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Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe


Amomum zedoaria Berg., Curcuma pallida Lour., [2] Amomum latifolium Lam., Amomum latifolium Salisb., Amomum zedoaria Christm., Costus luteus Blanco, Costus nigricans Blanco, Curcuma malabarica Velay., Amalraj & Mural., Curcuma raktakanta Mangaly & M. Sabu, Erndlia zerumbet Giseke, Roscoea nigrociliata Hassk. [35]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia                Temu Putih
English Zedoary, Rootstock
Indonesia Temu Putih
India Ekangi, Kachura, Sati, Shori (Bengal); Kachura (Bombay); Kachuri (Gujerati); Kachura, Kalihaladi (Hindi); Kachcholam, Kachchurikizhanna, Pulakishanna (Malayalam); Dravida, Durlabha, Gandhamulaka, Gandhasara, Jatala, Kalpaka, Karchura, Karshya, Shathi, Vedhya (Sanskrit); Kichilikilhangu, Pulankilhangu (Tamil); Kachura (Urdu),  Kachora
Arab Zurambad
Persian Kashua, Urukelkafur [1][6]

General Information


Curcuma zedoaria is a member of Zingiberaceae family. The plant is palmately branched, annulate and tubers are pale yellow inside with a camphoraceous odour and bitterish spicy taste. The leaves are oblong or lanceolat, with long petioles. The flowers are yellow and arranged in spikes. The fruits are capsule, trigonous and the seeds ellipsoid with whitish laceate aril. [6][35]

Plant Part Used

Rhizome, leaves, roots [2-4][6]

Chemical Constituents

13-hydroxygermacrone; 1,7-bis (4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one; 3, 7-dimethylindan-5-carboxylic acid; aerugidiol; alpha-pinene; ar-turmerone; beta-turmerone; bisdemethoxycurcumin; cineole; curcolonol; curcumene; curcumenone; curcumenol; curcumin; curcumol; curdione; curzerenone; curzeone; d-camphor; d-camphene; demethoxycurcumin; dehydrocurdione; dehydrocurdione; epiprocurcumenol; furanodiene; furanodienone; germacrone; guaidiol; isocurcumenol; neocurdione; procurcumenol; uranodiene; zederone; zedoarondiol; zedoaronediol.  [3][7-10][13][26-30][33][34]

Traditional Uses

The rhizome of C. zedoaria are stomachic, stimulative, carminative, appetizer and diuretic. [1][3][5] It had been used for relief of flatulence, indigestion, nausea and as an appetite stimulant. It is considered a cholagogue and had been prescribed in biliary complaints including hiccup. The juice from the rhizome is believed to have the ability to expel worms from the intestines of children. [5] 

C. zedoaria rhizome also traditionally used as coughs and common cold remedies and beneficially used to treat respiratory and lung problems. The Indians chew on the rhizome to correct sticky taste in the mouth especially by singers for clearing their throat. [1][5] It can be used to treat infectious diseases include for the relief of vaginal discharge, genital infections, throat infections and local skin affections like boils and other forms of abscesses. Besides, it had been recommended for use in treatment of joint affections and bruises following injuries.[1][3-5]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antinociceptive activity

From the dichloromethane fraction of hydroalcoholic extract of the C. zedoaria rhizome, the compound curcumenol had been isolated. This compound exhibited a potent and dose-related analgesic activity and proved to be several times more potent than the reference drugs evaluated simultaneously when in several models of pain in mice which are abdominal constriction response caused by intra peritoneal injection of diluted acetic acid, formalin-induced pain, and capsaicin-induced pain. It seems that it acts by a mechanism other than the participation of the opioid system. [11]

Antiarthritic activity

Rats treated with petroleum ether and chloroform extracts of C. zedoaria roots showed significant recovery in behaviour and radiological changes from Freund’s Complete Adjuvant-induced monoarthritis in rats. An evidence that these extracts could be useful in providing relief from arthritic conditions. [12]

