of the mango-like fragrance, zedoary is called amb halad in many Indian languages (amb means mango). It is sold as a powder (kentjur in Chinese shops), or dried and sliced with a gray surface with a yellow to gray-white interior. There are two types of zedoary sold in Indian markets   Curcuma zedoaria or ‘round’ which is small and fat like ginger, and Curcuma zerumbet, or ‘long’ which is long and slender like turmeric.
Bouquet: musky a gingerlike with camphorous undertones
Flavour: warm and ginger-like, slightly camphorous, with a bitter aftertaste.

Preparation and Storage:
Dried zedoary is ground to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Store in airtight containers..

Culinary Uses:
In the Indian kitchen zedoary is usually used fresh or pickled. It is used as a dried spice more in Indonesia where it is often used as an ingredient in curry powder, especially for seafood dishes. It may be pounded with turmeric or ginger to make a spice paste for lamb or chicken curries.

Attributed Medicinal Properties & other uses:
Zedoary is valued for its ability to purify the blood. It is an antiseptic and a paste applied locally to cuts and wounds helps healing. It is used as an aid to digestion and to relieve flatulence and colic. The starch, shoti, is easily digested and nutritious so is widely used as part of an Eastern regimen for the sick or for the very young.

Useful in flatulent colic and debility of the digestive organs, though it is rarely employed, as ginger gives the same, or better results. It is highly valued for its ability to purify the blood.  Like turmeric, Zedoary is an antiseptic and a paste applied locally to cuts and wounds helps healing.  It is used as an ingredient in bitter tincture of Zedoary, antiperiodic pills (with and without aloes) bitter tincture, antiperiodic tincture (with and without aloes). Zedoary is also rich in starch and is given to babies and invalids in India.  It is combined with pepper, cinnamon and honey and used to treat colds.   It is used in Indian perfumes called ittars as well as in some drinks.  A paste of a little zedoary and cream makes a good face mask and keeps the skin clear and shining.  An ingredient in Swedish bitters.  The rhizome is used in China to treat certain types of tumors.  In Chinese trials, zedoary has reduced cervical cancer, and increased the cancer-killing effects of radiotherapy chemotherapy.

Zedoary is also used in some traditional eastern medicines where it is reputed to be an aid to digestion, a relief for colic and an agent for purifying the blood.

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

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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