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Turmeric: What’s in an Herb Name? How Turmeric (Jianghuang) and Curcuma (Yujin) Became Confused

Christopher Dorr
Christopher Dorr
2
80
1999-03-26T17:31:00Z
2001-06-20T23:00:00Z
2001-06-20T23:00:00Z
9
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25967
Institute forTraditional Medicine
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TURMERIC:

WHAT’S
IN AN HERB NAME?

HOW
TURMERIC (JIANGHUANG) AND CURCUMA (YUJIN) BECAME CONFUSED

BACKGROUND

The
naming of herbs that are botanically related or similarly used can sometimes
becomes confused. The source materials
that yield the pharmacy items can vary, and the applications of some herbs
overlap considerably and may be described differently by various authorities. That being, the ideal situation of having
one herb with one name and a clearly specified application is not always the
case. Turmeric is a good example of
this situation. Turmeric is one of
three herbs belonging to the plant genus Curcuma;
these herbs are not always clearly differentiated. This article traces the origins of the confusion in the English
language literature, and illustrates the complex nature of Chinese pharmacy
that all practitioners should be aware of in order to avoid problems in using
the available herbal materials. In
studying this subject, which requires detailed investigation of the herbal
materials, one will learn about how herbs are distinguished botanically,
chemically, pharmacologically, and clinically, as well as how they are depicted
in the traditional herbal literature.

The Oriental Healing Arts Institute (OHAI), founded by Dr.
Hong-yen Hsu, was the originator of the common name terminology used by ITM
since 1979 (see: On the common names for
Chinese herbs
). It was on the basis
of the early work of OHAI that ITM has consistently used the common name
turmeric to refer to jianghuang and
the common name curcuma to refer to the Chinese herb yujin.

A few years ago, ITM received bottles of turmeric and curcuma
extract for its granule pharmacy, and upon examining the contents I recognized
that the material in the bottle labeled with the common name curcuma had the
Chinese name jianghuang and contained
the aromatic dark-yellow material that is well-known as turmeric. On the other hand, the bottle labeled with
the common name turmeric had the Chinese name yujin, and contained another material, a lighter, less fragrant
extract that had a color and fragrance consistent with pharmacy samples of yujin.
While the term jianghuang
undoubtedly applies to the substance in the first bottle, the common name
curcuma didn’t seem correct; similarly, while the name yujin no doubt applied to the substance in the second bottle, the
common name turmeric didn’t fit. It
appeared that the common names of the herbs had been switched. Further investigation has revealed some
difficulties in the description of source materials and reporting of
therapeutic effects involving these two herbs and a third one that is related:
zedoaria (ezhu).

Investigating the literature from OHAI, it appeared that a
switching of the common names of turmeric and curcuma took place in the 1980’s,
probably with the publication of the Oriental
Materia Medica
(12) in 1986. As a
result of this switch, when ordering herbs by common name—from Brion
Corporation, also founded by Dr. Hong-yen Hsu, and perhaps other
organizations—one may obtain a different item than expected, and when reading
materials from Oriental Healing Arts Institute published over a period of time,
one may easily become confused about these materials.

CHANGING THE COMMON NAME

Turmeric, of course, is the name most
people associate with the famous Indian spice that is a major constituent of
curry powder, giving it the characteristic yellow color. In Webster’s
Encyclopedic Dictionary
this common material is what is represented by the
primary definition of turmeric.
However, reading down to the last definition in the dictionary, it turns
out that the term “turmeric” may be used to refer to “any of various similar
substances or plants.” Indeed, as one
reads through some Chinese medical books, several species of Curcuma, the genus to which turmeric
belongs, are referred to as types of turmeric.
Here, we find the first aspect of naming confusion for these plants and
the herbal materials derived from them.

The naming system adopted by
OHAI (around 1976) mainly relies on the use of genus names (Curcuma is the genus involved here), and
sometimes on other names, such as species names (e.g., zedoaria, from Curcuma zedoaria), or common names (e.g., ginger, another relative
of turmeric and curcuma in the same plant family but different genus). When there are several species of plants
belonging to the same genus and used in Chinese medical practice, the naming
system was set-up as follows: the botanical names are listed alphabetically by
species, and the first one is assigned the genus name as the common name; the
other ones are listed either by transliteration of the Chinese name, or by
species name or widely known common name.

