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Curcuma Caesia Black Turmeric Blue Black Zedoary Root
Packet containing 1x small, rare, and very expensive rhizome!
True Black Turmeric is super hard to find here in Australia and until now I have been keeping it for just me and the Mrs.
It is famed as the species of Turmeric with the highest Curcumin of any plant species on the planet, and it is extremely valuable on the medicinal herb market due to its natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The leaf of the plant is quite ornamental too with a bold maroon red splash running down the middle of the wide green leaves.
It grows very easily but in comparison to other turmeric and gingers it is pretty slow growing and it hates wet feet and poor drainage. Sandy well draining soil mix is needed to prevent root rot.
The tuberous rhizome is a beautiful yellow, blue, green, purple and sometimes nearly black when cut, and the flavour is very very intense.
I would say some folks will definitely consider it unpleasant, but I mean, most medicinal species do too due to the chemical components they contain.
The best way to describe it is the first flavour is mild ginger, then very very strong turmeric, then bitterness and an almost petrochemical kerosene punch that is overpowering for a couple seconds, that then fades out to a camphor and alcohol sort of thing, and then finally turmeric flavour again with the camphor/moth balls bit lingering, then finally fading out to nothing.
I can’t offer medical or safety advice so please don’t ask or I’ll get cranky and just send you HERE.
I can tell you that I personally drink very small slivers of it as tea when my bones ache and I personally believe it gives mild relief to my Ross River Virus symptoms and arthritis pain.
Could be placebo, and might not be safe , especially in your personal situation, and I in no way recommend anything except you doing your own research.
But in my personal situation I really value it as a medicine, and that is why it has taken me so many years to consider selling some off.
I just couldn’t risk losing it as if I did I would never be able to get more.
Traditionally it is known by a few different names with Black Turmeric being one of the more popular. Also know as aihang, ailaihang, black curcuma, black haldi, black zedoary, Curcuma kenchoor, Curcuma kuchoor, gadwar aswad, kaalo haledo, kala-haldi, kala haladhi, kala haldi, kara cadvar, kariarishina, kari manjal, krishna kedar, kunyit hitham, nalla pasupu, naru kachora, nishaa, nishi, raatri, rajani, schwarze zedoarwurzel, temu hitham, yaimu, yaingang amuba, zedoaire noir, zedoaria nera, and no doubt others too.
Unfortunately this popularity as a medicine meant that in in 2016 the Indian Agricultural Department officially listed Black Turmeric as an endangered species in it’s native range.
The main method the roots are prepared for market sales overseas is as follows.
The roots are dug and washed then weighed down underwater in a large pot of water which is boiled until the surface foams.
The roots are then removed and sun dried before being packed, tied, and shipped for sale all across the Indian continent.
The cooking prevents the plant from being able to be grown by the folks that buy it, meaning they have to come back and buy more…
It also stops it shooting or rotting in transit, but I believe the whole captive market thing is the main motivator given that fresh root is much higher valued.
Many growers will not even sell it fresh and viable despite the much higher price for just this reason.
For this reason importation of dried roots to Australia is not only illegal, it’s a total waste of time as they will NOT grow, despite what the overseas resellers may tell you.
Boiled, dried, and sold at a market = dead tubers 100% of the time.
It is often used as a rub or as poultice to relieve pain inflammation and bruising by applying to the external skin.
It is also used as a beauty therapy and migraine pain reliever when powdered and applied like makeup, or carried as a talisman to ward off evil spirits.
It is even just worn to make a person more attractive(like a lucky charm) and this practice has spread to many other countries throughout Asia, especially Thailand.
The oil of dried Curcuma caesia roots contains at least 30 different components with about 30% being camphor, 12% ar-turmerone, 8% (Z)-ocimene, 7% ar-curcumene, 5% 1,8-cineole, 5% elemene, 4% borneol, 3% bornyl acetate and 3% curcumene.
Traditional healers use it for treatment of hemorrhoids, bronchitis, leprosy, asthma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, fever, wounds, impotency, fertility, menstrual disorders, toothache, gum disease, worms, vomiting, stomach ache, muscle and joint pain etc etc etc.
Even as an ornamental it’s a great choice and if you grow it in a sandy well draining soil mix and only water when dry like I do then I can’t really see any dramas growing this fella.
I grow mine in neglected 9lt pots of sandy soil that hardly ever get a water as it makes the harvest super easy and I believe the harsh conditions increase the potency of the plant.
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems no nasties, no problems!!!