Article Index
1. Botany & Varieties
2. Chemical Constituents
3. Medicinal Properties & Use
4. Soil & Climate
5. Propagation
6. Planting & Aftercare
7. Pest & Diseases
8. Harvest & Processing
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Turmeric / Manjal (Curcuma longa)

Aerial parts of  turmeric plant is similar to that of Kasthuri manjal. Leaves are yellowish green but rhizomes are deep yellow due to very high curcumin content.

Yellow zedoary/ Manjakoova (Curcuma  zedoaria)

The plant is seen wild in homesteads and wastelands.
It is robust in appearance compared to Kasthurinamjal; besides,  a violet colouration is seen in the leaf midrib and the rhizomes are light yellow.

It is ingredient of many cosmetics and skin care products. It is digestive and tonic.

In most cases, the product now available in market under the label Kasthurimanjal powder, is yellow zedoary powder. The cream coloured powder of Kasthurimanjal is rarely available in market.


Wild Arrow root / Vellakoova (Curcuma  angustifolia)

The aerial portion of Wild Arrow root  is similar to yellow zedoary. It robust in appearance and  violet colouration is seen in the leaf midrib; but  the rhizomes are cream with bluish colour formation on fresh cut on exposure to air.
The rhizomes of this plant is widely used for starch extraction.
The fresh rhizomes are ground into a paste, strained through a muslin cloth to remove fibre  and the filtrate is repeatedly washed in water and decanted to collect water insoluble sedimented starch which is sundried and marketed as ‘Koova nooru” though it is different from West Indian Arrow root.
This product is free of fibre, water soluble sugars, essential oil, curcumin etc. and is easily digestible; hence an ideal starchy food for  infants and invalids.

The rhizome is useful as anti-inflammatory and for healing bone fracture.
It is also effective in curing burning sensation, kidney stone, lack of appetite etc.

Karimanjal (Curcuma caesia)
Though the medicinal use of this is species is not common, it is used in a  few folklore medicines. This plant is short statured with blackish tinge on the midrib of leaf lamina and pseudostem. Rhizome is sickle shaped, brownish externally with black colouration inside.
 The tribes of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh use the rhizomes of Karimanjal for curing ailments and for beauty care purposes.
  The juice of rhizomes is effective to cure asthma, sprains and bruises.
Peoples of West Bengal use this as a substitute of turmeric.

Mango-ginger / Manga inchi    (Curcuma amada)

This plant resembles turmeric in morphological features, but its rhizome is cream in colour and has the characteristic aroma of mango and taste and pungency of ginger.

It is carminative and good for various stomach problems.
The rhizomes are used for making pickles, chutney, candy, sauce, salad etc. It is also used as a condiment to impart flavor and aroma to other food products.

West Indian Arrow root / Kochikoova(Maranta arundinacea)
This plant does not belong to curcuma species, but comes under zingiberales.
The arrow shaped tubers are white in colour and grow vertically downwards.