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like i have mentioned here it is an aromatic herb from the turmeric family itself and very nice for the skin, it rejuvenates and helps the skin to shed dry cells, pimples, and other skin related problems, we in india use them from the birth of a child with all other products like besan, neeradal powder which is another powder made up of aromatic dried flowers, like champa, thazhampoo, henna flowers and yellow chrysanthemums are used to make it a wonder bath for the child.
so you can buy them in cut forms and if possible kindly powder them in the ural the pounding stone of old times to save it from the heat of mixie, so the shelf life will be more,it is also available in full form and looks more like a jar, rather than the sticks sticking out, a single pod on each root, and it smells good.
i think most shops know what u r referring to in south india as no home is without this stock..hope to get a positive reply from you after the purchase, while here in india try to get the thazhampoo kumkumam famous only in madurai, which is another aromatic one to have on, the smell of thazhampoo, a plant that looks like aloe vera but not cacti, with a lot of thorns sometime we use them for varalakshmi nonmbu to plait ambals hair and even children decor with it..sunkan