liver disfunction

Curcuma longa

(In territories with significant traditional TRAMIL use)

  • Haiti : safran
  • Haiti : curcuma
  • Saint Lucia : tjitjima
  • Saint Lucia : turmeric
  • Saint Lucia : Indian saffron

Significant uses found by the TRAMIL surveys

  rhizome, aqueous maceration, orally2

Preparation and posology

According to published and other information:

Use for jaundice and hepatic disorders is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, and on available published scientific information.

Due to the health risks involved with jaundice and hepatic disorders, an initial medical evaluation is recommended.  The use of this resource can be considered complementary to medical treatment, unless it is contraindicated.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should the hepatic disorder last more than 5 days, or 3 days in children under 5 years, seek medical attention.

Not for use by women intending to become pregnant, during pregnancy, during lactation or by children under 3 years old.

Use for abscess is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use (WHO)4 documented in the TRAMIL surveys.

Not for use in patients with obstructions in the bile-conducting structures, such as stones, unless under supervision of a physician, nor in people with a record of hypersensitivity to the plant4-5.

Rhizome powder can cause reactions in case of contact with the skin.

The rhizome of Curcuma longa is widely used for human consumption and is an industrial source of essential oil.

For abscess and jaundice :

Prepare a decoction with 20 grams (4 teaspoonfuls) of rhizome in 1 liter (4 cups) of water, and boil for at least 10 minutes in a covered pot.  Leave to cool down, and drink 1 cup 3-4 times a day.

For jaundice and hepatic disorders:

Grind 20 grams (4 teaspoonfuls) of rhizome and add to 1 liter (4 cups) of boiled water.  Let the preparation settle for 12 hours.  Filter and drink in several portions within the following 12 hours47.

1 JEAN-PIERRE L, 1988 TRAMIL survey. St. Lucia National Herbarium, Castries, St. Lucia.

2 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

3 WHO, 1991 Pautas para la evaluación de medicamentos herbarios WHO/TRM/91.4 (original inglés). Programa de Medicina Tradicional, OMS, Ginebra, Suiza.

4 WHO, 2002 WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume 1. Feb.28,2003, URL:

5 PDR® for Herbal Medicines, 2003 Feb.28,2003. URL:

6 OGBEIDE ON, EDUAVEGUAVOEN OI, PARVEZ M, 1985 Identification of 2-(hydroxymethyl) anthraquinone in Curcuma domestica. Pak J Sci 37(1/4):15-17.

7 SU HCF, HORVAT R, JILANI G, 1982 Isolation, purification, and characterization of insect repellents from Curcuma longa L. J Agric Food Chem 30:290-292.

8 OHSHIRO M, KUROYANAGI M, UENO A, 1990 Structures of sesquiterpenes from Curcuma longa. Phytochemistry 29(7):2201-2205.

9 CHEN YH, YU JG, FANG HJ, 1983 Studies on Chinese Curcuma. III. Comparison of the volatile oil and phenolic constituents from the rhizome and the tuber of Cucurma longa. Chung Yao T'ung Pao 8(1):27-29.

10 MOON CK, PARK NS, KOH SK, 1976 Studies on the lipid components of Curcuma longa. I. The composition of fatty acids and sterols. Soul Taehakkyo Yakhak Nonmunjip 1:132.

11 YASUDA K, TSUDA T, SHIMIZU H, SUGAYA A, 1988 Multiplication of Curcuma species by tissue culture. Planta Med 54(1):75-79.

12 SCHULTZ JM, HERRMANN K, 1980 Occurrence of hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxycinnamic acid in spices. IV. Phenolics of spices. Z Lebensm-Unters Forsch 171:193-199.

13 PARK SN, BOO YC, 1991 Cell protection from damage by active oxygen with curcuminoids. Patent-Fr Demande-2,655,054.

14 TODA S, MIYASE T, ARICHI H, TANIZAWA H, TAKINO Y, 1985 Natural antioxidants. III. Antioxidative components isolated from rhizome of Curcuma longa L. Chem Pharm Bull 33(4):1725-1728.

15 JENTZSCH K, SPIEGL P, KAMITZ R, 1970 Qualitative and quantitative studies of curcuma dyes in different Zingiberaceae drugs. 2. Quantitative studies. Sci Pharm 38:50.

16 KARIG F, 1975 Rapid identification of curcuma rhizomes with the tas (thermomicroseparation and application) process. Dtsch Apoth Ztg 115:325.

17 GONDA R, TOMODA M, TAKADA K, OHARA N, SHIMIZU N, 1992 The core structure of ukonan A, a phagocytosis-activating polysaccharide from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, and immunological activities of degradation products. Chem Pharm Bull 40(4):990-993.

18 WOO WS, CHI HJ, YUN HS, WOO LK, 1977 Phytochemical screening of Korean medicinal plants (II). Korean J Pharmacog 8:103-108.

19 DE SOUSA M, Matos ME, Matos FJ, MACHADO MI, CRAVEIRO AA,1991 Constituintes químicos ativos de plantas medicinais Brasileiras.Laboratorio de produtos naturais, Fortaleza, Brasil: Ceará Edições UFC.

20 YANG M, DONG X, TANG Y, 1984 Studies of the chemical constituents of common turmeric (Curcuma longa). Chung Ts'ao Yao 15(5):197-198.

19 ZHAO DY, YANG MK, 1986 Separation and determination of cucurminoids in Curcuma longa L. and its preparation by HPLC. Yao Hsueh Pao 21(5):382-385.

