Family: Zingiberaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Sothi.

Tribal Name: Yak Cre Dong, Aatega (Marma).

English Name: Zedoary, Indian Arrowroot.

Description of the Plant

A leafy rhizomatous herb; rhizome pale yellow inside. Leaves with long petiols, lamina 30-60 cm long, oblong-lanceolate, clouded with purple along the midrib. Flowers in compact, oblong spike, 7.5-12.5 cm long, appearing before the leaves; flowers yellow. Coma bracts long, crimson or purple.

Using Information

Rhizomes and tubers are stimulant, carminative, stomachic, expectorant, demulcent, diuretic, rubefacient and cooling; used in flatulence and dyspepsia and as a corrector of purgatives; applied to bruises and sprains. It is used to clear the throat.

Decoction of the rhizome is given in diarrhoea; together with long pepper, cinnamon and honey is given to relieve cough cold, fever and bronchitis. Fresh rhizome checks leucorrhoeal and gonorrhoeal discharges. Juice of the leaves is given in dropsy.

Essential oil from rhizome possesses antifungal and antibacterial activity (Asolkar et al., 1992). Curcumol and curdione contained in the rhizome have anticancer properties (Ghani, 2003). Chemical constiteunts: Rhizome contains an essential oil, sesquiterpenes, curcumol curcumadiol, furanodiene and its iso-derivatives, dehydrocurdione and zederone.


The rhizome also contains cytotoxic components, curcuminoids. Main constituent of the essential oil is a sesquiterpene, curzerenone. The sesquiterpene, zedoarone, an antifungal constituent, ethyl-p-methoxycinnamate and curcuminoids have also been isolated from the oil (Ghani, 2003).

Plant also contains curzerenone, pyrocurzerenone, furanosesquiterpenoids, isofuranodienone and epicurzerenone (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993). Rhizome contains about 61% starch (Yusuf, 1999).


All over the country in fallow lands.

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