Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria) is a plant native to the Asian countries of India and Indonesia. In other parts of the world, it is commonly known as Kachur or White Turmeric. Through the advent of time, it spread to the terrains of Nepal and Europe as a spice. It comes from the family of rhizomes like ginger, Zingiberaceae. The plant grows yellow flowers with large and tuberous stems. It can reach a meter or 3 feet in height. Nowadays, the plant is extracted to produce Zedoary Essential Oil. Its oil is widely used as an ingredient in flavorings and perfume. But the oil has been used before in folk medicine as an alternative cure.
Zedoary Essential Oil has a camphoraceous odor, imitating a woody and cineolic fragrance. The oil has a golden yellow appearance that is matched with its mild viscosity. It benefits the digestive system by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract movement. Unlike other essential oils, this oil has the ability to prevent upcoming stress ulceration.
Back in the traditional Eastern medicine, the oil cured numerous people by aiding the digestion, relieving colic stress, and purifying the blood. It was also used as an anti-venom when someone was bitten by an Indian cobra. The Western medicine has different ways of using the essential oil. Back in history, it treated people who suffered from coronary heart diseases, anemia, liver cancer and other related diseases. Nowadays, researchers are studying the oil for its potential as an anti-microbial agent.
All of its benefits are due to its main constituents such as 5-epixode, curcumenol, curmanolide A and B, dehydrocurdione, germacrone, zederone, isocurcumenol, furanodienone, curzerenone, curcumenone, and 1,8-cineole.
Zedoary Essential Oil Benefits
The oil has a wide scope of benefits to offer and these are just some of them:
- Relieves spasms and colic stress
- Improves appetite and digestion
- Aids anxiety attacks and stress
- Repels mosquito and other insects
- Treats fatigue
Zedoary Essential Oil Uses
Listed below are some of the benefits one can get from using Zedoary Essential Oil:
- Zedoary Essential Oil as an Excellent Digestive Aid. The oil treats various digestive system-related problems such as loss of appetite, indigestion, spasms, worm infestation, flatulence, dyspepsia, colic stress, and irregular bowel movement. It is even considered as a natural aid for stress ulceration. Menstrual discomforts and abdominal pain are also relieved by this oil.
- Zedoary Essential Oil as a Cure for Respiratory Problems. Excess in the substance called Kapha dosha in the respiratory tract leads to the deposition of mucus and phlegm. This congests the respiratory pathway thereby causing breathing difficulties and some other respiratory disorders such as colds, asthma, and cough.
- Zedoary Essential Oil as a Pain Reliever. The oil has the ability to treat wounds and some other skin problems. When put near the area of the wound, it relieves the pain.
- Zedoary Essential Oil as an Anti-inflammatory Agent. The Indonesian folk medicine uses this oil in treating an inflammatory bowel disease, most commonly known as ulcerative colitis. The oil’s inflammatory mediators are restricted from being released in the system thereby giving lung protection to asthmatic patients.
- Zedoary Essential Oil as a Diuretic. Diuretics are substances that eliminate excess and toxic substances in the body such as uric acid. Uric acids tend to build up in joints and cause pain. It also triggers the inflammation caused by rheumatism and arthritis. In some cases like fever, the oil’s diuretic abilities stimulate sweating and removing of microbes through urination.
- Zedoary Essential Oil as an Anti-cancer Agent. The anti-cancer properties of this oil inhibit the proliferation of AGS cells. It is done by arresting the cell cycle of the AGS cells. Apoptosis or programmed cell death is also promoted by the use of this oil. AGS cells are related to the expression of BAX or BCL-2 Protein, an oncogene or a gene that causes cancer. In a recent study, the active compound of this oil called beta-elemene is approved by the Chinese SFDA in treating tumors in ovaries, lungs, breast, liver, colon and, brain.
Zedoary Oil Side Effects
No clear data can support its toxicity to regular users but it is suggested to be taken only in appropriate amounts. However, people belonging to the group listed below are prohibited from using the oil:
- Pregnant and Breastfeeders. Women might experience miscarriage upon ingestion of this oil. Due to lack of information about its safety to infants, the oil is prohibited for women who are breastfeeding.
