Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae)

(Syns.: C. domestica Valeton; Amomum curcuma Jacq.)
  • Shahid AkbarEmail author


An aromatic, herbaceous perennial herb, widely cultivated in southeast Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Madagascar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan. In Ayurveda, the rhizome is considered hot, bitter, pungent, astringent and drying; it corroborates the humours, prevents skin diseases, and is a useful application on swellings and boils. A decoction is used as a cooling lotion in conjunctivitis, and boiled in milk and sweetened with sugar is a popular remedy for cold, and is also used in jaundice and other liver ailments. Other uses in Ayurveda include visavikãra, kustha, tvagroga, prameha, pãndu, ŝitapitta, and pinasa. In Unani medicine, the rhizome is regarded expectorant, vasodilator, vulnerary, anthelmintic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, detergent and to improve complexion. Its most common use is as a condiment and a household remedy for intermittent fevers, flatulence, dyspepsia, and to tone-up stomach, and externally for sprains, strains, bruises and wounds. It is approved for use in GI disorders in Europe since Nov. 2005 by the HMPC of the European Medicines Agency. In China, it is known as Jianghuang and is often used interchangeably with C. aromatica to treat distension of the chest and abdomen, obstruction or lump in the abdomen, frozen shoulder, amenorrhea due to blood stasis, postpartum abdominal pain due to stasis, wounds and injuries, carbuncle and jaundice. Major alkaloids are curcuminoids, that include curcumin (also described as curcumin I), demethoxycurcumin (curcumin II) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (curcumin III). Turmeric powder suspension significantly alleviated metabolic syndrome-associated hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, and elevation of atherogenic indices, by increasing insulin level, enhancing antioxidant defense system and decreasing LPO of diabetic rats. Orally ethanol and ether extracts, curcumin and the volatile oil lowered serum TC, TGs and β-lipoprotein levels in hyperlipidemic rats, and ethanol extract elevated HDL-C/TC ratio in hyperlipidemic rats. A single dose of 6 g turmeric increased postprandial serum insulin, without affecting plasma glucose levels in healthy Swedish volunteers, and daily intake of turmeric for sixty-days decreased peroxidation of both HDL and LDL, in healthy volunteers with high baseline values.


Açafrão da índia Geelwortel Gelbwurz Gurkemeje Haldi Haridrã Maustekurkuma Turmeric Uqdah-safra Yu-chin 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.StocktonUSA

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