PALAKKAD: There is big scope for the commercial cultivation of wild turmeric (Curcuma aromatica), called Kasthurimanjal in Malayalam, because of the huge demand for it in the making of Ayurveda preparations and cosmetics.
M.K. Krishnan, a farmer at Mundur, near here, says cultivating this plant is a profitable business because of the demand. The plant can be grown even in kitchen gardens.
Mr. Krishnan has been engaged in the commercial cultivation of wild turmeric for the past several years.
Its rhizome is used for manufacturing cosmetic oils and for curing chronic diseases such as leprosy.
From the olden days, it has been used as a skin-care tonic. The cream made from the rhizome is used to treat a number of skin diseases, Mr. Krishnan says.
In this emerging world of fashion and enlightened market products, wild turmeric will have good demand and the soil and the climate of the State are ideal for its large-scale commercial cultivation, he adds.
Wild turmeric has a significant role in the modern fashion-conscious society as both men and women and the young and the old use cosmetics for enhancing beauty and glamour.
The leaf of the plant is used in sanitary preparations.
The plant is also known as ‘Manjakuva’ in Malayalam.
It is a tropical Asian plant belonging to the ginger family.
It grows abundantly in the eastern parts of the Himalayas and in the moist forests of the Western Ghats of Kerala and Karnataka.