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,
slenderly acuminate, 25 to 70 centimeters long, 8 to 15 centimeters wide. Scape arises from the rootstock and not from the leaf-tuft, often appearing before the leaves. Peduncle is 10 to 20
centimeters long and covered with few loose bracts. Spikes are cylindric, 10 to 15
centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters in diameter, composed of numerous ovate to obovate,
somewhat spreading rounded bracts, the lower ones green, more or less
tipped with pink, the upper ones usually longer and purple, each containing
several flowers, the lower flowers opening first. Calyx is small and 2-fid. Corolla tube is about 2 centimeters long,
yellowish-white, and sometimes tinged with purple, the lip is usually
yellow and 2-lobed. Fruits are capsules, membranaceous, globose, 3-valved.
- Grows abundantly throughout
the Philippines in open waste places in and near towns.
- Occurs from India to Malaya.
• Phytochemical screening of crude extracts of dried rhizomes yielded terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, flavanoids, glycosides, carbohydrates, phenolics, tannins, and phytosterols.
• Volatile oil (zedoary
oil), 0.25-0.665%-cineol, camphene, zingiberene, borneol, camphor, curcumin,
zedoarin; gum; starch; resin.
• Phytochemical evaluation of the rhizome yielded: moisture, 83.22%; total ash, 6.64%; acid insoluble ash, 0.64%; alchohol soluble extractives, 15.53%, water soluble extractives, 18.96%; sugar, 12.51% and starch 15.70%. (13)
• Essential oil yielded active compounds 8,9-dehydro-9-formyl-cycloisolongifolene, 6-ethenyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-3,6-dimethyl-5-isopropenyl-trans-benzofuran, eucalyptol and γ-elemene. (26)
• Zerumbone and its natural analog zerumbone 2,3-epoxide were isolated from the rhizomes. see study below) (35)
• Study on EtOAc-soluble fraction of the rhizomes isolated two new sesquiterpenoids, 13-hydroxycurzerenone (1) and 1-oxocurzerenone (2), and 11 known compounds (3-13). (see study below) (36)
• Methanolic extract of rhizome isolated sesquiterpenes furanodiene (1) and furanodienone (2) along with new sesquiterpene compound 3 and known eight sesquiterpenes, zederone (4), curzerenone (5), curzeone (6), germacrone (7), 13-hydroxygermacrone (8), dehydrocurdione (9), curcumenone (10), and zedoaronediol (11). (see study below) (37)
- 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.
· Part utilized:
· 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.
• Antimicrobial: Study supports
the traditional use of CZ for bacterial and fungal infections. (1) Study showed the hydroalcoholic extract to have potent antimicrobial activity against B cereus and moderate activity against K pneumonia and C albicans.
• Phytochemical / Analgesic:
Phytochemical Analysis and Analgesic Properties of Curcuma
zedoaria Rhizomes Grown in Brazil: Phytochemical studies yielded dichloromethane
and curcumenol which exhibited analgesic activity and justifies its
folkloric use for painful conditions. (2)
• Anti-inflammatory / Curcuminoid and Sesquiterpenoids / Rhizomes: Study suggests the use of
CZ rhizome as an antiinflammatory may be explained partly by inhibition
of NO production. (3)
• Antitumor / Genotoxicity / Anticlastogenic:
Antitumor, genotoxicity and anticlastogenic activities of polysaccharide
from Curcuma zedoaria: Study suggests the CZ-I-III, the polysaccharide
fraction from CZ, decreases tumor size of mouse and prevents chromosomal
• Decreased Melanin Synthesis / Anti-Tyrosinase / Combination of C. zedoaria and Aloe Vera: Study showed the combination of extracts of C zedoaria and Aloe vera is effective in decreasing melanin synthesis when tested in murine melanoma cells. The mechanism was through tyrosinase blockage. Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme involved in the oxidation of tyrosine to melanin, and its inactivation is essential in achieving the skin lightening effects of various cosmetic preparations. Furthermore, the approach is reversible, safe, without permanent damage. (5)
