Friday, December 5, 2008

Curcuma longa Linn.

Family : Zingiberaceae

Synonym(s) : Amomum curcuma.Jacq., Curcuma domestica Valet., Curcuma rotunda. L.

English Name : Turmeric, Indian saffron, Long rooted curcuma, Yellow ginger.

Origin : Southern or southeastern Asia


Tall herb; root stock large, ovoid, with cylindrical tubers that are bright yellow or orange inside. Leaves very large, in tufts up to 1.2 m long including petioles, blade up to 50 cm long and 8 cm wide, oblong lanceolate, tapering to the base; petiole about as long as leaf blade. Flowers pale yellow, borne in spikes 10 to 15 cm long, appearing with the leaves in the middle of the leaf tufts; peduncel 15 cm long, hidden in sheathing petiole; flowering bracts pale green; bracts of coma white and green tinged with pink.


China, India (especially Bengal) and Java.

Parts Used : Rhizome and its essential oil

Herb Effects

Weakly antiseptic, stimulant, carminative, antiinflammatory, balsamic, diuretic, stimulates the secretion and/or flow of milk, stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, neutralizes acid accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract and reduces fever.

Active Ingredients

Curcumin (a diferuloyl methane) and an essential rhizome oil.

Medicinal Use

Relieving pain associated with purulent ophthalmia (rhizome decoction), for abscesses, amenorrhea, anemia, asthma, colds, jaundice, conjunctivitis, purifying blood, as a tonic to the stomach, diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea, kidney stones and reducing fever.


400 mg of turmeric three times per day in capsules or tablets. Turmeric as a spice can also be incorporated into the diet as a way to promote health.


Do not take turmeric if you are pregnant, or if you are suffering from acute jaundice or hepatitis.


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