Family: Zingiberaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Kalahaldi, Kalahalood, Nilkantha.

Tribal Name: Kala hailla, Muicheya (Chakma); Sam gattak (Garo).

English Name: Black zedoary.

Description of the Plant

A leafy rhizomatous herb; rhizome blue inside. Leaves 30-60 cm long, broadly lanceolate or oblong, with a broad purple cloud along the midrib of the leaf. Flowers in compact, oblong spike about 15 cm long, appearing before leaves; flowers pale yellow, reddish at the outer border. Flowering bracts green with a ferruginous tinge. Coma bracts purplish red.

Using Information

The medicinal properties are the same as those of Curcuma zedoaria (No. 244). Red iron is dipped in to the rhizome juice and the juice is then given to the patients suffering from diarrhoea. Rhizome paste is prescribed for blood dysentery in Ghagra of Rangamati.

It is also applied as a poultice in headache and rheumatic pain. Rhizome is also used in fever in Khagrachari. Garo of Madhupur administer rhizomes to treat inflammation of the tonsils.

Alcoholic extract of the rhizome possesses potential antibacterial and antifungal activities (Dutta et al., 2007).


Chemical Constituents

Dry tubers contain 1.6% essential oil, main component of which is d-camphor 76.6% (Chopra et al., 1956). Rhizome also contains about 52% starch (Yusuf, 1999).


Throughout the country in fallow lands.

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