Plants> <Rhizoma Curcumae Longae>
Rhizoma Curcumae Longae is the dried rhizome of Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae).
Dried rhizomes of
Curcuma wenyujin Y.H. Lee et C. Ling, C. kwangsiensis S. Lee et C.F. Liang.
and C. phaeocaulis Val. are also official sources of Radix Curcumae or
Turmeric Root-Tuber in China.
Curcuma domestica Valenton., C. rotunda L., C. xanthorrhiza Naves, Amomoum
Acafrao, arqussofar, asabi-e-safr, avea, cago rerega, chiang-huang, common
tumeric, curcum, curcuma, dilau, dilaw, Gelbwurzel, gezo, goeratji, haladi,
haldi, haldu, haku halu, hardi, haridra, huang chiang, hsanwen, hurid,
Indian saffron, jianghuang, kaha, kakoenji, kalo haledo, khamin chan,
khaminchan, kilunga kuku, kitambwe, kiko eea, koening, koenit, koenjet,
kondin, kooneit, kunyit, kurcum, kurkum, Kurkumawurzelstock, luyang dilaw,
mandano, manjano, manjal, nghe, nisha, oendre, pasupu, rajani, rame, renga,
rhizome de curcuma, saffran vert, safran, safran des indes, skyer-rtsa,
tumeric, tumeric root, tumeric rhizome, turmeric, ukon, ul gum, wong keong,
wong keung, yellow root, yii-chin, zardchob.
Perennial herb up to 1.0m in height; stout, fleshy, main rhizome nearly
ovoid (about 3 cm in diameter and 4cm long). Lateral rhizome, slightly
bent (1 cm X 2-6cm), flesh orange in colour; large leaves lanceolate,
uniformly green, up to 50 cm long and 7 -25 cm wide; apex acute and caudate
with tapering base, petiole and sheath sparsely to densely pubescent.
Spike, apical, cylindrical, 10-15 cm long and 5-7 cm in diameter. Bract
white or white with light green upper half, 5-6 cm long, each subtending
flowers, bracteoles up to 3.5 cm long. Pale yellow flowers about 5 cm
long; calyx tubular, unilaterally split, unequally toothed; corolla white,
tube funnel shaped, limb 3-1obed. Stamens lateral, petaloid, widely elliptical,
longer than the anther; filament united to anther about the middle of
the pollen sac, spurred at base. Ovary trilocular; style glabrous. Capsule
ellipsoid. Rhizomes orange within.
material of interest: dried rhizome
The primary rhizome is ovate, oblong or pear-shaped round turmeric,
while the secondary rhizome is often short-branched long turmeric; the
round form is about half as broad as long; the long form is from 2-5 cm
long and 1-1.8 cm thick; externally yellowish to yellowish brown, with
root scars and annulations, the latter from the scars of leaf bases; fracture
horny; internally orange- yellow to orange; waxy, showing a cortex separated
from a central cylinder by a distinct endodermis.
Odour, aromatic; taste, warmly aromatic and bitter. Drug when chewed colours
the saliva yellow.
The transverse section of the rhizome is characterized by the presence
of mostly thin-walled rounded parenchyma cells, scattered vascular bundles,
definite endodermis, a few layers of cork developed under the epidermis
and scattered oleoresin cells with brownish contents. The cells of the
ground tissue are also filled with many starch grains. Epidermis is thin
walled, consisting of cubical cells of various dimensions. The cork cambium
is developed from the subepidermal layers and even after the development
of the cork, the epidermis is retained. Cork is generally composed of
4-6 layers of thin-walled brick- shaped parenchymatous cells. The parenchyma
of the pith and cortex contains curcumin and is filled with starch grains.
Cortical vascular bundles are scattered and are of collateral type. The
vascular bundles in the pith region are mostly scattered and they form
discontinuous rings just under the endodermis. The vessels have mainly
spiral thickening and only a few have reticulate and annular structure.
Coloured deep yellow. Fragments of parenchymatous cells contain numerous
altered, pasty masses of starch grains coloured yellow by curcumin, fragments
of vessels; cork fragments of cells in sectional view; scattered unicellular
tri-chomes; abundant starch grains; fragments of epidermal and cork cells
in surface view; and scattered oil droplets, rarely seen.
Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar,
Malaysia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. It is extensively cultivated
in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and throughout the tropics, including
tropical regions of Africa.
Macroscopic and microscopic examinations; test for the presence of curcuminoids
by colorimetric and thin-layer chromatographic methods.
The test for Salmonella spp, in Rhizoma Curcumae Longae products should
be negative, The maximum acceptable limits of other microorganisms are
as follows. For preparation of decoction: aerobic bacteria-not more than
10-7/g; fungi-not more than 10-5/g; Escherichia connot more than 10-2/g.
Preparations for internal use: aerobic bacteria-not more than 10-5/g or
ml; fungi-not more than 10-4/g or ml; enterobacteria and certain Gram-negative
bacteria-not more than 10-3/g or ml; Escherichia coli-0/g or ml.
Not more than 2%.
Not more than 8.0% .
Not more than 1%.
Not less than 9.0%.
Not less than 10%.
Not more than 10%.
To be established in accordance with national requirements. Normally,
the maximum residue limit of aldrin and dieldrin in Rhizoma Curcumae Longae
is not more than 0.05mg/kg. For other pesticides, see WHO guidelines on
quality control methods for medicinal plants and guidelines for predicting
dietary intake of pesticide residues.
and cadmium levels are not more than 10 and 0.3mg/kg, respectively, in
the final dosage form of the plant material.
For analysis of strontium-90, iodine-131, caesium-134, caesium-137, and
plutonium-239, see WHO guidelines on quality control methods for medicinal
Chemical tests to be established in accordance with national requirements.
Not less than 4,0% of volatile oil, and not less than 3,0% of curcuminoids.
Qualitative analysis by thin-layer and high-performance liquid
chromatography and quantitative assay for total curcuminoids by
spectrophotometric or by high-performance liquid chromatographic methods.
Pale yellow to orange-yellow volatile oil (6%) composed of a number of
monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, including zingiberene, curcumene, a-
and ß, turmerone among others. The colouring principles (5%) are curcuminoids,
50-60% of which are a mixture of curcumin, monodesmethoxycurcumin and
bisdesmethoxycurcumin. Representative structures of curcuminoids are presented
Powdered crude plant material, rhizomes, and corresponding preparations.
Store in a dry environment protected from light. Air dry the crude drug
every 2-3 months.
Uses supported by clinical data
The principal use of Rhizoma Curcumae Longae is for the treatment of acid,
flatulent, or atonic dyspepsia.
in pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine
Treatment of peptic ulcers, and pain and inflammation due to rheumatoid
arthritis and of amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, diarrhqea, epilepsy, pain,
and skin diseases.
Uses described in
folk medicine, not supported by experimental or clinical data
The treatment of asthma, boils, bruises, coughs, dizziness, epilepsy,
haemorrhages, insect bites, jaundice, ringworm, urinary calculi, and slow
The anti-inflammatory activity of Rhizoma Curcumae Longae has been demonstrated
in animal models. Intraperitoneal administration of the drug in rats effectively
reduced both acute and chronic inflammation in carrageenin-induced paw
oedema, the granuloma pouch test, and the cotton pellet granuloma test.
The effectiveness of the drug in rats was reported to be similar to that
of hydrocortisone acetate or indometacin in experimentally induced inflammation.
Oral administration of turmeric juice or powder did not produce an anti-inflammatory
effect; only intraperitoneal injection was effective. The volatile oil
has exhibited anti-inflammatory activity in rats against adjuvant-induced
arthritis, carrageenin-induced paw oedema, and hyaluronidase-induced inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory activity appears to be mediated through the inhibition
of the enzymes trypsin and hyaluronidase. Curcumin and its derivatives
are the active anti-inflammatory constituents of the drug. After intraperitoneal
administration, curcumin and sodium curcuminate exhibited strong anti-inflammatory
activity in the carrageenin-induced oedema test in rats and mice. Curcumin
was also found to be effective after oral administration in the acute
carrageenin-induced oedema test in mice and rats. The anti-inflammatory
activity of curcumin may be due to its ability to scavenge oxygen radicals,
which have been implicated in the inflammation process. Furthermore, intraperitoneal
injection of a polysaccharide fraction, isolated from the drug, increased
phagocytosis capacity in mice in the clearance of colloidal carbon test.
