Basic Information



 Species                       : Curcuma longa Roxb.

Local Name                 : Hardi (Nep),Manya (Lep)

Synonym                     :

Family                          : Zingiberaceae.

Habitat                       : A tall perennial herb. Cultivated in humid climatic regions of the plains of India.

Distribution                : Distributed in tropical and temperate region.

Sikkim                         : Cultivated throughout Sikkim except in the alpine region.

Out side                      : West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, China, Bhutan (Phuntsoling district).

General                       : Himalaya (Garhwal- Bhutan), Assam, Myanmar.

Morphological information

A perennial herb. Rootstock large, ovoid with sessile, cylindric tubers orange- coloured inside. Leaves very large in tufts up to 1.2 m or more longer, including the petiole which is about as long as the blade, oblong- lanceolate, tapering to the base. Flowers in autumnal spikes, 10- 15 cm, long, peduncle 15 cm or more, concealed by the sheathing petiole, green flowering bracts, covering yellow flowers.

Flowering              : July-August.

Fruiting                 : September -November

History                 : Curcuma is said to be "from the Persian Kurkum", a name applied also to saffron

Parts                    : Rhizome.

Status                  : Cultivated, endangered in wild.


The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of dry rhizomes has been reported to contain α- phellandrene, d- sabinene, cineole, borneol, zingiberene and sesquiterpene ketones. In the recent analysis of the essential oil, tuemerone ar- turmerine and sabonone have been identified in the ketonic fraction besides p- cymene, isocaryophyllene, trans β-farnesene, δ- curcumene, β- bisabolene and β-sesquiphellandrene. Recent work on the study of sesquiterpenes has revealed a new compound curlone.The crystalline colouring matter curcurnin is deferuloyl methane.



The plant is laxative, anthelmintic, vulnerary, tonic, alexiteric, emollient; improves the complexion; useful in "Kapha" and "Vata", diseases of the blood, leucoderma, scabies, urinary discharges, inflammations, ozoena, bad taste in the mouth, biliousness, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, snake bite, small pox, swellings, boils, bruises, sprains.


In unani system, roasted turmeric is an ingredient of "Hab Narkachur", used as antidysentric for children. Powdered turmeric is used in tooth powder and (Marham) paste. It is used in liver problem, jaundice, urinary discharges, scabies and bruises. It is a well- known domestic remedy for dressing wounds, bites and in the form of paste as an anti- inflammatory and antiseptic agent for smearing on the swollen parts and skin. The decoction of turmeric is used in conjunctivitis for relieving the pain. In coryza, the fumes of burning turmeric directed into the nostrils cause a copius mucous discharge and relieve the congestion.

Traditional : The paste prepared with the combination of mustard oil is applied on itching due to bacteria[ infection on the body parts.



1. Anonymous (1992). The Useful Plants of India. Publication and information Directorate, CSIR, New Delhi, 152.

2. Bentley, Robert and Henry Trimen (1992). Medicinal Plants. Prashant Gahlot for Allied Book Centre, Dehradun, 269.

3. Handa, S.S. and Kaul, M.K. (1996). Supplement of Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal Plants. Regional Research laboratory, CSIR, Jammu  Tawi, 36.

4. Kirtikar, K.R; B.D. Basu (1994). Indian Medicinal Plants (Vol. IV). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun, 2423- 2425.

5. Progress Report of the Project "Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim" (1998- 2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.

6. Thakur, R.S., H.S. Puri, Akhtar Hussain (1989). Major Medicinal Plants of India. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Lucknow, 234- 235.