Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Latin NameCurcuma longa Linn. (Zingiberaceae)
English NameTurmeric
Sanskrit NamesHaridra, Rajani, Nisha
Local NamesHaldi, Halada


Turmeric has been used in Indian systems of medicine for a long time. It is listed in an Assyrian herbal dating from about 600 BC and is also mentioned by Dioscorides. Both the East and the West have held its medicinal properties in high regard. Distribution:
The plant is a native of southern Asia (probably India) and is cultivated extensively throughout the warmer parts of the world. Habit:
C.longa is a perennial herb, with a short stem and tufted leaves. The rhizomes, which are short and thick, constitute the turmeric of commerce. Phytochemistry:
The rhizomes contain curcuminoids, curcumin, demethoxy curcumin, bis- demethoxycurcumin, 5′- methoxycurcumin and dihydrocurcumin which are found to be natural anti-oxidants. A new curcuminoid, cyclocurcumin, was isolated from the nematocidally active fraction of turmeric. The fresh rhizomes also contain two new natural phenolics which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and also two new pigments. Several sesquiterpenes, germacrone, turmerone, ar-(+)-, a-, ß- turmerones; ß- bisabolene; a-curcumene; zingiberene; ß- sesquiphellandene, bisacurone; curcumenone; dehydrocurdione; procurcumadiol; bis-acumol; curcumenol; isoprocurcumenol epiprocurcumenol; procurcumenol; zedoaronediol; curlone; and turmeronol A and turmeronol B, have been recorded from the rhizomes. The rhizomes are also reported to contain four new polysaccharides-ukonans – having activity on the Reticuloendothelial system, along with stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, cholesterol and 2-hydroxymethyl anthraquinone. (Ravindranath & Satyanarayana, Phytochemistry, 1980, 19, 2031; Masuda et al, ibid, 1993, 32, 1557; Toda et al, Chem Pharm Bull, 1985, 33, 1725; Kiuchi et al, ibid, 1993, 41, 1640; Nakayama et al, Phytochemistry, 1993, 33, 501; Ohshiro et al, ibid, 1990, 29, 2201; Golding et al, J Chem Soc, Chem Commun, 1982, 363; Uehara et al, Shoyakugaku Zasshi, 1992, 46, 55; Kiso et al, Phytochemistry, 1983, 22, 596; Imai et al, Agric Biol Chem, 1990, 54, 2367; Gonda et al, Chem Pharm Bull, 1990, 38, 482; 1992, 40, 185; Chem Abstr, 1977, 87, 11482; Ogbeide et al, Pak J Sci, 1985, 37, 15).The essential oil from the rhizome contains d-a-phellandrene, d-sabinene, cineol, borneol, zingiberene, sesquiterpenes (turmerones), (Kelkar & Rao. J. Indian Inst. Sci.,1933, 17A, 7). A ketone, and an alcohol identified as p-tolylmethyl carbinol, have been obtained distillate (Chem. Abstr., 1933, 27, 4876). The crystalline coloring matter, curcumin, is a diferuloyl methane. It dissolves in concentrated sulphuric acid giving a yellow-red coloration. (Mayer & Cook,93; Chem. Abstr.,1948,42,8496).Pharmacology:
Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory property. Petroleum ether extracts of the rhizome showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in experimental animals without producing any toxicity or side effects. The anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric extracts has been attributed to curcumin and its analogues [Choudhury & Haq, Bull Med-Ethno-Bot Res, 1980, 1, 408; Arora et al, Indian J Med Res, 1971, 59, 2189; Ammon & Wahl, Planta Med, 1991, 57, 1; Rao et al, Indian J Med Res, 1982, 75, 574; Khung et al, Indian J Pharmacol, 1986, 18, 20; Srimal & Dhawan, J Pharm Pharmacol, 1973, 25, 447; Srimal, Indian Spices, 1993, 30 (2&3), 21; Dhawan, ibid, 1993, 30 (2&3), 19; East Pharm, 1979, 22 (258), 70; Sinha et al, Nagarjun, 1976, 19 (6), 11].Oil of C.longa leaves obtained by steam distillation was given orally to study its effects on the exudative and proliferative phases of the inflammatory reaction, using the techniques of carrageenin-induced paw edema and cotton pellet methods in male albino rats. The anti-inflammatory activity was compared with Phenylbutazone. In carrageenin- induced edema, 1.6ml/kg of the volatile oil had as much anti-inflammatory activity as that of 100 mg/kg Phenylbutazone. The oil was also found to be potent in cotton pellet granuloma studies (Iyengar, M.A et al., Indian Drugs, 1994, v., 31(11), 528-531).bottom-banner 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *