Curcuma longa L. (syn. Curcuma domestica Valeton.) Zingiberaceae Local Names : Lavar (Kokopo, East New Britain Province) English Name : Turmeric
Perennial herb up to 1 m in height, stout, fleshy. Leaves basal, petiole 40-80 cm long; lamina oblong-lanceolate, pointed at each end, up to 50 cm long and 7-25 cm wide. Flowers in racemes from the base; calyx tubular, unilaterally split, unequally toothed; corolla white, tube funnel shaped, limb 3-lobed. Stamens lateral, petaloid, widely elliptical, longer than the anther; filament united to another about the middle of the pollen sac, spurred at base. Rhizome lateral, tuberous or elongate, slightly bent, flesh orange in colour, aromatic. Flowers usually in months of May – June. Habitat. Extensively cultivated and naturalized in lowland to lower montane areas.
Widely distributed throughout the South Pacific and the tropics.
Zingiberene, curcumene, curcuim, alpha- & beta- turmerone, zedoarondiol, alpha- & delta- atlantones, bisaboladienones, bisabolenes, bisacumol, bisacurone, curlone, curdinone, curcumins and derivatives, curcumenone, curcumenol, caryophyllenes, curzerenones, germacron derivatives, beta-sesquiphellandrene, alpha-turmerine, turmeronols, beta-turmeroone, borneol, isoborneol, camphene, camphor, cineol, para-cymene, limonene, linalool, alpha phellandrene, terpinene, sabinene, alpha and beta pinenes, terpineol, caffeic acid, eugenol, guaiacol, cinnamoyl derivatives, cholesterol, campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, lignan, phenyl propanoids, oleoresins, prtocatechuic acid, cyclocurcumin, vanillic acid, tannins, turmerin, ukonans. Biological Activity1,7-13. Anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-dyspeptic, antibacterial, fungistatic, cytotoxic, increases bile production, uterine stimulant, weak antimycobacterial, antiyeast, insecticidal, antiamoebic, antiallergic, antinematodal, embryotoxic, antioxidant, antitumour, antiviral, anti-implantation, antihypercholesterolemic, antimutagenic, diuretic, immunosuppressant, anticoagulant, antihepatotoxic, allergenic, insect repellent.
Traditional Medicinal Uses.
The dried rhizome is chewed and oily juice swallowed to treat stomach ulcer.
Crushed fresh rhizome is mixed with lime and applied to body to improve body colour and as a means of decoration. Rhizome is also used as a dye, and as a spice in curries.