Zedoary, or Kaempferia, L. a genus of exotic plants, consisting of two species ; namely : 1. The galanga, Common Galangal, or Long Zedoary; which has long, thick, tuberous roots, and produces-single white flowers, with purple bases; and, 2. The rotunda, or Round Zedoary, has thick, round roots, presenting whitish flowers, that are frequently tinged with green, yellow, red, and purple. Both species are natives of Siam: they may be raised in hot-houses, by dividing the roots in the spring, and planting them in pots of rich, light mould, where they should be copiously watered during, the summer, but less frequently in the winter.
The roots of the Zedoary are imported in oblong pieces, about the thickness of a finger; or in round masses, generally one inch in diameter ; paying a duty of 6 1/2d. per lb. They possess an agreeable fragrance, but a bitterish aromatic taste ; both of which may be imparted to water.
The Zedoary is a warm stomachic, and has been recommended in dyspeptic cases, for relieving flatulency, and invigorating the nervous system. Such root may be advantageously used by artisans, as an excellent yellow colour : and it may likewise be employed in painting with water-colours. For this purpose, it is prepared in the. following manner: Boil 1 oz. of the root in a quart of water, till the fluid have sufficiently imbibed the colouring matter, for communicating a yellow tinge to paper : it is then to be filtered through a linen cloth. The decoction may be evaporated or dried in shells; after which, it may again be diluted, and will easily spread with the pencil.