Hepatoprotective activity

A number of sesqueterpenes isolated from the aqueous acetone extract of the rhizome of C. zedoaria showed potent hepatoprotective activity against D-galactosamine (D-GalN)/ lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute liver injury in mice. Further, it was observed that the aqueous extract of the rhizome was able to inhibit the hepatic myofibroblast cells through an intracellular mechanism involving early COX-2-dependent release of prostaglandin E2 and cAMP, and delayed COX-2 induction. From these two results it would be worth looking into the use of C. zedoaria extracts in the treatment of chronic liver disease. [13][14]

Antiangiogenetic activity

The anti-angiogenetic activity of the essential oil of C. zedaoria was studied in vitro and in vivo in various angiogenic models. The essential oil exhibit anti-proliferative effects on B16BL6 (EC50 41.8µg/ml) and SMMC-7721 cells (EC50 30.7µg/ml, and on HUVEC cells (EC50 > 120µg/ml). There were also suppression of vessel sprouting in aortic ring and suppression of formation of micro-vessels in chick embryo chorioallantoic member in vitro. It was observed that there were inhibition of growth of solid melanoma with CD34 expression indicating reduced angiogenesis in the tumour. Melanoma metastatic nodules in the lungs were inhibited together with MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in serum. [15]

Antiallergic activity

The aqueous acetone extract of C. zedoaria rhizome showed ability to inhibit the release of beta-hexosaminidase, a marker of antigen-IgE-mediated degranulation, in RBL-2H3 cells and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction in mice. Curcumin was found to be the most potent followed by bisdemethoxycurcumin. The structure-activity relationship study shows that , the conjugated olefins at the 1-7 positions and the 4'- or 4''-hydroxyl groups of curcuminoids were suggested to be essential for the strong activity, whereas the  3'- or 3''-methoxyl group only enhanced the activity. [16]

Uterine muscular excitatory activity

Aqueous extract of C. zedoaria was seen to significantly increase the spike area, duration and number of bursts of action potentials of rat uterine smooth muscle. In a dose dependent manner. This effects was decreased by atropine and phentolamine but not verapamil, diphenhydramine and indomethacin. Thus the excitatory effects of aqueous extract of C. zedoaria on mice uterine muscles is associated with M-receptor and alpha-receptor. [17]

Anticancer activity

The polysaccharide fraction (CZ1-III) of C. zedoaria was found to have the ability to inhibit the growth of solid tumour (sarcoma 180 cells) in a dose dependent manner. It did not show any mutagenicity and clastogenic activity. This shows that CZ1-III was able to decrease tumour size and prevent chromosomal mutation in mice. C. zedoaria also exhibits antimigratory effects on B16 melanoma cells via macrophage function modulating activity. This had led to a decrease in the number of lung metastatic surface nodules and the extension of life span in the test animal. In another study it was found that curcuminoids plays a pivotal role in the antimutagenic activity of the plant. The essential oil extracted from the plant also showed the capability of inhibiting growth of human promyelocytinf leukaemia HL-60 cells via apoptosis. In terms of usability of the plant as an anticancer drug, it is evidenced by the presence of antitumour, antimutagenicity, anticlastogenic and antimigratory activities. [18-21]

Antimicrobial activity


The antibacterial activity of C. zedoaria was evident in three studies done. The essential oil with high content of epicurzernone and curdione, proved to be most effective against Vibrio parahaemolyticus and least sensitive to E. coli. [21-23]


C. zedoaria exhibits significant antifungal activity against a wide variety of human pathogenic fungi including those resistant to common antifungals amphotericin B and ketoconazole. The following fungi we seen to be affected by hot ethanol extract: Trichophyton rubrum, Aspergillus niger, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Epidermophyton floccosum at a concentration less than 10mug/ml; A. fumigatus, Penicillium purpurogenum, Trignoposis variabilis, Microsporum gypseum, Sclerotium rolifsii, Geotricular candiade, Fusarium oxysporum and Helminthosporium oryzale at a concentration less than 25mug/ml; and Candida krusei and T. mentagrophytes at a concentration less than 50mug/ml. [24][25]

