• Curcuma aromaticaknown as vanharidha in Sanskrit and kasthurimanjal in Malayalam is a rhizomatous herbaceous medicinal plant. The rhizome is an odoriferous ingredient of the cosmetics used for the cure of chronic skin diseases caused by impure blood. It is used as appetizer and tonic to women after childbirth. It is also useful against high fever and worm infestation.

    Climate and soil

    It is distributed in South East Asia. The plant grows wild in the eastern Himalayas and in moist deciduous forests of Kerala and Karnataka. It is grown as a subsistence crop in backyard, kitchen garden and interspaces of other crops in areas with good rainfall. Well-drained rich loamy soils are ideal for the crop.

    Propagation

    It is propagated vegetatively by rhizomes.

    Varieties

    At present, only local types are available for cultivation.

    Land preparation

    Clear the area, remove all the pebble sand stones and plough the field to good tilth. Apply FYM or organic manure @ 10-15 t/ha. Prepare raised seedbeds of 1.2 m breadth and of convenient length.

    Seed rate

    A healthy disease-free mother rhizome with at least one germinated sprout is the planting material. It is required @ 1500 kg/ha.