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Zedoary. N. F. IV. Zedoaria.

Botanical name:

Related entries: Ginger - Curcuma - Zerumbet

Zedoary. N. F. IV. Zedoaria. Radix Zedoariae. Rhizoma Zedoariae, P. G. Zedoarie, Fr. Zitterwurzel, G.—"The dried rhizome of Curcuma Zedoaria (Bergius) Roscoe (Fam. Zingiberaceae)." N. F. There are two kinds of zedoary, the long and the round, distinguished by the old official titles of radix zedoariae longae and radix zedoariae rotundas. Both kinds come from the East Indies. The long zedoary is in slices, from 2.5 to 7.5. cm. in length, and from 1 to 2.5 cm. thick, obtuse at the extremities and exhibiting the remains of the radical fibers. The round is commonly seen in communities, and is " usually cut into transverse rounded sections, twisted and wrinkled, from 1 to 4 cm. in diameter, and from 5 to 10 mm. in thickness; externally grayish-brown, hairy, rough, with few root scars; transverse surface pale reddish to gray-brown; a distinct, dark circular endodermis, which is from 2 to 5 mm. in width, separates the cortex; the stele contains numerous, orange-colored resin cells and irregularly distributed, lighter colored wood bundles which are fewer in the cortex; fracture short, somewhat mealy and waxy. Odor aromatic, camphor-like; taste aromatic, warm, slightly bitter. Under the microscope, sections show a thick cork, a thin epidermis with numerous characteristic hairs, thick-walled, one- to six-celled, up to 1 mm. in length and often thicker in the middle than at the base; the parenchyma of the cortex and of the central cylinder rich in starch; secretion cells isodiametric with suberized walls, contents colorless or yellowish; the endodermis of small, thin-walled quadratic cells, the fibro-vascular bundles collateral, more numerous in the central cylinder and nearer the endodermis; few bast fibers in the cortex and no crystal cells. The powder contains numerous starch-grains which are ovoid, from 0.02 to 0.07 mm. in length and from 0.007 to 0.03 mmÈ in thickness, having the point of origin of growth in the smaller end of the grain; numerous characteristic, thick-walled hairs; rich in parenchyma; very few bast fibers; no calcium oxalate crystals or stone cells. Zedoary yields not more than 7 per cent. of ash." N. F.

Zedoary yields a volatile oil, when distilled with water, and contains a pungent soft resin and bitter extractive.

Zedoary was introduced into the N. F. IV and is used as an ingredient in bitter tincture of zedoary, antiperiodic pills, antiperiodic pills without aloes, bitter tincture, antiperiodic tincture and antiperiodic tincture without aloes.

Zedoary is a warm, stimulating aromatic, useful in flatulent colic and debility of the digestive organs. It is rarely employed, as it produces no effects which cannot be as well or better obtained from ginger. The dose is from ten grains to half a drachm (0.65-2.0 Gm.).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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