Antiinflammatory activity

The antiinflammatory activity of C. zedoaria lies in the ability of some of its bioactive compounds to inhibit inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide (iNOS). The presence of curcuminoid did not seem to be an essential factor in the antiinflammatory activity of C. zedoaria. Some of the compounds that show potentials in developing antiinflammatory drugs include beta-turmerone, ar-turmerone, 1,7-bis (4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one, procurcumenol, epiprocurcumenol, dehydrocurdione, furanodiene, furanodienone, and curdione. [26-34]


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

Great care should be exercised when considering the use of this plant during pregnancy. The excitatory effect of the plant on uterine smooth muscles could induce incidence of abortion while its antiangiogenetic activity could contribute to retardation of growth of foetus in utero. [15][17]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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1) Botanical Information


  1. Chopra RN, Chopra IC, Indigenous Drugs of India, Academic Publishers New Delhi 2006 pg. 327-329
  2. Merrill ER. Merrill: Loureiro’s “Flora of Cochinchinensis in Transactions Volume 24, Part 2, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia 1935 pg. 119
  3. Khare P, Chandrma. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany, Springer, Berlin, 2004 pg. 176
  4. Panda H. Handbook on Medicinal Herbs with Uses, National Institute of Industrial Research, New Delhi 2004 pg. 179
  5. Nadkarni KM, Dr. KM. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica Volume 2 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai 2007 pg. 286
  6. Tyagi DK. Pharma Forestry: A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants Atlantic Publishers New Delhi 2005 pg. 49, 159, 169
  7. Syu WJ, Shen CC, Don MJ, Ou JC, Lee GH, Sun CM. Cytotoxicity of curcuminoids and some novel compounds from Curcuma zedoaria. J Nat Prod. 1998 Dec;61(12):1531-4.
  8. Hong CH, Kim Y, Lee SK. Sesquiterpenoids from the rhizome of Curcuma zedoaria. Arch Pharm Res. 2001 Oct;24(5):424-6.
  9. Hong CH, Noh MS, Lee WY, Lee SK. Inhibitory effects of natural sesquiterpenoids isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma zedoaria on prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide production. Planta Med. 2002 Jun;68(6):545-7.
  10. Jang MK, Lee HJ, Kim JS, Ryu JH. A curcuminoid and two sesquiterpenoids from Curcuma zedoaria as inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis in activated macrophages. Arch Pharm Res. 2004 Dec;27(12):1220-5.
  11. Navarro Dde F, de Souza MM, Neto RA, Golin V, Niero R, Yunes RA, Delle Monache F, Cechinel Filho V. Phytochemical analysis and analgesic properties of Curcuma zedoaria grown in Brazil. Phytomedicine. 2002 Jul;9(5):427-32.
  12. Kaushik ML, Jalalpure SS. Effect of Curcuma zedoaria Rosc root extracts on behavioral and radiology changes in arthritic rats. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011 Jul;2(3):170-6.
  13. Matsuda H, Ninomiya K, Morikawa T, Yoshikawa M. Inhibitory effect and action mechanism of sesquiterpenes from Zedoariae Rhizoma on D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide-induced liver injury. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 1998 Feb 17;8(4):339-44.
  14. Kim DI, Lee TK, Jang TH, Kim CH. The inhibitory effect of a Korean herbal medicine, Zedoariae rhizoma, on growth of cultured human hepatic myofibroblast cells. Life Sci. 2005 Jul 8;77(8):890-906. Epub 2005 Apr 7.
  15. Chen W, Lu Y, Gao M, Wu J, Wang A, Shi R. Anti-angiogenesis effect of essential oil from Curcuma zedoaria in vitro and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 7;133(1):220-6.
  16. Matsuda H, Tewtrakul S, Morikawa T, Nakamura A, Yoshikawa M. Anti-allergic principles from Thai zedoary: structural requirements of curcuminoids for inhibition of degranulation and effect on the release of TNF-alpha and IL-4 in RBL-2H3 cells. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Nov 15;12(22):5891-8.