- Women who experience heavy menstrual periods are suggested not to take in even small amounts of this oil for it increases blood flow thereby worsening menorrhagia.
How to Use Zedoary Essential Oil
There are lots of ways to reap the benefits of the said oil and here are just some of them:
- To increase the physical and psychological well-being, the oil is used in aromatherapy. A diffuser is used in order to bring out the relaxing aroma of the Zedoary Essential Oil. When inhaled, the aroma stimulates the brain to function well. As steam goes inside the body, the absorbed steam travels through the bloodstream and heals the entire body. In addition, aromatherapy of this oil enhances the mood while relieving pain and increasing the cognitive ability of the brain. In the diffuser, put 2 to 3 drops of Zedoary Essential Oil. This also helps in reducing the painful sensation one can get from vomiting too much.
- The oil is considered safe for skin use. To use it as a topical, just add 3 drops of the Zedoary Essential Oil to a drop of Almond Oil. After transferring it to a sterile container, gently massage it to the abdomen to relieve the digestive tract problem. In terms of respiratory tract problems, you can rub 2 drops of this oil to the neck, back, and chest. This relieves blocked nose, congested respiratory pathway and, colds.
- Warm Bath. To stimulate the digestion and to improve the appetite, add 2 drops of the oil to warm water and use it as you take a bath. This tends to expel worms inside the body through excretion.
- To the steaming water add 3 drops of Zedoary Essential Oil. When inhaled, its camphoraceous aroma causes loosening of the deposited phlegm.
- Hot Compress. To relieve abdominal pain, menstrual discomforts, and amenorrhea, mix 3 drops of Zedoary Essential Oil to a warm water. Soak the compress to the hot water and put it on the abdominal area. To increase its effectiveness, you can also blend one drop of Coconut Oil to 4-5 drops of Zedoary Essential Oil.
How to Make Zedoary Essential Oil
Extraction of the oil from Zedoary roots involves the process called steam distillation. Shown below is an overview of the process:
- Extract the roots of Zedoary through a passing steam system. This makes use of varying vaporization temperatures of the different components of its roots. The oil is extracted after it has passed the distillation column.
- Make use of the varying solubility of the components present in its roots to separate unwanted components. The oil has a lesser solubility than other components at a given boiling temperature.
- After that, release the oil. No damage can be found in its delicate components. At this point, the water vapor and oil are returned to their liquid form in the condensing apparatus.
- Separate the two components left through the Florentine separator. Place the extracted Zedoary Essential Oil in a sterile container.
Zedoary Essential Oil Recipe
- In order to make an infusion, add a drop of Zedoary Essential Oil to honey or lemon. It can also be added to a pint of boiling water by adding a tablespoon of the oil. A cup of this infusion must be consumed 30 minutes before a meal. This infusion has an unsweetened taste that closely resembles a bitter taste.
- The oil can be ingested as a spice in condiments. Indians use it in their popular viand, the curry.
- Food or Beverage Additive. A drop or two of the oil can be added to food and beverages for an enhanced flavor.
Where to Buy Zedoary Essential Oil
Zedoary Essential Oil is common worldwide, especially in Asian countries. It can be found in nearby health boutiques and pharmacies. If you want to order it online for convenience, online sites such as Alibaba and eBay sell this oil at around $14. Known and trusted brands are the following: Boten, Altermedica Laboratories.
More Information on Zedoary Essential Oil
There are hypotheses on some other uses of the oil. Here are just some of those unsupported claims:
- Used in fabricated soaps and cosmetics
- Used by Indians as pepper
- Effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, hiccups, gonorrhea, and blood disorders.
- Active ingredient of bitter tonics
- Also treats gynecologic inflammation and pediatric diseases
- Reduces likelihood of viral myocarditis
- Treats food-related disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
- Fights infection caused by microbes
- Promotes cell regeneration