In the case of the genus Curcuma, the three main sources in
alphabetical order are Curcuma aromatica,
Curcuma longa, and Curcuma zedoaria. The first was given the common name curcuma
(this is yujin), based on the genus;
the second was given its widely-used common name turmeric (this is jianghuang), and the third was assigned
its species name, zedoaria (this is ezhu). This assignment of species names is rare; in
this case it is appropriate because this herb is well known in India as
zedoary, which is how the plant got its species name.

Turmeric is so well-known in the world, from its use in making
curry powder, Indonesian herb remedies, and as a source of dye, that it is only
proper to assign this name to the herb that has this history. The Chinese name that goes with this herb is
jianghuang, meaning ginger (jiang) that is yellow (huang).
This name is certainly appropriate, as this is of the ginger family
(Zingiberaceae), and it has a remarkable yellow color [note: such naming by
color is not always so obviously connected to the herbal material that is
actually used; the herb called huangjing,
referring to Polygonatum sibericum,
also has huang in the name, but the
root material used for the herb is black].

Turmeric was probably originally imported to China from
India. It did not appear in Chinese
herbals until the Tang Dynasty, a time of great international trade. Turmeric is known to botanists either as Curcuma domestica or Curcuma longa: both names refer to the
same plant. The term domestica is appropriate as this herb
has been widely cultivated (i.e., domesticated) since ancient times. In China,
this herb is usually traded in thick slices of bright orange-yellow color and
characteristic fragrance.

On the other hand, there is
the herb known in China as yujin. The origin and meaning of the name is in
question, but yu refers to stagnancy
and constraint, while jin refers to
the metal element, and implies the lungs.
Thus, the early use of the herb involved treating stagnancy of the
lungs. The herb material lacks the
bright color of turmeric and it appears on the international market in the form
of very thin root slices. In China this
herb is differentiated into guangyujin (the
yujin used in Southern China, and
exported), which is from Curcuma
aromatica
, and chuanyujin (the yujin used in Western China, not
exported as yujin), which is from
other species of Curcuma, including Curcuma longa, the source of
turmeric. This use of different species
within China is one reason why there is confusion about the source of the
material. In fact, other species have
also been recruited for use as yujin
(see Table 1). For southern China,
which has for years exported via Hong Kong to Taiwan and to the West, yujin is from Curcuma aromatica.

As part of the common name confusion, Curcuma aromatica is sometimes referred to in popular terminology
as wild turmeric, even though it has been a cultivated herb for a long
time. Further, the root slices are a
relatively non-fragrant medicinal material, so that the term “aromatica” can
only lend confusion. The top of the
plant, especially the flower, is quite aromatic, accounting for the name.

In the Annual Reports of
the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine
(11), there is an
extensive report on Curcuma species
used in Taiwan. In it, Curcuma longa, also listed as Curcuma domestica, is designated jianghuang, Curcuma aromatica is designated yujin,
and Curcuma zedoaria is designated ezhu. These designations match those of
the Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica (10), another Taiwanese publication. Two varieties of Curcuma aromatica are mentioned, one is called chuanyujin (i.e., Sichuan derived) and the other tuyujin
(i.e., local) but the botanical sources are deemed the same. Another species of Curcuma is mentioned C.
viridiflora
, which is designated as
erhuang
(two yellow), and is considered a new medicinal species.

Turmeric (jianghuang)
and curcuma (yujin) were labeled in
accordance with this pattern in the early OHAI literature. For example, in the book Commonly Used Chinese Herb Formulas with Illustrations
(1) there is one formula listed with turmeric and that is Chiang-huo and
Turmeric Combination (Juanbi Tang). This formula is also mentioned in Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and
Strategies
(2), calling for jianghuang
as the ingredient, confirming the naming of jianghuang
as turmeric.

