Black Ginger
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Black Ginger
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Black Ginger, Thai ginseng • Mizo: Aidum
Botanical name: Kaempferia parviflora    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Kaempferia rubromarginata

Black Ginger is a stemless rhizome forming herb that can reach up to 20 cm tall. The rhizomes are small and of deep purple colour, thus inspiring the name black ginger. Leaves are 8-16 cm long, thin, rounded at the base, plain green. The leaf-stalk is short and channeled. Flowers are few in a stalkless central cluster. The bracts are 2.5 cm, lanceshaped and green. The calyx is longer than the bract. The flower-tube in 3 cm long; segments are greenish, 1 cm long, upper ascending and rather concave. The lip is 0.75-1.0 cm, somewhat notched with the anther-crest blunt and broad as the long. Black Ginger is native to Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand.
Medicinal uses: Black Ginger is a herb that has some historical and medicinal usage for treating metabolic ailments and improving vitality in Thailand. It is also reported to be an aphrodisiac compound and physical enhancer. However, modern analysis doesn't substantiate any strong medicinal benefit.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in BSI, Dehradun.

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