Wild Turmeric
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Wild Turmeric
ative Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Wild turmeric, Aromatic turmeric • Hindi: Jangli haldi जंगली हळी • Manipuri: ꯇꯦꯈꯥꯑꯣ ꯌꯥꯢꯈꯨ Tekhao yaikhu, ꯂꯝ ꯌꯥꯢꯉꯥꯡ লম যাঈঙাঙ Lam Yaingang • Gujarati: Zedoari • Tamil: கஸ்தூதி மஞ்ஜள் Kasturimanjal • Malayalam: Kattumanna • Telugu: Kasthuri Pasupa • Kannada: ಅಂಬೆಹಳದಿ Ambe haladi, ಮಾವುಶುಂಠಿ Maavu shunthi, ಕಸ್ತೂರಿಅರಿಶಿನ Kasturi arishina, ಹುಲಿಅರಿಶಿನ Huli arishina • Mizo: Ram-ai-eng, Ai-eng-suak
Botanical name: Curcuma aromatica    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)

Wild tumeric is an aromatic and pretty ginger with stout underground rhizomes. Foliage dies down in late in autumn and the rhizomes remain dormant in winter. The inflorescence appears in early spring from the base of the rhizome. Flowers are pinkish white in color, with an orange lip. The stalk grows to about 8 to 10 inches tall, and is crowned with enlarged colored bracts tipped with pink. Leaves appear after the flowers. When in full growth the plants can reach a height of about 3ft tall. Leaves are broad and very decorative, elliptic, 3-4 ft long, and 20 cm wide, leaf-stalk being as long as the blade. Good for cut-flower use with a vase life of about 10 days for a fresh stem. This species is found in the eastern Himalayas and inhabits warm forest areas. Grows fast and vigorously during the summer monsoon months. Rhizomes used to a limited extent in villages for flavouring curries.
Medicinal uses: Wild turmeric is recognized as a medical herb with strong antibiotic properties. It is believed to play a role in preventing and curing cancer in chinese medicine. In an effort to remove cell accumulations such as a tumors, curcuma is often utilized. There are two species commonly used in cancer therapy that, like ginger, have a spicy taste.It contains aromatic volatile oils that help to remove excessive lipids from the blood, reduce aggregation of platelets (sticking of the blood cells to form masses), and reduce inflammation.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mukkali Forests, Distt.Palakkad, Kerala & Imphal, Imphal, Manipur

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