In the OHAI Bulletin of 1983 (3), there is an article on herb
processing that mentions these two herbs together, using the common names in
proper order (i.e., consistent with the earlier publications). It is noted that “turmeric contains a much
higher content of pigments than does curcuma,” which is certainly correct when
the term turmeric refers to the common spice used in China as jianghuang. Further, it is mentioned that the essential oil turmerone exists only
in turmeric (not in yujin), and this
is responsible for the obvious fragrance of the herb. By contrast, yujin
contains tolylmethylcarbinol, which is a cholegogue (causes the gall bladder to
contract and spill bile into the intestines) that is present in only trace
amounts in turmeric. Because of the
action of this active constituent, yujin—but
not turmeric—is mentioned in some Chinese texts as treating gallbladder
congestion (which may further explain its actions of resolving phlegm
accumulation and clearing heat, two results of proper gallbladder
function).

Thus, these early OHAI publications apply the common names as one
might well expect: turmeric for jianghuang
and curcuma for yujin. In later books, however, the common names
were reversed. Aside from Oriental Materia Medica in 1986, in
which these are reversed, the formula Chiang-huo and Turmeric Combination
became Chiang-huo and Curcuma Combination in the 1990 Commonly Used Chinese Herb Formulas Companion Guide (4), intended
as an update on the former text, and in the 1992 Comprehensive Guide to Chinese Herbal Medicine (5). This explains why the bottles of single
herbs obtained from Brion Corporation seemed to be reversed compared to my
expectation.

CONFUSION OVER SOURCE MATERIALS

In the 1983 OHAI article on herb
processing mentioned above, under turmeric and curcuma, the text also stated
that: “Both herbs resemble each other in morphology and in herbal use, and
since ancient times have been confused with each other and used interchangeably.” While the plant tops are no doubt similar
(because the herbs come from the same genus of plants), the root materials, as
described above, seem to offer little chance of mistaken identity (they differ
in size, color, and fragrance). In
fact, the confusion may lie in the simple fact that the herbs have been used
interchangeably in some instances.
Zedoaria has become enmeshed in this confusion of sources.

The source materials seem to have
become confused, at least in the descriptive texts, because in different parts
of China, different materials may be relied upon. In the Chinese-English
Manual of Common-Used Herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine
(6), sources of
the herbs are listed as follows:

Sources of ezhu:

Curcuma kwangsinensis

Curcuma aromatic

Curcuma
zedoaria

Sources of yujin:

Curcuma aromatica

Curcuma
kwangsinensis

Under jianghuang, only Curcuma
longa
is mentioned.

In the Advanced Textbook of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology (7),
Thousand Formulas and Thousand Herbs of
Traditional Chinese Medicine
(8), and the 1988 Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (9), the
following are listed as source materials:

Sources of ezhu:

Curcuma aromatica

Curcuma kwangsiensis

Curcuma
zedoaria

Sources of yujin:

Curcuma aromatica

Curcuma kwangsiensis

Curcuma longa

Curcuma
zedoaria

Jianghuang is not
included in the Advanced Textbook…,
but it is included in Thousand
Formulas…
and the Pharmacopoeia…,
and its only source is Curcuma longa. So, it appears that the identity of turmeric
is well-established, though this same source material appears as one entry
under yujin. Interestingly, in the Pharmacopoeia…, under yujin,
the common term is given as “turmeric root-tuber,” while under jianghuang, the common name given is
“turmeric.” In Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica (13), under
jianghuang it is mentioned that the plant source, Curcuma longa, is often used interchangeably with Curcuma aromatica.

These listings reflect the fact that yujin could be derived from Curcuma
longa
(as occurs in Sichuan Province), and that yujin and ezhu might come
from the same plants. Despite all this,
the raw materials (dried herb slices) obtained by ITM have not changed over the
years, and each of the herbs appears entirely distinguishable. These herbs of the international market are
pictured accurately (whole and sliced roots shown) in the Taiwanese book Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica.

Even though varying sources are
reported in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia…,
the description of the plant materials used in medicine is specified
singularly, implying that a specific species is used as the reference:

Yujin: Root tubers are dug up in winter when
the stems and leaves wither, removed from earthen matter and fibrous roots,
steamed or boiled thoroughly, taken out and dried. Description: ovoid to long fusiform, some of them slightly
compressed or curved, 2–6 cm long, 0.5–2 cm in diameter. Externally,
greyish-yellow-brown to greyish-brown, longitudinally and disorderly
wrinkled….Fractured
surface horny, greyish yellow to greyish black, and exhibiting a pale-colored
endodermis ring in the central part.
Odor slight; taste bland.

