2- Characteristics of the important species of the Genus Curcuma
2.1- Species Curcuma alismatifolia Gagnep. : Siam tulip + Overview Curcuma alismatifolia,Siam tuliporsummer tulip(Thai:pathuma, ordok krajiao) is a tropical plant native toLaos, northernThailandandCambodia.Despite its name, it is not related to thetulip, but to the various ginger speciessuch asturmeric. It can grow as an indoor plant, and is also sold as cut flowers. One of the most famous wild fields of Siam Tulips is inPa Hin Ngam National Parkin theChaiyaphum provinceof Thailand. + Note! Malvidin 3-rutinosideis a pigment responsible for bract color inC. alismatifolia. Synonyms: Hitcheniopsis alismatifolia (Gagnep.) Loes. in H.G.A.Engler
2.2- Species Curcuma amadaRoxb. : mango-ginger + Overview Curcuma amada(mango ginger) is a plant of thegingerfamilyZingiberaceaeand is closely related toturmeric. The rhizomes are very similar to ginger but have a rawmangotaste.They are used in makingpicklesin southIndia. The taxonomy of the species is a subject of some confusion as some authorities have considered the nameC. manggaas identical while others describe it as a distinct species withC. mangga being found in southern India whileC. amadais of east Indian origin. + Note! Curcuma mangga extracts have showncytotoxic activities on the human cancer cell lines MCF-7 (a hormone-dependent breast cell line), KB (a nasopharyngeal epidermoid cell line),A549(a lung cell line), Ca Ski (a cervical cell line), and HT-29 (a colon cell line). The extracts showed no cytotoxicity against the non-cancerous human fibroblast cell line MRC-5. Synonyms: Curcuma mangga Valeton & van Zijp
2.3- Species Curcuma angustifoliaRoxb. + Overview Curcuma angustifoliais one of over 80 species belonging to the genusCurcuma,in the family Zingiberaceae. This species is native to theIndian subcontinentand is more commonly known as East Indian Arrowrootornarrow-leaved turmericinEnglish, and is called "yaipan" in Manipuri, "tikhur" inHindi, and "Koova" in Malayalam. In the Eastern hemisphere, the plant plays an integral role in many cultures. + Distribution C. angustifoliais most commonly found growing wild inIndia, especially in the northeast and western coastal plains and hills. Such areas include the states ofMaharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,Andhra Pradesh,Himachal Pradesh,Orissa(Odisha),Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, andKerala. This species can also be found inBurma,Laos,Nepal, and Pakistan. + Description C. angustifoliaisrhizomatousherb. It is a perennialand a flowering plant, with modest and small spikedinflorescencesof three or four yellow, funnel-shaped flowers within tufts of pink terminal bracts(coma bracts).The bracts are boat-shaped and encase the entireperianthof the flower. As is common to the genus, the flowers of C. angustifoliahave doubleanthers, a slender style, and a globularstigma. The plant in its entirety typically grows to be from 0.9-1.2 m (3.0-3.9 ft) in height. Leavesare typically simple, green, glabrous, and lanceolate, with margins that are entire. They appear in an opposite arrangement and aredeciduous. They display fine parallel venationoff of a central midrib. The upper surface of the leaves are usually a darker shade of green than the lower surfaces. Leaves may grow to about 36-37 cm (14-15 in) length and 8-10 cm (3.1-3.9 in) in width. The leaves also smell and taste similar to turmeric. Flowers are usually seen at the beginning of themonsoon(rainy) season from July to August, before the leaves have had the chance to fully develop, and they continue to flower even after the leaves have fully developed.Thecalyxof the flower is usually 1 cm (0.39 in) long and very hairy, with 3 lobes that may appear to be triangular or obtuse. The corollais white, and usually grows to be about 1.5-2 cm (0.59-0.79 in) long with glabrous lobes that are also hairy.Seedsare a reddish-brown color. Of great significance toC. angustifoliais its strong rhizome, which can grow to be up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length. The rhizome of this plant is the primary source of its nutritive and medicinal properties.C. angustifoliaalso uses its rhizome toreproduce asexually via vegetative propagation. + Common uses - Food uses This species of plant has nutritional value as a source ofstarchforIndian foods. The rhizomes ofC. angustifoliaare typically ground into a flour which can then be mixed together with milk or water to form a nutritious meal. This flour was a common commercial crop in the 1800s. Most importantly, the West has begun to notice its potential as a source of nutrition and as a non-irritating diet for patients suffering from specific chronic ailments, recovering fromfevers, or experiencing irritations of thegastrointestinal tract, thelungs, or the excretory system.A drink includingC. angustifoliaas an ingredient is also used as a replacement ofbreast-milk, or as a nutritional supplement for babies a short while afterweaning. It is found as a primary ingredient incakes,fruit preserves,biscuits, andpuddings. - Medicinal uses The rhizomes ofC. angustifoliaare used to sooth coughs and as such is used to treat bronchitis. Essential oilsfromC. angustifoliahave been extracted and are used inantifungal medications.Compounds in the leaves of this plant have also been shown to have potential asantibacterialagents. In addition, scientists have extracted the starches within the flour produced by the ground rhizomes of C. angustifolia and compared it to corn starch. Its binding and disintegration properties make it a viable, and perhaps superior, substitute for cornstarch as an excipient in medicinal tablets.
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