Last week, my wife bought a herbal supplement in capsul form which is made from extracts of the rhizome of zedoary. The supplement had cost my wife IDR 110K, because of the nurse who had promoted it to my wife and my neighbours at monthly housewife gathering. The nurse said that the zedoary supplement is useful for cancer preventing.
Zedoary (white turmeric), or in Latin known as Curcuma zedoaria (Berg) Roscoe, is a native plant from my own country of Indonesia. Zedoary has a fragrance of mango, but the taste is similar to ginger. Zedoary is also known as a source of terpenoids, or isoprenoids, large and diverse class of naturally occurring organic chemicals.
In Indonesia, zedoary, or temu putih in Bahasa Indonesia, is sometimes used as a spice in Indonesian cuisine, such as goat curry and chicken curry. But, temu putih is also considered as herb plants to treat scabies, rash, dyspepsia, disorders of the digestive tract, flatulence (excessive stomach or intestinal gas), diarrhea, and cancer. It is also is used as appetizer, tonic, blood purifier and for cosmetic industry.
In 1998, a study had resulted that curcuminoids, active compounds derived from Curcuma zedoaria, which were identified as curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin, were demonstrated to be cytotoxic (quality of being toxic) against OVCAR-3 (human ovarian cancer) cells. (Syu WJ, et al. 1998)
Based on the experiment to test the anti metastatic (the spread of cancer to other parts of the body) effect of zedoary with B16 melanoma (tumor) cells, it had been proven that zedoary is useful in the inhibition of cancer metastasis. The study also indicated that zedoary possesses anti migratory (invasive) effects on B16 melanoma cells, in which will be able to give more life span to cancer patients. (Seo WG, et al. 2005)
The methanolic extract of the rhizome of Zedoary had resulted in the isolation of several anti inflammatory agents such as furanodiene, and furanodienone, in which were able to suppress the induced inflammation of mouse ears, by 75% and 53% at a dose of 1.0 μM. These results are comparable to indomethacin, a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug which is often used as anti inflammatory agent to reduce fever, pain, stiffness, and swelling. (Makabe H, et al. 2006)
In Japan, the rhizome of Curcuma zedoaria is used to treat hangover, loss of appetite and nausea. Recent study using blood alcohol concentrations of drunken mice, resulted in curcumenone, an active substance of Curcuma zedoaria, were able to decrease the level of blood alcohol concentrations by increasing liver alcohol dehydrogenase activity. (Kimura Y, et al. 2013)
Fresh white turmeric root is also sold per pound on Amazon.com.