• Antimicrobial / Mouth Rinse Activity: Study comparing the antimicrobial activity of CZ against S mutans, E faecalis, S aureus and C albicans with five commercial mouth rinses showed it to be comparable to that of commercial products. Its incorporation into a mouth rinse could be an alternative for improving the antimicrobial efficacy of the oral product. (6)
• Sedative Effect / Phytochemicals / Toxicity Study: Phytochemicals yielded alkaloid groups and triterpenoids, curcuminoids - curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin (most common). Results showed the chloroform soluble fraction might contain active sedative compounds, and effect achieved through the GABA pathway, muscarinic receptor pathway and the opioid receptor pathway. Toxicity study also classifies it as practically non-toxic. (7)
• Antitumor Effect / Immunomodulation: Study of crude extract of CZ on peripheral blood cells and tumor progression in mice injected with murine melanoma cells showed intraperitoneal therapy caused a significant increase in white and RBC count, decrease in peritoneal cell number, tumor volume reduction. The results suggest a phototherapeutic potential to compounds against tumor progression and possible immunomodulation. (8)
• Reduction of Meat Cholesterol in Broiler: Study showed that although the addition of CZ meal in the broiler ration did not significantly affect the percentage of abdominal fat, it significantly reduced the level of cholesterol broiler meat. (9)
• Cytotoxicity / Curcumins: Study isolated an active curcuminoid, demethoxycurcumin, together with curcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The curcuminoids demonstrated cytotoxicity against human ovarian cancer OVCAR-3 cells. (10)
• Uterine Myoelectric Effect: Study showed C. zedoaria has an exciting effect on the smooth muscle of uterus in rats, with a mechanism that may be associated with M- and alpha-receptors. (12)
• Pharmacognostic Evaluation: Photochemical evaluation of the rhizome yielded: moisture, 83.22%; total ash, 6.64%; acid insoluble ash, 0.64%; alcohol soluble extractives, 15.53%, water soluble extractives, 18.96%; sugar, 12.51% and starch 15.70%. (13)
• Antitumor / Isocurcumenol: Study characterized isocurcumenol which was found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells without inducing significant toxicity to normal cells. In vivo tumor reduction studies showed significant reduction of ascitic tumor in DLA-challenged mice and increased lifespan. (14)
• Benefits in Arthritis-Induced Behavior Modulation: Study in rats showed the efficacy of extracts treatment in behavior modulation induced by arthritis by decreasing irritation, anxiety, increased intention to walk, and reduction of joint swelling. (16)
• Antioxidant: (1) Various extracts from the dried rhizomes were evaluated for antioxidant activity. Maximum antioxidant activity was seen in the ethyl acetate, n-hexane and water extracts. (2) Study of organic and aqueous fractions showed the chloroform soluble fraction to be rich in in strong antioxidants while the ethyl acetate fraction showed moderate amounts of antioxidant. Results suggest a potential source of natural antioxidants and bioactive materials.
• Analgesic / Antimicrobial: A crude extract of methanol and pet ether showed mild analgesic and antimicrobial property. (17)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Various extracts were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity in albino rats using carrageenan and histamine-induced hind paw edema methods. Except for the methanol extract, all extracts showed significant anti-inflammatory activity, using the standard drug Indomethacin as control. (18)
• Antihyperglycemic Effect: Study evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic potential of a methanol extract of C. zedoaria rhizomes and fruits. Results showed significant and dose-dependent reduction of serum glucose concentrations. The reduction from fruits were less than those of the rhizomes. (20)
• Anti-Candida Activity: Study evaluated the anticandida activity of C. zedoaria volatile oil in vitro. Results showed all the candida test strains to be susceptible, suggesting a fungicidal mechanism.
