Curcuma longa L.

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 168-169

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Curcuma longa L.


Curcuma longa L. 


Myanmar: nanwin, hsanwin, sa-nwin, namchying (Kachin), aihre (Chin), meet (Mon). English: turmeric.


India. Widely cultivated in the tropics. Cultivated in Myanmar.


Stem (Rhizome): Hot, sharp, bitter, and savory, use of the rhizome known for reversing many ailments and increasing overall longevity. It is used in making different medicines, ointments, and smoke treatments (herbs scattered over glowing embers of charcoal and patient sits nearby with large basket over which blanket placed) for a variety of conditions, including digestive problems, very high fevers, eye problems, male-related troubles, coughs, asthma and bronchitis, and diarrhea. Powdered turmeric is mixed with water and ingested, burned to create fumes for inhaling, boiled in water for bathing, or tied in a cloth bundle applied to different areas of the body needing treatment. Turmeric reduces fevers, lowers post-partum high blood pressure, expels "bad blood" left in the body after childbirth, and purifies the blood. It relieves post-partum weakness, cold skin, breast aches or inflammation, bloating and edema associated with female disorders, itches, and rashes; and is also used to treat an unclean or infected uterus, aching of the eyes, colds and fevers. Mixed with powder from the bark of let-htoke ( Holarrhena antidysenterica  ) and a moderate amount of honey, turmeric is stewed with water and taken as a remedy for dysentery and for vomiting or otherwise passing blood. Mixed with warm water and held in the mouth, it is used to treat inflamed gums and toothaches; alternatively it is mixed with salt and pressed into the root of the affected tooth. Taken with a small amount of salt three times daily, turmeric eases bloating and pain from flatulence. Three thin slices of the sun-dried rhizome daily alleviates gastritis. Mixed with lime, turmeric relieves cysts, knots in muscles, and bruises, and turmeric powder is applied to wounds to stop excessive bleeding. Ingesting a mixture of turmeric, brown rock sugar, and water from washing rice treats bladder stones; a mixture of turmeric, juice from zee-hpyu ( Phyllanthus emblica  ) and honey relieves urinary infections.


The medicinal uses of this species in India are discussed in Jain and DeFilipps (1991). Medicinal use of this species in China is discussed by Duke and Ayensu (1985). The various medicinal uses of this species are also discussed in Perry (1980). She notes that the main tubers, over a year old, are used in medicine while the lateral rhizomes are used in cooking.


Agricultural Corporation (1980).