Kachur Herb Information, Medicinal Uses and Side-effects

Curcuma zedoaria is known as Karchura, Sathi, Wild Turmeric and Karchur in Ayurveda. It is mainly used to reduce kapha / phlegm and increase circulation. It is warming and demulcent.

The rhizomes of plant are prescribed by Charak for cough, difficult breathing, asthma, hiccups, swellings, arthritis, rheumatism, diseases of skin and in low appetite. Traditionally, the decoction of Karchura is given along with Pippali, Dalchini and honey for cold and cough. This preparation has warming effect on body and helps to alleviate cough.

Kachoor UsesBy Meneerke bloem – Norberak egina, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8489502


The rhizome of this plant is considered a tonic and carminative. Combined with other astringents it is applied on bruises and sprains. In West, it is known as Zedoary and used as a condiment. Therapeutically, it has carminative and stimulant action.

General Information

Wild Turmeric is biennial herb with a large rootstock of palmately branched, sessile, annulate, biennial tubers, yellow and aromatic within.

Leaves are simple, 22.5—30 cm long, oblong, caudatea cuminate, base deltoid, green, often variegated above, pubescent beneath, petioles 60—90 cm long, green.

Flowering stem appear before or with the leafing stem, as thick as the forefinger, sheathed.

Flowers are somewhat irregular, bisexual, in spikes 15—30 cm long and about 2.5 cm diameter. Flower bracts 3.7—5 cm long, recurved, ovate, cymbiform, tip rounded, pale green connate below forming pouches for the flowers, empty bracts 5—7.5 cm long, red or pink, flowers shorter than bracts. Calyx is tubular. Corolla is pinkish-white with a yellow fragrant lip, tube 2.5 cm long, limb 3-partite, upper half funnel-shaped, lateral segments oblong, upper longer, ovate, concave, overarching the anther. Staminodes are obtuse as long as corolla segments, lip deflexed, orbicular, obscurely 3-lobed. Stamen 1, filament short, adnate to the lateral staminodes. Anther not crested, bases of cells spurred, incurved. Ovary is inferior, 3-locular, many ovuled, style filiform, stigma 2-lipped, lips ciliate.

Fruit is globose, pericarp membranous at length 3-valved. Seeds are ellipsoid with a white lacerate aril.

The root/rhizome occurs in thin, transverse slices, 2 to 5 cm. in diameter, pale brown and wrinkled without, smooth and mealy within, odor camphoraceous, taste pungent and spicy bitter.

Flowering: January and February

Propagation: exclusively from divisions of the rhizomes

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of is Curcuma zedoaria. It belongs to plant family Zingiberaceae.

Zingiberaceae, or Ginger family is one of the largest monocotyledonous families of the plant kingdom distributed mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. They are perennial rhizomatous herbs growing in damp, humid shady places and are characterized by the possession of a tuberous and or creeping rhizome with an aerial shoot (pseudo stem) often covered by sheathing leaf bases. The inflorescence is usually a spike or raceme. The flowers are bisexual, always epigynous and asymmetric.

The plants belonging to this family provide many useful products for food, spices, medicines, dyes, perfume and aesthetics. Some of the important plants belonging to this family are Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Cardamom /Malabar or Mysore Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Black Cardamom (Amomum aromaticum), Galanga (Alpinia galanga) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale).

Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
  • Subclass: Zingiberidae
  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Family: Zingiberaceae – Ginger family
  • Genus: Curcuma L. – curcuma
  • Species: Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe – zedoary

Synonyms

Amomum zedoaria Christm.

Curcuma aromatica Salisb

Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Rhizome

Plant type: Herb

Distribution: Cultivated more or less throughout India.

Habitat: Found growing in damp shady places. Wild in Eastern Himalaya, central region of Karnataka and Chittagong.

Safety Profile in Pregnancy: It is UNSAFE to take Zedoary in pregnancy.

Other Uses: Provide the Shoti Starch

The starch (Shoti Starch) obtained from the tuber is used as substitute for arrowroot and barley.

Zedoaria Oil: The essential oil obtained from the roots is known as Zedoaria Oil. The oil has antibacterial, antifungal and carminative action. On application, it produces relaxation of smooth muscles. It depresses the heart and causes contraction of blood vessels. It increases amplitude and frequency of respiration. The essential oil contains alphapinene, d-camphor, d-camphene, cineole, sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene alcohols.

Vernacular names / Synonyms

  1. Scientific name: Curcuma zedoaria Rosc. ex Smith
  2. Sanskrit: Karchura, Aranyaharidra, Sholi, Sholika, Vanahaladi, Vanaharidra, Vanarishta, Dravida, Palashi, Kachura Gandh-mulaka, Shati, Gandhapalasha, Kacchura
  3. Hindi: Ban haldi, Ban haridra, Jangli haldi
  4. Tamil: Kasturi-manjal, Kattu-mannal, Kichili, Kizhangu, Kitchiliki Zhangu, Padam Kizhangu
  5. Telugu: Kachoramu, Kichili Gadda
  6. English: Kua, Zedoary, Cochin Turmeric, Wild Turmeric, Yellow Zedoary
  7. Assamese: Katuri
  8. Bengali: Ekangi, Kachura, Sati, Shori
  9. Gujarati: Kachuro, Shatakachuro
  10. Kannada: Kachora
  11. Malayalam: Kaeheholam, Kachchurikizhanna, Pulakizhanna
  12. Marathi: Kachari, Kachora, Narakachora
  13. Oriya: Kachoramu, Gandha Sunthi, Karchura
  14. Punjabi: Kachur
  15. Sinhalese: Dadakaha, Walkaha
  16. Siddha: Kichili Kizhangu
  17. Unani: Zaranbad (Neem Kofta), Zarambad, Narkachoor
  18. Urdu: Kachur, Zarambad
  19. Tehran: Zurunbad
  20. Arabic: Uruk-el-kafur, Zurambad
  21. Cambodia: Prateal vong preah atit
  22. Dutch: Ronde zedoar
  23. French: Zedoaire, Zedoaire bulheux1 Zedoire
  24. German: Zedoarwurzel, Zittwer
  25. Italian: Zedoaria
  26. Persian: Kazhui, Urukelkafur
  27. Spanish: Zedoaria

