Temulawak / Java Ginger
Temulawak / Java Ginger (Shu Gu Jiang Huang)
Botanical Name: Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb.
Known as Temulawak, Java Ginger or Java Turmeric, this herb helps promote bile production making it popular for treating indigestion and liver disorders. It is also used as an anticancer herb and to treat diabetes. While both are in the ginger family of plants, don’t confuse temulawak / Java ginger (Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb.) with turmeric (Curcuma longa). Temulawak / Java ginger is used to treat indigestion, stomach disorders, liver and gallbladder complaints, and is being studied for its anticancer therapeutic abilities. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is also being studied for its anticancer properties, however it is better known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Both contain the constituent curcumin. Temulawak / Java ginger also contains xanthorrhizol, a constituent known for supporting the production of bile.
Below is an overview of Temulawak / Java Ginger (Shu Gu Jiang Huang), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Temulawak / Java Ginger (Shu Gu Jiang Huang).
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Western Name: Temulawak / Java Ginger
Also Known As: Javanese Turmeric, False Turmeric, Giant Curcuma
Organs/Systems: Liver, Immunity, Digestion
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Digestive, Antidiuretic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antioxidant, Antihypertensive, Antiseptic,, Anti-inflammatory, Antihyperglycemic, Anticancer, Cholagogue, Antiplatelet, Estrogenic and Anti-estrogenic, Hepatoprotective, Neuroprotective. Liver damage, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, dyspepsia, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heart disorders, rheumatism, indigestion.
Pin Yin: Shu Gu Jiang Huang
Also Known As: Waan Chag Mold Louk (Thai)
Meridians: Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Clears Liver Heat: hepatitis, hot liver disorders, gallbladder disorders, promotes bile production. Soothes Spleen and Stomach: indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatism, hypoglycemia, poor appetite. Anticancer.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Roots, Rhizomes
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Bitter, Aromatic, Slightly Sweet
Caution: Not recommended if taking blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin, or if you suffer from gallbladder disease as it increases the flow of bile that could cause a flare-up. May cause uterine contractions, so use caution during pregnancy.
History/Folklore: Traditionally this plant is used in a health supplements known as “jamu” to cure liver complaints, heart disorders, diabetes and rheumatism.
Different phytochemicals found in the temulawak have the potential to modulate drug-metabolizing enzyme activities, resulting in herb-drug interactions that can either increase or decrease the amount of a drug in the blood.
Temulawak contains substances that help stimulate bile production and thereby aids digestion.
Insulin-resistant states, such as type 2 Diabetes, are considered to be chronic low-grade inflammation states. Temulawak is known for being an anti-inflammatory and a antihyperglycemic, making it a good choice for reducing the risks and effects of diabetes.
Typical dosage for the fresh root is 3-9 grams and for the dried root 1-5 grams. Boiling it briefly helps to prevent the loss of the herb’s essential oils. Overheating will evaporate these oils.
Compared to Ginger / Jiang Huang (Curcuma Longa, C. domestica), Temulawak (Shu Gu Jiang Huang / Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb.) is preferred for conditions that benefit from the increase in bile production (ie. many liver and digestive conditions) as Jiang Huang contains the constituent bisdemethoxycurcumin that decreases the flow of bile and temulawak does not.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Java Turmeric (AKA Temulawak / Curcuma xanthorrhiza) and Cassumunar Ginger (Zingiber cassumunar) are all widely used in traditional Indonesian medicine. They each have similarly colored rhizomes that can make it difficult to differentiate them from each other, especially in powdered form. Java turmeric (Temulawak / Curcuma xanthorrhiza) is 3-5 times the cost of either of the other two herbs which is why knowing your source is important. Java turmeric can be adulterated with one or more of the other two plants. In processing, a technique called “thin layer chromatography” is used to clearly distinguish the three from one another.
Temulawak is used as a spice in soups and meat dishes, in candy and as an ingredient in the liqueur industry.
Sesquiterpenes (including: Xanthorrhizol (31/9-64.4%), Xanthorrhiza, Ethereal oil, Cucurmin (62%), Starch.
Treat Stomach Ulcers
Rinse and remove the skin of 1 rhizome of Temulawak. Slice it into thin pieces and boil them with enough water to make 5 cups. Strain, let cool and drink this tea regularly to help treat stomach ulcers.
Temulawak is believed to inhibit the development and growth of prostate cancer by stopping the blood flow to cancerous cells.
The constituent “xanthorrhizal” is being studied for its anticancer properties including: breast, colon, cervical, liver, skin, lung and tongue cancers.
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