Jianghuang: Collected in winter while the aerial part
withering, washed clean, boiled or steamed thoroughly, dried in the sun and
removed from fibrous roots.
Description: irregularly ovate, cylindrical or fusiform, frequently
curved, some Y-shaped branched, 2–5 cm long, 1–3 cm in diameter. Externally dark yellow, rough, with wrinkled
striations and distinct rings of leaf scars….Cut surface brownish yellow to
golden yellow, cuticle-like with waxy luster, endodermis ring distinct,
scattered with dotted vascular bundles.
Odor: characteristic fragrant; taste bitter and acrid.

Ezhu: Collected in
winter while the leaves and stems withered, washed clear, steamed or boiled
thoroughly and dried, then removed from the fibrous roots and foreign
matter. Description: ovate, conical or
long fusiform, 2–8 cm long, 1.5–4 cm in diameter. Externally, greyish-yellow to yellow-brown, annular nodes
distinct, with round slightly sunken scars….Fractured surface yellowish-green
to dark brown, waxy, endodermis ring yellowish-white….Odor: slightly
fragrant; taste slightly bitter and pungent.

The color of the cut root and the odor and taste are evidently
different from one herb to the next and correspond to samples obtained in U.S.
markets and pictured in the Illustrated
Chinese Materia Medica
. Therefore,
some of the source confusion seems to arise from simply providing comprehensive
listings of both standard and substitute materials that have been used in
China.

Species identification for the herb materials are presented in
numerous illustrated Chinese materia medicas published in China. The following table presents a summary of
information from these guides and the previously mentioned sources.

Table 1: The Main Curcuma Species Used as
Sources of Herbal Medicines in China.

Botanical
Name Commonly Mentioned

Alternative
Botanical Names or Alternative Species

Pinyin
Designations [Translations]

Relation to
Herbal Materials

Curcuma
aromatica

(Figure 1)

=
Curcuma wenyujin

yujin, wenyujin [gentle yujin], pian
jianghuang
[slice turmeric], guangyujin
[Guangzhou yujin]

Main
source of yujn; alternative source
of ezhu; rarely a source of jianghuang

Curcuma
kwangsiensis

(Figure 2)

none

guangxi ezhu, maoezhu [fibrous ezhu],
guiezhu [cinnamon ezhu]

Alternative
source for ezhu and sometimes for yujin; Guangxi Province is where it is
cultivated.

Curcuma
longa

(Figure 3)

=
Curcuma domestica

jianghuang, chuan yujin [Sichuan yujin]

Primary
source of jianghuang; source of yujin in Sichuan Province

Curcuma
zedoaria

(Figure 4)

other
sources, may be botanically indistinguishable: Curcuma aeruginosa, Curcuma phaeocaulis, Curcuma pallida

ezhu, huopeng ezhu, peng ezhu [peng refers to luxuriant growth; huo means it is possible, but not
necessary]

Main
source of ezhu, alternative source
of yujin

DIFFERING PROPERTY DEFINITIONS

All three herbs, turmeric, curcuma, and
zedoaria, are listed as blood-vitalizers in all modern texts. Still, the properties of these herbs,
according to the Chinese materia medica books, are not all the same. As an example, yujin is cool, while ezhu
and jianghuang are warm. The meridian attributes of ezhu and jianghuang are the spleen and liver, but for yujin they are the heart, liver, and gallbladder, or heart, liver,
and lung (depending on source text; lung attribution is found in older works,
gallbladder in newer works); some refer to it affecting the heart, liver, and
stomach.

Turmeric is reported to be especially useful for treating pain
syndrome (8), including pain in the chest and hypochondriac region, amenorrhea
with abdominal pain, injury pain, and bi syndrome,
especially in the shoulders. This last
indication is the reason for its inclusion in Juanbi Tang, which is indicated for pain, especially in the neck,
shoulder, and upper back.

By contrast, zedoaria is mainly used for abdominal pain. Like turmeric, it is to be used for
abdominal pain with amenorrhea, and it is also used for distention and pain in
the abdomen caused by food accumulation and stagnant qi. As a result of this latter indication,
zedoaria is sometimes included in formulas to promote digestion and alleviate
pain associated with digestive disorder.
Still, in some books it is mentioned as treating pain due to injury, in
common with turmeric.

