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Curcuma zedoaria
Curcuma zedoaria
Did you know that… ?
  1. …in traditional medicine, this species is a familiar stomach agent, promotes bile secretion and so consumption of large doses is not recommended?
  2. …zedoary is sold as a houseplant?
  3. …zedoary is rich in starch, and so in India it is given as a fortifying agent to small children and sick people?
  4. …for curing colds, zedoary is combined with pepper, cinnamon and honey?
  5. …zedoary is grown all over southeast Asia in damp, subtropical forests, and it takes two years for the plant to fully develop?
  6. …zedoary is good in chicken and mutton dishes, and in Indonesia, stems are eaten raw, and leaves are used to flavor fish dishes?
  7. …zedoary is an ingredient in spice mixes and is added to dishes where turmeric or ground ginger could be used?
  8. …zedoary as a spice consists of chopped or ground dried rhizomes of the Curcuma zedoaria and C. zerumbet plants?
Zedoary root

Curried shrimp

1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground zedoary
½ teaspoon ground mustard seeds
½teaspoon ground ginger
½teaspoon ground caraway seed
pinch chili powder
tarragon vinegar
200 g shrimp
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
½liter coconut milk, salt

Finely slice onion and garlic, sauté until golden brown, add spices (which form a curry mix), stir and sauté and additional three to four minutes. Add ¼ liter coconut milk and salt to taste. Add shrimp at the end and finish heating uncovered. The same procedure can be used for crab, and salt- or fresh-water crayfish.


Zedoary comes from India and Indonesia. In the 6th century, Arab traders brought it to Europe, where it was successfully used in medicine and perfume manufacture. Its popularity was greatest in the Middle ages. In China, during the T'ang dynasty, powder from zedoary, saffron and camphor was dusted on paths where the emperor was expected to walk. Zedoary has similar healing properties to ginger, and in the Orient, it is used as a digestive aid. In Western Europe, ginger is often used instead of zedoary.