Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Botanical name: Curcuma angustifolia Roxb.
PLANT NAME IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
English: East Indian Arrowroot, Bombay arrowroot, narrow-leaved turmeric
Malayalam: Manjakoova, Kuva-kizhanna
Curcuma angustifolia is rhizomatous herb. It is a perennial and a flowering plant, with modest and small spiked inflorescences of three or four yellow, funnel-shaped flowers within tufts of pink terminal bracts (coma bracts). The bracts are boat-shaped and encase the entire perianth of the flower. As is common to the genus, the flowers ofC. angustifolia have double anthers, a slender style, and a globular stigma. Flowers are usually seen at the beginning of the monsoon (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. The calyx of the flower is usually 1 centimeter long and very hairy, with 3 lobes that may appear to be triangular or obtuse. The corolla is white, and usually grows to be about 1.5 to 2 centimeters long with glabrous lobes that are also hairy. Seeds are a reddish-brown colour.
Of great significance to C. angustifolia is its strong rhizome, which can grow to be up to 1.5 meters in length. The rhizome of this plant is the primary source of its nutritive and medicinal properties.
East Indian Arrowroot is recognized as a medical herb. It is nutritive, and is used as an agreeable, non-irritating diet in certain chronic diseases, during convalescence from fevers, in irritations of the alimentary canal, pulmonary organs, or of the urinary apparatus, and is well suited for infants to supply the place of breast-milk, or for a short time after having weaned them. It may be given in the form of jelly, variously seasoned with sugar, lemon-juice, fruit jellies, essences, or aromatics. Its jelly has no peculiar taste, and is less liable to become acid in the stomach, and is generally preferred by young infants to all others, except tapioca. East Indian Arrowroot underground rhizomes rich in vitamin.