Curcuma zedoaria, zedoary, white turmeric or kentjur, is the name for a perennial herb and member of the genus Curcuma, family Zingiberaceae. The plant is native to India and Indonesia. It was introduced to Europe by Arabs around the sixth century, but its use as a spice in the West today is extremely rare, having been replaced by ginger.
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 meter 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 in pickling. In Thai cuisine it is used raw and cut in thin strips in certain Thai salads. It can also be served cut into thin slices together with other herbs and vegetables with certain types of nam phrik.
Since zedoary is anti-inflammatory, its paste is used on inflammation, wounds, skin ailments and pain.
The herb serves as a body stimulant and purifies blood.
It is very effective in treating respiratory disorders, tones up uterus and works as an aphrodisiac agent.
Zedoary improves digestion, improves liver condition and normalizes body temperature.
The herb, when taken in powdered form, helps in regularizing menstruation.
In the juice form, it is used to treat urine-related disorders and urinary tract infections.
Zedoary is used as a gastro-intestinal stimulant in flatulent colic and prevents stress ulceration as well.
It helps in curing dyspepsia, colic, vomiting and cough.
The herb proves useful in case of abdominal cramps, amenorrhea-abdominal pain and rheumatic pain. It is also used in anti-periodic pills.
Zedoary is used as anti-venom for the Indian Cobra.
It is used in the manufacture of liquors, stomach essences, bitters, perfumes and cosmetics.
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