Curcuma,
aside from vitalizing blood circulation, is used to regulate qi, cool the blood
and clear heat, and facilitate gallbladder function. Because of its ability to regulate qi—along with its cool energy
and its activating effect on the gallbladder—curcuma is sometimes used as a
substitute for bupleurum. Some doctors
suggest that bupleurum can have an action that is too harsh, while curcuma has
a similar but gentler action. Like
turmeric, it is used for pain in the chest, hypochondriac region, and abdomen,
and dysmenorrhea. Unlike turmeric, it
is not indicated for bi syndrome. Unlike both turmeric and zedoaria, it is
indicated for accumulation of turbidity that causes mental disorders, for
jaundice, and for spontaneous bleeding (due to blood heat).

The Pharmacopoeia… provides the following brief descriptions of
actions and uses:

Yujin: To promote flow of qi, to eliminate
blood stasis, to calm the nerves and ease the mind, and increase the flow of
bile. Indications: amenorrhea,
dysmenorrhea, distending or pricking pain in chest and abdomen; impairment of
consciousness in febrile diseases; epilepsy; mania; jaundice with dark urine.

Jianghuang: To eliminate blood stasis, promote the flow
of qi, stimulate menstrual discharge, and relieve pain. Indications: pricking pain in the chest and
hypochondriac regions; amenorrhea; mass formation in the abdomen; rheumatic
pain of the shoulders and arms; traumatic swelling and pain.

Ezhu: To promote the
flow of qi and eliminate blood stasis with powerful effect, and to relieve pain
by removing the stagnation of undigested food.
Indications: mass in abdomen; amenorrhea due to stagnation of undigested
food; carcinoma of cervix at early stage.

In the Illustrated Chinese
Materia Medica
, it is further mentioned that yujin treats bleeding (“blood ejection, spontaneous external
bleeding, blood in the urine, blood strangury vicarious menstruation”); that jianghuang treats kidney pain; and that
zedoaria also dispels wind and clears heat (despite having a warm nature), and
it alleviates menstrual blockage due to blood stasis and pain due to traumatic
injury. Based on the listing of uses,
it is clear that there is overlap in treating pain, but Chinese texts ascribe
evidently different properties and uses to the three herbs. The variability of source materials that are
reported, and the overlap of source materials, raises some questions about the
importance of these differentiated applications in modern Chinese clinics.

USE OF THE HERBS IN TRADITIONAL FORMULAS

These three herbs are not frequently mentioned in
traditional formulas; curcuma (yujin)
and zedoaria (ezhu) have become more
widely used in modern prescriptions.
Zedoaria is often combined with sparganium (sanleng) in treating blood stasis, especially masses and
injuries. The following formulas
include the Curcuma species:

<![if !supportLists]>¨
<![endif]>Curcuma (yujin)
is included in Guanxin Tang, a modern
formula for treating coronary heart disease; Babao Ruisheng Dan, for treating cold in the spleen and stomach
causing pain and food retention; Yujin
San
(translated as Curcuma Powder in Thousand
Herbs and Thousand Formulas
) for heat accumulation in the small intestine
discharging to the bladder with blood in the urine; Angong Niuhuang Wan, for febrile disease causing mental
disorientation; Biajin Wan, for
epilepsy and other neurological symptoms due to phlegm accumulation; Yujin Yinzi, for febrile disease with
clouding of the spirit.

<![if !supportLists]>¨
<![endif]>Zedoaria (ezhu) is included in the traditional
formula Sanleng Heshang Tang, used
for treating injuries, especially to the hypochondrium; Da Qiqi Tang, used for treating masses due to qi stagnancy and
blood stasis, manifesting as soft and fixed abdominal masses; Neixiao Wan, a formula for qi stagnancy
and food accumulation; Xiaoshi San, a
formula for alleviating chronic food retention in children; Muxiang Binlang Wan, used for
distention, fullness, and aching in the abdomen due to stagnation of qi and
accumulation of dampness and heat; Sanleng
Wan
, for abdominal pain due to qi and blood stagnation in women; and in one
of the versions of Wenjing Tang, used
for lower abdominal coldness that causes lengthened menstrual cycle and
menstrual blood clots with painful menstruation.