22 KISO Y, SUZUKI Y, WATANABE N, OSHIMA Y, HIKINO H, 1983 Antihepatotoxic principles of Curcuma longa rhizomes. Planta Med 49(3):185-187.

23 GONDA R, TOMODA M, SHIMIZU N, KANARI M, 1990 Characterization of polysaccharides having activity on the reticuloendothelial system from the rhizome of Curcuma longa. Chem Pharm Bull Tokyo 38(2):482-486.

24 DUKE JA, ATCHLEY AA, 1986 Handbook of proximate analysis tables of higher plants. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press. p56.

25 SOLIS PN, RODRIGUEZ N, ESPINOSA A, GUPTA MP, 2004 Estudio antimicrobiano de algunas plantas TRAMIL con usos en Martinica. Informe TRAMIL. Centro de Investigaciones Farmacognósticas de la Flora Panameña CIFLORPAN, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Panamá, Panamá, Panamá.

26 JOYEUX M, FLEURENTIN J, DORFMAN P, MONTIER F, 1988 Recherche d'une activité hépatotrope et antiradicalaire de plantes médicinales de la caraïbe. Rapport TRAMIL. Laboratoire de pharmacognosie, Centre des Sciences pour l'Environnement, Metz, France.

27 CHANG IM, WOO WS, 1980 Screening of Korean medicinal plants for antitumor activity. Arch Pharm Res 3(2):75-78.

28 KOSUGE T, YOKOTA M, SUGIYAMA K, YAMAMOTO T, NI MY, YAN SC, 1985 Studies of antitumor activities and antitumor principles of Chinese herbs. Yakugaku Zasshi 105(8):791-795.

29 ITOKAWA H, 1988 Research on antineoplastic drugs from natural sources, especially from higher plants. Yakugaku Zasshi108(9):824-841.

30 SRIVASTAVA KC, 1989 Extracts from two frequently consumed spices cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) inhibit platelet aggregation and alter eicosanoid biosynthesis in human blood platelets. Prostaglandins Leukotr Essent Fatty Acids37(1):57-64.

31 DIXIT VP, JAIN P, JOSHI SC, 1988 Hypolipidaemic effects of Curcuma longa L. & Nardostachys jatamansi in triton-induced hyperlipidaemic rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 32(4):299-304.

32 DONATUS IA, SARDJOKO, VERMEULEN NPE, 1990 Cytotoxic and cytoprotective activities of curcumin. Effects on paracetamol induced cytotoxicity, lipid peroxidation and glutathione depletion in rat hepatocytes. Biochem Pharmacol 39(12):1869-1875.

33 AMMON HP, WAHL MA, 1991 Pharmacology ofCurcuma longa. Planta Med57(1):1-7.

34 DUKE JA, 1992 Handbook of biologically active phytochemicals and their bioactivities. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press.

35 DUKE JA, 1992 Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS Herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press.

36 KINOSHITA G, NAKAMURA F, MARUYAMA T, 1986 Immunological studies on polysaccharide fraction of crude drugs. Shoyakugaku Zasshi 40(3):325-332.

37 PINKAS M, BEZANGER-BEAUQUESNE L, 1986 Les plantes dans la thérapeutique moderne.Paris, France: 2 éd. Ed. Maloine.

38 KOSUGE T, ISHIDA H, YAMAZAKI H, 1985 Studies on active substances in the herbs used for oketsu ("stagnant blood") in Chinese medicine III. On the anticoagulative principles in curcumae rhizoma. Chem Pharm Bulll (Tokyo) 33(4):1499-1502.

39 BLANCK W,1990 Processes for the preparation of medicinal compositions, compositions obtained by these processes and use thereof for the preparation of medicines against viral hepatitis B and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. World Intellectual Property Org./U.S.Patent & Trademark Office, Bibliographic File of Published PCT Internat. Applications. Jan.1983 to Dec.1989; Prototype Jun.1990. Int. Pub. No. 8805304.

40 SONI KB, LAHIRI M, CHACKRADEO P, BHIDE SV, KUTTAN R, 1997 Protective effect of food additives on aflatoxin-induced mutagenicity and hepatocarcinogenicity. Cancer Lett 115(2):129-133.

41 AZUINE MA, KAYAL JJ, BHIDE SV, 1992 Protective role of aqueous turmeric extract against mutagenicity of direct-acting carcinogens as well as benzo [alpha] pyrene-induced genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 118(6):447-52.

42 YEGNANARAYANA M, SARAF AP, BALWANI JH, 1976 Comparison of anti-inflammatory effect of various extracts of Curcuma longa. Indian J Med Res64(4):601-608.

43 POLASA K, SESIKARAN B, KRISHNA TP, KRISHNASWAMY K, 1991 Turmeric (Curcuma longa) - induced reduction in urinary mutagens. Food Chem Toxicol 29(10):699-706.

44 QURESHI S, SHAH AH, AGEEL AM, 1992 Toxicity studies on Alpinia galanga and Curcuma longa. Planta Med 58(2):124-127.

45 VIJAYALAXMI, 1980 Genetic effect of turmeric and curcumin in mice and rats. Mut Res 79:125-132.

46 KAMBOJ VP, 1988 A review of Indian medicinal plants with interceptive activity. Indian J Med Res 4:336-355.

47 SEETHARAM KA, PASRICHA JS, 1987 Condiments and contact dermatitis of the finger-tips. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 53(6):325-328.

48 ALBORNOZ A, 1993 Medicina Tradicional Herbaria. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Instituto Farmacoterápico Latino S.A. p227.

49 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2006 Toxicidad oral subcrónica, dosis repetida, en ratón, del extracto de rizoma fresco de Curcuma longa. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, LEBi, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.