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Home > Types of Spices > Roots > Black Ginger
Black Ginger root
Black Ginger rootBotanical name:Zingiber zerambet Smith.
Family:Zingiberaceae.

Indian names are as follows:
Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati:Karkashur
Meitei:Yaimu.

The herb is basically a wild variety of ginger referred to as black ginger due to deep blue colored rhizome.

It is a wild herb available in the warm and moist areas of the interior hilly region. It is considered as a folk medicinal herb hence was cultivated as a herb since olden days. The rhizome is much similar to ginger except its shape and size besides its deep blue color. The rhizome is also very bitter and has a disagreeable taste. The structures of leaves are like those of turmeric. However, its leaves are much smaller in size with light purple color in midrib portion.

The rhizome yields xeruminoe, a monocyclic sequiteopena ketone, which acts against a number of bacteria and viruses. Rhizome also yields an essential oil. Zerumbone can be isolated from rhizome and tetrahydrozerumbol and tetrahydric zerumborne can be prepared.

Its rhizome is its principal product like its cousin ginger. However it is not popular as a spice due to its bitter taste. However, after certain traditional treatment it is used as spice by certain tribes in North Eastern India. But it is grown basically for its medicinal properties and being popularly used as medicine by various tribal groups of North Eastern India like the Naga group, the Meiteis, the Kuki-Chin-Mizo group, the Bodo group and so on.
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