Ayurvedic Medicines

  1. Agastya Rasayanam is indicated in Respiratory Disorders including allergic cough-cold, intermittent fever, piles etc. As Haritaki is the chief ingredient of this medicine it has laxative properties and helps to cure constipation and gives in piles.
  2. Chandraprabha Vati is a good remedy for women who suffers from weakness of uterus. It is good medicine for female disorders such as painful periods, mensturation for long duration like 10-12 days, pain in whole body, low energy, and low appetite. In such condition this medicine should be taken with Ashoka Ghrita or Phala Ghrita.
  3. Dhanwantaram Ghritam
  4. Takrarishta
  5. Yograj Guggulu is warming, digestive, and detoxifying in nature. It has anti-inflammatory, Vatahar and pain reliving action. It shows beneficial effect in arthritis, gout, degenerative diseases of joints due to excess vata, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain etc.

Unani Medicines

  1. Arq-e-Amber is an Unani medicine. It is used to strengthen heart, brain, liver and the stomach. It improves general, physical and mental well-being. It has aphrodisiac action and improves vigour and vitality.
  2. Habbe Kabid Naushadari
  3. Jawarish-e-Zanjabeel
  4. Roghan Amla Sada

Constituents of Curcuma zedoaria

Zedoary contains up to 0.1% curcumin. It also contains contain curcumene, curcumol, curdione. Curcumol and Curdione are Antitumor and anticancer. Dehydrocurdione is pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and fever reducing. Zingiberene possess Antiulcer, Carminative and Insecticidal properties.

  1. Curcumol
  2. Curdione
  3. Dehydrocurdione
  4. Zingiberene
  5. Few Indication of Zedoary
  6. Alzheimer’s
  7. Rheumatism
  8. Malarial Fevers
  9. Flatulence, Vomiting
  10. Pharyngeal and Laryngeal Inflammations
  11. Discharges from Genital Organs
  12. Externally On Skin Affections

Important Medicinal Properties

Curcuma zedoaria is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it. For example it has emmenagogue action and should not be used in heavy periods.

Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

  1. Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
  2. Aphrodisiac: Stimulates sexual desire.
  3. Anti-aggregant: decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formatio
  4. Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
  5. Carminative: Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence.
  6. Demulcent: Relieving inflammation or irritation.
  7. Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
  8. Emmenagogue: Stimulates or increases menstrual flow.
  9. Expectorant: Promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs.
  10. Stomachic: Stimulates gastric activity.
  11. Stimulant: Raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.
  12. Tonic: Restore or improve health or well-being.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action

Karchura is the dried pieces of rhizome of Curcuma zedoaria. It is bitter and pungent in taste (Rasa), pungent after digestion (Vipaka), and is hot in effect (Virya).

It is an Ushna Virya herb. Ushna Virya or hot potency herb, subdues Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Mucus) and increases Pitta (Bile). It has property of digestion, vomiting and purging, and gives feeling of lightness. It is considered bad for sperms and fetus.

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter),
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp)
  • Virya (Action): Ushna (Heating)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)

Action

  • Deepana: Promote appetite but do not aid in digesting undigested food
  • Kaphahar: Reduces phlegm
  • Mukhasodhana: Purification of mouth
  • Ruchikarak: Improve taste

Medicinal Uses of Curcuma zedoaria

The rhizomes are pungent, bitter, aromatic, heating, appetizer, anthelmintic, antipyretic, alexiteric. It destroys bad breath. Rhizome is useful in leucoderma, piles, bronchitis, asthma, tumours, tuberculous glands of the neck (Galgand), enlargement of the spleen, epileptic seizure and skin diseases. The fresh root is considered cooling and diuretic. It checks leukorrheal and gonorrheal discharges and purifies the blood. The juice of the leaves is given in dropsy. Zedoary is used in same way as ginger.

1. Leucorrhea and gonorrheal discharges

Fresh rhizomes is used.

2. Purifying the blood, antidote to scorpion-venom

The rhizomes are used.

3. Cough, sticky taste in the mouth

The rhizomes are chewed.

4. Colds, fevers, bronchitis

The decoction of the rhizome administered along with long pepper, cinnamon, and honey.

5. After Childbirth

Rhizomes are given as tonic after delivery, thrice a day for 2 weeks.

6. Dropsy

Leaf juice is given.

7. Sprains and bruises

Rhizome is applied as a paste mixed with alum.

8. Dermatitis, sprains, ulcer, and wounds

Paste of rhizomes are applied.

8. Lymphangitis, furunculosis, and adinites

Leaves are used as plasters.

Dosage of Curcuma zedoaria

  1. Root powder is used in dose of Powder 1-3 grams/day.
  2. Tea / Root Infusion, prepared from the root is taken in dose of 14–28 ml.
  3. The extract is taken in form of 300 and 450 mg capsules.
  4. Contraindications, Interactions, Side-effects and Warnings Curcuma zedoaria
  5. Avoid use in heavy menstrual flow.
  6. Do not use in pregnancy.
  7. It is hot in potency. Do not take in excess.
  8. It increases pitta / gastric acidity.

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