<![if !supportLists]>¨
<![endif]>Turmeric (jianghuang)
is used in Zhixue Yuqi Zhi Fang, a
formula used for regulating qi and blood circulation in cases of hypochondriac
pain; Zhongman Fenxiao Wan, for
fullness and pain in the abdomen due to stagnation of qi and accumulation of
moisture; Juanbi Tang, a formula for
pain (bi syndrome) in the shoulders,
back, and neck; and Jianghuang San, a
formula for pain in the heart.

The formula Jiuqi Niantong Wan includes both ezhu and yujin; it is
used for treating stomach cold and abdominal pain, with qi stagnation and
distention.

As can
be seen from the formula applications, in most cases the herbs are used in
accordance with their reported unique properties; hence, curcuma tends to be
used for heat syndromes, and especially those with neurological effects and/or
phlegm accumulation; zedoaria tends to be used for treating masses and food
accumulation; and turmeric tends to be used for pain syndromes. However, there are also peculiarities, such
as in the formula Babao Ruisheng Dan,
which would seem to call for zedoaria rather than curcuma as it treats a cold
stagnation of the spleen and stomach (the other herbs in the formula are
generally quite warming, so the use of zedoaria is not essential on account of
that). There is a report in Modern Study and Application of Materia
Medica
(15) suggesting that Xiaoshi
San
made with yujin in place of ezhu is useful for treating
gallstones.

PHARMACOLOGY

According
to Pharmacology and Applications of
Chinese Materia Medica
and Chinese
Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
(14), in laboratory animal studies, turmeric
has been shown to:

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>reduce blood lipids

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>improve blood circulation to the heart

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>lower blood pressure

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>reduce platelet aggregation and promote fibrinolysis

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>increase bile formation and secretion

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>reduce inflammation

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>alleviate pain

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>stimulate uterine contraction

In clinical trials, it was used to reduce
blood lipids, treat angina pectoris, alleviate stomach ache, remove gallstones,
treat jaundice, and relieve postpartum pain.

Zedoaria was reported
to have the following actions in laboratory animal studies:

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>antineoplastic effect

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>prevention of leukopenia

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>inhibit platelet aggregation

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>stimulates the smooth muscle of the gastro-intestinal
tract

In clinical trials, zedoaria was used to treat cervical cancer,
where the essential oil of the herb is injected directly into the tumor
(zedoaria is also used in decoctions for oral administration in the treatment
of abdominal tumors). According to Modern Study and Application of Materia
Medica
, zedoaria has been used to treat coronary heart disease, liver
cancer, anemia, and chronic pelvic inflammation. The use of zedoaria for cancer is elaborated in An Illustrated Guide to Antineoplastic
Chinese Herbal Medicine
(16); the herb is reportedly indicated for cancer
not only of the cervix and liver, but also of the ovary, lung, and thyroid, for
lymphosaracoma, and uterine fibroids.
According to Anticancer Medicinal
Plants
(17), zedoaria not only inhibits cancer but also helps prevent
leukopenia due to cancer therapies. Jia
Kun (18) makes use of yujin as an
important ingredient in his general anti-cancer pill called Pingxiao Dan, and also in several
alternative decoction formulas for cancer, without specifying why this herb was
selected, other than the fact that it disperses stagnation and activates the
blood, which is also a property also of ezhu. He uses ezhu
or jianghuang in some adjunctive
formulas, but only rarely.

Pharmacology and clinical information about yujin used as a single herb is
not commonly presented in the available texts.
In Chinese Herbal Medicine
Materia Medica
, it was reported that curcuma could lower cholesterol in
rabbits fed an atherosclerotic diet, and that it could alleviate the symptoms
of viral hepatitis in humans. All three
herbs appear to have potential value for preventing and treating cardiovascular
diseases, as might be expected of blood-vitalizing agents. Both turmeric and zedoaria used in large
doses would induce abortion in pregnant rats, confirming the traditional
contra-indication of using strong blood-vitalizing preparations during
pregnancy; traditional texts recommend that curcuma (yujin) be used cautiously during pregnancy.