  17. Xu XB, Qin XM, Xu JD, Pang JJ. [Effect of Curcuma zedoaria (Berg.) Bosc on the myoelectric activity of uterus in rats and study of its mechanisms]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2001 May;26(5):334-7.
  18. Kim KI, Kim JW, Hong BS, Shin DH, Cho HY, Kim HK, Yang HC. Antitumor, genotoxicity and anticlastogenic activities of polysaccharide from Curcuma zedoaria. Mol Cells. 2000 Aug 31;10(4):392-8.
  19. Seo WG, Hwang JC, Kang SK, Jin UH, Suh SJ, Moon SK, Kim CH. Suppressive effect of Zedoariae rhizoma on pulmonary metastasis of B16 melanoma cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):249-57.
  20. Peng CH, Chiu WT, Juan CW, Mau JL, Chen CC, Peng CC, Lai EY, Chyau CC. Pivotal role of curcuminoids on the antimutagenic activity of Curcuma zedoaria extracts. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2010;33(1):64-76.
  21. Lai EY, Chyau CC, Mau JL, Chen CC, Lai YJ, Shih CF, Lin LL. Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of the essential oil of Curcuma zedoaria. Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(2):281-90.
  22. Wilson B, Abraham G, Manju VS, Mathew M, Vimala B, Sundaresan S, Nambisan B. Antimicrobial activity of Curcuma zedoaria and Curcuma malabarica tubers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 May 13;99(1):147-51
  23. Israr F, Hassan F, Naqvi BS, Azhar I, Jabeen S, Hasan SM. Report: Studies on antibacterial activity of some traditional medicinal plants used in folk medicine. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2012 Jul;25(3):669-74.
  24. Gupta SK, Banerjee AB, Achari B. Isolation of Ethyl p-methoxycinnamate, the major antifungal principle of Curcuma zedoaria. Lloydia. 1976 Jul-Aug;39(4):218-22.
  25. Ficker CE, Smith ML, Susiarti S, Leaman DJ, Irawati C, Arnason JT. Inhibition of human pathogenic fungi by members of Zingiberaceae used by the Kenyah (Indonesian Borneo). J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Apr;85(2-3):289-93.
  26. Hong CH, Noh MS, Lee WY, Lee SK. Inhibitory effects of natural sesquiterpenoids isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma zedoaria on prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide production. Planta Med. 2002 Jun;68(6):545-7.
  27. Jang MK, Lee HJ, Kim JS, Ryu JH. A curcuminoid and two sesquiterpenoids from Curcuma zedoaria as inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis in activated macrophages. Arch Pharm Res. 2004 Dec;27(12):1220-5.
  28. Yoshioka T, Fujii E, Endo M, Wada K, Tokunaga Y, Shiba N, Hohsho H, Shibuya H, Muraki T. Antiinflammatory potency of dehydrocurdione, a zedoary-derived sesquiterpene. Inflamm Res. 1998 Dec;47(12):476-81.
  29. Jang MK, Sohn DH, Ryu JH. A curcuminoid and sesquiterpenes as inhibitors of macrophage TNF-alpha release from Curcuma zedoaria. Planta Med. 2001 Aug;67(6):550-2.
  30. Lee SK, Hong CH, Huh SK, Kim SS, Oh OJ, Min HY, Park KK, Chung WY, Hwang JK. Suppressive effect of natural sesquiterpenoids on inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity in mouse macrophage cells. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2002;21(2):141-8.
  31. Hong CH, Hur SK, Oh OJ, Kim SS, Nam KA, Lee SK. Evaluation of natural products on inhibition of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cultured mouse macrophage cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Nov;83(1-2):153-9.
  32. Tohda C, Nakayama N, Hatanaka F, Komatsu K. Comparison of Anti-inflammatory Activities of Six Curcuma Rhizomes: A Possible Curcuminoid-independent Pathway Mediated by Curcuma phaeocaulis Extract. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Jun;3(2):255-60. Epub 2006 Apr 5.
  33. Makabe H, Maru N, Kuwabara A, Kamo T, Hirota M. Anti-inflammatory sesquiterpenes from Curcuma zedoaria. Nat Prod Res. 2006 Jun;20(7):680-5.
  34. Oh OJ, Min HY, Lee SK. Inhibition of inducible prostaglandin E2 production and cyclooxygenase-2 expression by curdione from Curcuma zedoaria. Arch Pharm Res. 2007 Oct;30(10):1236-9.
  35. The Plant List. Available from Accessed on 19th June 2014

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