Luya-luyahan is a large perennial herb with underground tuberous rootstock. Rhizomes, like that of dilaw (Curcuma longa), are fleshy, aromatic with an odor like that of ginger, pale yellow in color. Leaves are usually in pairs, erect, petioled, green, often with a purplish blotch in the center, elliptic-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, and slenderly acuminate. Scape arises from the rootstock and not from the leaf-tuft, often appearing before the leaves.
– Grows abundantly throughout the Philippines in open waste places in and near towns.
– Occurs from India to Malaya.
– Pungent tasting, warming and slightly aromatic.
– Traditionally considered analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, diuretic, antiallergic, antiulcer, and antiasthmatic.
– Improves Ch’i and blood circulation, anticontusion, and improves menstrual flow.
– Rhizomes are considered cooling, diuretic, stomachic, emmenagogue, digestive, improves appetite.
– Volatile oil is a viscid liquid of a greenish color, with a smell of ginger oil mixed with camphor. The presence of cineol imparts the scent that suggests camphor and sesquiterpene.
Parts used and preparation
· Part utilized: rhizome.
· Collect rhizome during August to October.
· Rinse, remove roots, cut into sections and sun-dry.
· In Malaya, leaves are cooked with fish.
· Tender rhizomes used as flavoring for salad.
· In the Philippines the juice of the fresh rhizome is used as remedy for certain kinds of dermatitis (paño blanco).
· The rhizome is used as topical and applied to the stomach as stomachic.
· In Bulacan Province the fresh rhizomes are burned and the ash applied externally to wounds, ulcers and sprains.
· Decoction of dried materials used for abdominal cramps, amenorrhea-abdominal pain, and rheumatic pains.
· In India the rhizomes are used for poulticing. Plant used for flatulent colic and debility. Used as ingredient in bitter tincture of zedoary and anti-periodic pills. In Punjab and Cashmere, used for liver pains.
· In Ceylon the rhizome is used as tonic and carminative; the Arabs used it as tonic and aphrodisiac.
· Rhizome paste used externally for cuts, wounds, itching and sprains.
· Arabs consider it a tonic and aphrodisiac.
· Pain and swelling associated with sprains: Use pounded and fried rhizome with alcohol and apply as poultice. Or, warm fresh rhizome over fire, crush and apply on abdomen or affected part.
· In Ayurveda, used for diarrhea, cancer, flatulence and dyspepsia.
· According to the Dispensatory of the USA zedoary is a gastrointestinal stimulant in flatulent colic and other afflictions of the gastrointestinal system.
· In Bangladesh the rhizomes and fruits are used in the treatment of diabetes. Also used in the treatment of leprosy, mental disorders, leucorrhea, hepatitis, diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
· In Java and India the rhizome is chewed, or as decoction, as strengthening tonic after childbirth.
· In the Malay Peninsula decoction is given as tonic and for indigestion.
· Fresh rhizome considered cooling and diuretic, used for leucorrheal and gonorrheal discharges, and as a blood purifier. Rhizome also used as emmenagogue in amenorrhea. Also, rhizome used as an ingredient of stomachic elixirs and bitter drops preparations.
· Perfumery: In India, the rhizomes was once the most important source of native perfumery.
· Aromatherapy: Essential oil used in aromatherapy, reported to facilitate digestion and warm the Chi.
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