Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria) is the name for a perennial herb and
member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The plant is native to
India and Indonesia.
Zedoary is a rhizome that grows in tropical and subtropical wet
forest regions. The fragrant plant bears yellow flowers with red and
green bracts and the underground stem section is large and tuberous
with numerous branches. The leaf shoots of the zedoary are long and
can reach 1 metre (3 feet) in height.
The edible root of zedoary has a white interior and a fragrance
reminiscent of mango, however its flavour is more similar to ginger,
except with a very bitter aftertaste. In Indonesia it is ground to a
powder and added to curry pastes, whereas in India it tends to be
used fresh or pickled.
Zedoary is also used in some traditional eastern medicines where it
is reputed to be an aid to digestion, a relief for colic and an
agent for purifying the blood.
Herbs and spices