Activity against peptic ulcer and dyspepsia
Oral administration to rabbits of water or methanol extracts of the drug
significantly decreased gastric secretion and increased the mucin contents
of gastric juice. Intragastric administration of an ethanol extract of
the drug to rats effectively inhibited gastric secretion and protected
the gastroduodenal mucosa against injuries caused by pyloric ligation,
hypothermic-restraint stress, indometacin, reserpine, and mercaptamine
administration, andcytodestructive agents such as 80%, methanol, 0.6 mol/1
hydrochloric acid, 0.2 mol/1 sodium hydroxide and 25%, sodium chloride.
The drug stimulated the produc- tion of gastric wall mucus, and it restored
non-protein sulfides in rats. Curcumin, one of the anti-inflammatory constituents
of the drug, has been shown to prevent and ameliorate experimentally induced
gastric lesions in animal models by stimulation of mucin production. Hqwever,
there are conflicting reports regarding the protective action of curcumin
against histamine-induced gastric ulceration in guinea-pigs. Moreover,
both intra- peritoneal and oral administration of curcumin (100 mglkg)
have been reported to induce gastric ulceration in rats.
of smooth muscle contractions in isolated guinea-pig ileum by sodium curcuminate
has been reported.
The effect of curcumin
on intestinal gas formation has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo.
Addition of curcumin to Clostridium perfringens of intestinal origin in
vitro and to a chickpea flour diet fed to rats led to a gradual reduction
in gas formation.
Both the essential
oil and sodium curcuminate increase bile secretion after intravenous administration
to dogs. In addition, gall-bladder muscles were stimulated.
Oral administration of the drug to 116 patients with acid dyspepsia, flatulent
dyspepsia, or atonic dyspepsia in a randomized, double-blind study resulted
in a statistically significant response in the patients receiving the
drug. The patients received 500mg of the powdered drug four times daily
for 7 days, Two other clinical trials which measured the effect of the
drug on peptic ulcers showed that oral administration of the drug promoted
ulcer healing and decreased the abdominal pain involved.
Two clinical studies
have shown that curcumin is an effective anti- inflammatory drug, A short-term
(2 weeks) double-blind, crossover study of 18 patients with rheumatoid
arthritis showed that patients receiving either curcumin (1200mg/day)
or phenylbutazone (30mg/day) had significant improvement in morning stiffness,
walking time and joint swelling : In the second study, the effectiveness
of curcumin and phenylbutazone on postoperative inflammation was investigated
in a double-blind study. Both drugs produced a better anti-inflammatory
response than a placebo, but the degree of inflammation in the patients
varied greatly and was not evenly distributed among the three groups.
Obstruction of the biliary tract. In cases of gallstones, use only after
consultation with a physician. Hypersensitivity to the drug.
No information available.
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Rhizoma Curcumae longae is not mutagenic in vitro.
Orally administered Rhizoma Curcumae Longae was not tetratogenic in mice
The safety of Rhizoma Curcumae Longae during pregnancy has not been established.
As a precautionary measure the drug should not be used during pregnancy
except on medical advice.
Excretion of the drug into breast milk and its effects on the newborn
have not been established. Until such data are available, the drug should
not be used during lactation except on medical advice.
The safety and effectiveness of the drug in children has not been established.
No information on drug interactions or drug and laboratory test interactions
Allergic dermatitis has been reported. Reactions to patch testing occurred
most commonly in persons who were regularly exposed to the substance or
who already had dermatitis of the finger tips. Persons who were not previously
exposed to the drug had few allergic reactions.
Crude plant material, 3-9g daily; powdered plant material, 1.5-3.0g daily
; oral infusion, 0.5-1g three times per day; tincture (1:10) 0.5-1 ml
three times per day.