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Temulawak (Curcuma zanthorrhiza)

Temulawak or Java ginger or Javanese ginger or Javanese turmeric or Curcuma xanthorrhiza (Curcuma zanthorrhiza) is a plant species in Zingiberaceae, grows well in loose soil in tropical forests in the lowlands to an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level and tubers are used for medicinal herbs and drinks.

C. zanthorrhiza has pseudo stems up to 2 m tall. The stem is a midrib of upright, overlapping leaves, green or dark brown in color. Rhizomes are perfectly formed, large, branched and reddish brown, dark yellow or dark green.

Dlium Temulawak (Curcuma zanthorrhiza)

Each bud forms 2-9 leaves with a circular shape extending to lancet, green or light purple to dark brown, leaves 31-84 cm long and 10-18 cm wide, stems 43-80 cm long and each strand is connected with a midrib.

Flowers are dark yellow, uniquely shaped and clustered with lateral inflorescences. The stems and scales are in the form of lines, 9-23cm long and 4-6cm wide, having protectors with comparable crowns. Petals are white, hairy and 8-13mm long.

The crown is tubular, 4-5cm long, long, round white flower strands with a red tip, 1-2cm long and 1cm wide, while the rhizome is dark orange or brown, with a pungent aroma and bitter taste.

Rhizome contains 48-59.64% starch, 1.6-2.2% curcumin and 1.48-1.63% essential oils which are believed to improve kidney work, anti-inflammatory, acne medications, increase appetite, anti-cholesterol, anemia, antioxidants, cancer prevention, and anti-microbial.



Vegetative propagation using old rhizomes aged 9 months or more, then germinated in a damp, dark place for 2-3 weeks. Another way is to cut old rhizomes that are harvested and already have buds, then dried for 4-6 days.

Wild temu lawak grows in shady lands, temperatures of 19-30C and rainfall of 1,000-4,000 mm/year. In general, this plant has a high adaptability for various weather conditions in tropical climates. Roots adapt well to various types of soil including calcareous, sandy and clay soils.

C. zanthorrhiza grows at an altitude of 5-1000 m, but the highest starch content in the rhizome is at an altitude of 240 m. Curcuma is planted in the highlands to produce rhizomes that contain only a little essential oil. Pests include Chrysodeixis chalcites, Agrotis ypsilon and Mimegrala coerulenfrons.

The main content of rhizomes is protein, carbohydrates and essential oils consisting of camphor, glucoside, turmerol, and curcumin which are useful as anti-inflammatory and anti-hepototoxic properties. Pharmacological effects include hepatoprotector, lower cholesterol, laxative, diuretic, relieve joint pain, increase appetite, smooth milk, and cleanse the blood.

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Curcuma
Species: C. zanthorrhiza

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