Turmeric and General Medical References

Curcumin, a dietary spice from turmeric, is known to be anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antithrombotic. Here, we studied the mechanism of the antiplatelet action of curcumin. We show that curcumin inhibited platelet aggregation mediated by the platelet agonists epinephrine (200 microM), ADP (4 microM), platelet-activating factor (PAF; 800 nM), collagen (20 microg/mL), and arachidonic acid (AA: 0.75 mM). Curcumin preferentially inhibited PAF- and AA-induced aggregation (IC50; 25-20 microM), whereas much higher concentrations of curcumin were required to inhibit aggregation induced by other platelet agonists. Pretreatment of platelets with curcumin resulted in inhibition of platelet aggregation induced by calcium ionophore A-23187 (IC50; 100 microM), but curcumin up to 250 microM had no inhibitory effect on aggregation induced by the protein kinase C (PKC) activator phorbol myrsitate acetate (1 microM). Curcumin (100 microM) inhibited the A-23187-induced mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ as determined by using fura-2 acetoxymethyl ester. Curcumin also inhibited the formation of thromboxane A2 (TXA2) by platelets (IC50; 70 microM). These results suggest that the curcumin-mediated preferential inhibition of PAF- and AA-induced platelet aggregation involves inhibitory effects on TXA2 synthesis and Ca2+ signaling, but without the involvement of PKC.

The data reviewed indicate that extracts of Curcuma longa exhibit anti-inflammatory activity after parenteral application in standard animal models used for testing anti-inflammatory activity. It turned out that curcumin and the volatile oil are at least in part responsible for this action. It appears that when given orally, curcumin is far less active than after i.p. administration. This may be due to poor absorption, as discussed. Data on histamine-induced ulcers are controversial, and studies on the secretory activity (HCl, pepsinogen) are still lacking. In vitro, curcumin exhibited antispasmodic activity. Since there was a protective effect of extracts of Curcuma longa on the liver and a stimulation of bile secretion in animals, Curcuma longa has been advocated for use in liver disorders. Evidence for an effect on liver disease in humans is not yet available. From the facts that after oral application only traces of curcumin were found in the blood and that, on the other hand, most of the curcumin is excreted via the faeces it may be concluded that curcumin is absorbed poorly by the gastrointestinal tract and/or underlies presystemic transformation. Systemic effects therefore seem to be questionable after oral application except that they occur at very low concentrations of curcumin. This does not exclude a local action in the gastrointestinal tract.

Three natural curcuminoids (curcumin (CAS 458-37-7), demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin) and acetylcurcumin were compared for their ability to scavenge superoxide radicals and to interact with 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) stable free radicals. The results showed that curcumin is the most potent scavenger of superoxide radicals followed by demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Acetylcurcumin was inactive. Interaction with DPPH showed a similar activity profile. The study indicates that the phenolic group is essential for the free radical scavenging activity and presence of methoxy group further increases the activity.

From a study to find anti-parasitic agents from natural resources, we found that curcumin showed the cytotoxicity against leishmania in vitro. The LD50 value of this activity was 37.6+/-3.5 microM

Curcumin (diferuloyl methane), the major pigment from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L., has been widely studied for its tumor-inhibiting properties. Recent studies indicate that curcumin can modify cell receptor binding, it also affects intracellular signalling reactions. Curcumin-treated B16F10 melanoma cells formed eight-fold fewer lung metastases in C57BL6 mice. In the cell adhesion assays, curcumin-treated cells showed a dose-dependent reduction in their binding to four extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. The binding to fibronectin, vitronectin, and collagen IV decreased by over 50% in 24 hours, and by 100% after 48 hours of curcumin treatment, it persisted at this level even after 15 days of cultivating cells in curcumin-free medium. Curcumin-treated cells showed a marked reduction in the expression of alpha5beta1 and alpha(v)beta3 integrin receptors. In addition, curcumin treatment inhibited pp125 focal adhesion kinase (FAK), tyrosine phosphorylation of a 120 kD protein, and collagenase activity. Curcumin enhances the expression of antimetastatic proteins, tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2, nonmetastatic gene 23 (Nm23), and E-cadherin. In this article we report on the effect of curcumin on the expression of integrin, TIMP-2, Nm23, E-cadherin, adhesion, and metalloproteinase activity.