• Cytotoxicity / Safety of Zedoary Oral Hygiene Products: Study evaluated the cytotoxic effects of C. zedoaria fluid extracts preparations used for oral hygiene, mostly for anti-septic reasons. Results showed the zedoary fluid extract has low cytotoxicity and can probably be used in oral hygiene products. (21)
• Antipyretic / Rhizome: Study investigated the antipyretic effect of ethanol extract of CZ rhizome in animal model. There was significant reduction of yeast-induced pyresis in rats in a dose dependent manner, comparable to standard antipyretic drug paracetamol. (24)
• Anti-Ulcer / Roots: Study investigated effect of root powder of CZ on gastric acid secretion in adult Wistar rats. Results showed significant reduction of pH, free acid, total acid, gastric juice volume, and ulcer index. Findings suggest root powder is useful in treating hyperacidity and gastric ulcers. (25)
• Anti-Cancer / Non-Small Cell Cancer / Essential Oil: Study on essential oil reports CZ possess efficient cytotoxic effects on non-small cell lung carcinoma cells and caused cell apoptosis. (see constituents above) (26)
• Anticancer / Synergism of Essential Oil and Paclitaxel: Study determined the synergistic antitumor effects of CZ essential oil and PTX (a first-line chemotherapeutic agent used in ovarian carcinoma). Results suggest CZEO and PTX synergistically enhanced the inhibition of SKOV3 proliferation, possibly via induction of cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Results suggest a potential for PTX supplemented with CZEO to decrease dose and toxicity of PTX. (27)
• Anti-Asthmatic / Rhizomes: Study investigated an ethanolic extract of C. zedoaria rhizomes for antiasthmatic activity using milk induced eosinophilia in mice. Results showed the extract significantly decreased milk induced eosinophilia in mice in a dose dependent manner, suggesting potential usefulness in the management and prevention of asthma. (28)
• Antiproliferative / Breast Cancer Cell Line: Study investigated a petroleum ether extract on proliferation of human triple negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Results showed the cell line was inhibited in a concentration and time dependent manner. (29)
• Cytotoxicity / Mitochondrial Activation on Ovarian Cancer Cells: Study investigated the mechanism of apoptotic effect of α-curcumene on the growth of human ovarian, SiHa cells. Results showed cell viability of SiHa cells was inhibited >73%. The apoptotic effect of α--curcumene on SiHa cells may converge caspase-3 activation through the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c. (30)
• Antihyperglycemic / Combination with Eucalyptus globules: Study investigated the antidiabetic potency of aqueous extract of powder mixture of dried fruits of E. globules and rhizomes of Curcuma zedoaria using streptozotocin as the diabetogenic agent. Results showed a significant dose dependent antihyperglycemic activity when compared to standard Glibenclamide. (31)
• Antimetastatic / Pulmonary Mets of B16 Melanoma Cells: Study investigated the antimetastatic effect of Curcuma zedoaria on pulmonary metastasis of B16 melanoma cells. B 16 melanoma-conditioned medium reduced NO production by macrophages. CZZ treatment reversed the reduction in NO production. Results suggest that macrophage function-modulating activity by CZ appears to underlie its antimetastatic activity, leading to decrease in number of lung metastatic surface nodules which lead to extension of life span. (32)
• Antioxidant / Comparative Radical Scavenging Activity / Fresh and Dry Rhizomes: In a study comparing the antioxidant activity of fresh and dry rhizomes of C. zedoaria, the methanol extract of both rhizomes showed good radical scavenging activity. (33)
• Anti-Angiogenesis / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the anti-angiogenic effect of essential oil in various assays: cell proliferation assay and two angiogenic models, rat aortic ring assay and chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay. Results showed the essential oil, a fat-soluble fraction of CZ, exhibited anti-angiogenic activity in vivo and in vitro, resulting in suppression of melanoma growth and metastasis, which was associated with down-regulating MMPs. (34)
• Zerumbone / Rhizomes / Anti-Inflammatory : Zerumbone and its natural analog zerumbone 2,3-epoxide were isolated from the rhizomes of Vietnamese Curcuma zedoaria species. Study for anti-inflammatory activity showed a dose-dependent effect on LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced NF-kB activation in RAW 264.7 cells. (35)
• Inhibition of Collagen Induced Platelet Aggregation: Study on EtOAc-soluble fraction of the rhizomes isolated two new sesquiterpenoids, 13-hydroxycurzerenone (1) and 1-oxocurzerenone (2), and 11 known compounds (3-13). Among the isolated compounds, 13-hydroxycurzerenone (1), 1-oxocurzerenone (2), curzerenone (3), germacrone (4), curcolone (5), procurcumenol (6), and mixture of stigmast-4-en-3,6-dione (12) and stigmasta-4,22-dien-3,6-dione (13) exhibited inhibition against collagen-induced platelet aggregation at 100µM. (36)
• Anti-Inflammatory Sesquiterpenes / Rhizomes: Study methanolic extract of the rhizome of Curcuma zedoaria isolated anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene furanodiene (1) and furanodienone (2) along with new sesquiterpene compound 3 and known eight sesquiterpenes. Compounds 1 and 2 suppressed TPA-induced inflammation of mouse ears, comparable to indomethacin. (37)