CONCLUSION

Some confusion exists surrounding the
sources, properties, uses, and common naming of three herbs of the same genus, jianghuang, yujin, and ezhu, but the
problem is not so great in Southern China and outside of China where the market
materials have remained consistent and the reported uses are also relatively
consistent. Confusion of a similar nature may exist with a number of other
Chinese herbs, making the study of Chinese herb resources more difficult, and
demanding more knowledge of the peculiarities of local practices. It is possible that source materials vary in
China because some doctors do not find it necessary to distinguish these herbs,
dismissing the differentiated properties and uses. In fact, the use of substitute herbs in different parts of China
is not uncommon and the herbs need not even come from the same genus, or even
the same plant family to be used interchangeably.

The common name turmeric, if it is to be used at all, should
always apply to jianghuang, which
should be derived from Curcuma longa. According to the original naming system
developed by OHAI, curcuma should be the common name for yujin and it should be derived from Curcuma aromatica, while zedoaria should be the common name for ezhu which is derived from either Curcuma zedoaria or Curcuma kwangsinensis.
Using the pinyin will help avoid some confusion, but students and
practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine should also recognize the somewhat
fluid nature of herb selection for making prescriptions and the use of
substitute materials in different regions of China.

REFERENCES

<![if !supportLists]>1.     <![endif]>Hong-Yen
Hsu and Chau-Shin Hsu, Commonly Used
Chinese Herb Formulas with Illustrations
, 1980 rev. ed., Oriental Healing
Arts Institute, Long Beach, CA.

<![if !supportLists]>2.     <![endif]>Bensky
D and Barolet R, Chinese Herbal
Medicine: Formulas and Strategies
, 1990 rev. ed., Eastland Press, Seattle,
WA.

<![if !supportLists]>3.     <![endif]>Sheu
AJ, Chen YP, and Hsu HY, A Study of
Chinese Herbal Processing
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<![if !supportLists]>4.     <![endif]>Hong-Yen
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<![if !supportLists]>5.     <![endif]>Ze-lin
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, 1992 Oriental Healing Arts Institute,
Long Beach, CA.

<![if !supportLists]>6.     <![endif]>Ou
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<![if !supportLists]>7.     <![endif]>State
Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Advanced Textbook on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, (4 vol.) 1995–6 New World Press,
Beijing.

<![if !supportLists]>8.     <![endif]>Huang Bingshan and Wang Yuxia, Thousand Formulas and Thousand Herbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine, vol. 1, 1993 Heilongjiang Education
Press, Harbin.

<![if !supportLists]>9.     <![endif]>Pharmacopoeia
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<![if !supportLists]>10.  <![endif]>Yen KY, The Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica,
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<![if !supportLists]>11.  <![endif]>Lee TL, The pharmacognostical researches on the
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<![if !supportLists]>12.  <![endif]>Hsu HY, et al., Oriental Materia Medica, 1986 Oriental
Healing Arts Institute, Long Beach, CA.

<![if !supportLists]>13.  <![endif]>Hson-Mou Chang and
Paul Pui-Hay But (eds.), Pharmacology
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<![if !supportLists]>15.  <![endif]>Dong Zhi Lin and
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<![if !supportLists]>16.  <![endif]>Ou Ming, et al., An Illustrated Guide to Antineoplastic
Chinese Herbal Medicine
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<![if !supportLists]>17.  <![endif]>Chang Minyi, Anticancer Medicinal Herbs, 1992 Hunan
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<![if !supportLists]>18.
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March
1999

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>


Figure 1: Curcuma aromatica, primary source of curcuma (yujin).
Figure 2: Curcuma kwangsiensis, alternative source for curcuma (yujin) and zedoaria (ezhu).
Figure 3: Curcuma longa, primary source of turmeric (jianghuang).


Figure 4: Curcuma zedoaria, primary source of zedoaria (ezhu).

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Tijuana Hobo , Hebrew Hobo Railroad Rabbi, The Truth Teller Tell True Truth Truthfully. If the Truth is Repugnant to you, You are a Reagan Cultist. Ronald Reagan was Taught by L. Ron Hubbard, Reagan & Hubbard FOUNDED THE SCIENCE FICTION MIND FUCKING GAME- SCIENTOLOGY- then REAGAN USED NERO LINGUIST PROGRAMMING as PRESIDENT to MURDER THE MINDS of AMERICANS!
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