Leukemias are common worldwide. Wilms' tumor1 (WT1) protein is highly expressed in leukemic blast cells of myeloid and lymphoid origin. Thus, WT1 mRNA serves as a tumor marker for leukemias detection and monitoring disease progression. Curcumin is well known for its anti-cancer property. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of curcumin on WT1 gene expression in patient leukemic cells. The leukemic cells were collected from 70 childhood leukemia patients admitted at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, Chiang Mai, Thailand, in the period July 2003 to February 2005. There were 58 cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 10 cases of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), and 2 cases of chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML). There were 41 males and 29 females ranging from 1 to 15 years old. Leukemic cells were cultured in the presence or absence of 10 mM curcumin for 48 h. WT1 mRNA levels were determined by RT-PCR. The result showed that curcumin reduced WT1 gene expression in the cells from 35 patients (50%). It affected the WT1 gene expression in 4 of 8 relapsed cases (50%), 12 of 24 cases of drug maintenance (50%), 7 of 16 cases of completed treatment (44%), and 12 of 22 cases of new patients (54%). The basal expression levels of WT1 gene in leukemic patient cells as compared to that of K562 cells were classified as low level (1-20%) in 6 of 20 cases (30%), medium level (21-60%) in 12 of 21 cases (57%), and high level (61-100%) in 17 of 23 cases (74%). In summary, curcumin decreased WT1 mRNA in patient leukemic cells. Thus, curcumin treatment may provide a lead for clinical treatment in leukemic patients in the future

Curcumin, a natural compound used as a food additive, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in cell culture and animal studies. A pure curcumin preparation was administered in an open label study to five patients with ulcerative proctitis and five with Crohn's disease. All proctitis patients improved, with reductions in concomitant medications in four, and four of five Crohn's disease patients had lowered CDAI scores and sedimentation rates. This encouraging pilot study suggests the need for double-blind placebo-controlled follow-up studies.

Tissue repair and wound healing are complex processes that involve inflammation, granulation, and remodeling of the tissue. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effects of curcumin (difeurloylmethane), a natural product obtained from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa on wound healing in rats and guinea pigs. We observed faster wound closure of punch wounds in curcumin-treated animals in comparison with untreated controls. Biopsies of the wound showed reepithelialization of the epidermis and increased migration of various cells including myofibroblasts, fibroblasts, and macrophages in the wound bed. Multiple areas within the dermis showed extensive neovascularization, and Masson's Trichrome staining showed greater collagen deposition in curcumin-treated wounds. Immunohistochemical localization of transforming growth factor-beta1 showed an increase in curcumin-treated wounds as compared with untreated wounds. In situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction analysis also showed an increase in the mRNA transcripts of transforming growth factor-beta1 and fibronectin in curcumin-treated wounds. Because transforming growth factor-beta1 is known to enhance wound healing, it may be possible that transforming growth factor-beta1 plays an important role in the enhancement of wound healing by curcumin.


Curcumin, isolated from turmeric, has been known to possess many pharmacologic properties. It has been proven to exhibit remarkable anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Turmeric curcumin may be a good potential agent for wound healing.


To further understand its therapeutic mechanisms on wound healing, the antioxidant effects of curcumin on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase induced damage to cultured human keratinocytes and fibroblasts were investigated. Cell viability was assessed by colorimetric assay and quantification of lactate dehydrogenase release.


Exposure of human keratinocytes to curcumin at 10 microg/mL showed significant protective effect against hydrogen peroxide. Interestingly, exposure of human dermal fibroblasts to curcumin at 2.5 microg/mL showed significant protective effects against hydrogen peroxide. No protective effects of curcumin on either fibroblasts or keratinocytes against hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase induced damage were found in our present studies.


The findings indicate that curcumin indeed possessed powerful inhibition against hydrogen peroxide damage in human keratinocytes and fibroblasts.