Perennial herb with large, tapering, elliptical leaves, pink or yellow flowers, and an aromatic, pale yellow root.
Habitat & Cultivation
Zedoary is a common Indian and East Asian plant. It is cultivated in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, and Madagascar.
Zedoary contains a volatile oil, sesquiterpenes, curcumemone, curcumol, and curdione. Curcumol and curdione have cancerfighting properties.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
An aromatic, bitter digestive stimulant, zedoary is used in much the same way as ginger (Zingiber officinale)—to relieve indigestion, nausea, flatulence, and bloating, and generally to improve digestion. The rhizome is used in China to treat certain types of tumors.
In trials carried out in China, zedoary was found to reduce cervical cancer, and increase the cancer-killing effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
In Chinese herbal medicine, zedoary is often substituted for turmeric (C. longa).