Antifungal activity of Curcuma longa grown in Thailand

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2000;31 Suppl 1:178-82.


Curcuma longa Linn. or turmeric (Zingiberaceae) is a medicinal plant widely used and cultivated in tropical regions. According to Thai traditional texts, fresh and dried rhizomes are used as peptic ulcer treatment, carminatives, wound treatment and anti-inflammatory agent. Using hydro distillation, 1.88% and 7.02% (v/w) volatile oils were extracted from fresh and dried rhizomes, respectively, and 6.95% (w/w)crude curcuminoids were extracted from dried rhizomes. Dried powder was extracted with 95% ethanol and yielded 29.52% (w/w) crude ethanol extract composed of curcumin (11.6%), demethoxycurcumin (10.32%) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (10.77%). These extracts were tested for antifungal activity by agar disc diffusion method against 29 clinical strains of dermatophytes. It was found that crude ethanol extract exhibited an inhibition zone range of 6.1 to 26.0 mm. There was no inhibition activity from crude curcuminoids while curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycutcumin gave different inhibition zone diameters ranging from 6.1 to 16.0 mm. Although antifungal activity of undiluted freshly distilled oil and 18-month-old oil revealed some differences, the inhibition zone diameters for both extracts varied within 26.1 to 46.0 mm. With 200 mg/ml ketoconazole, the activities of the standard agent were similar to the oil, both freshly distilled and 18-month-old, but were significantly different from those of curcuminoid compounds and crude ethanol extracts (p < 0.01). Turmeric oil was also tested for its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) by broth dilution method. The MICs of freshly distilled and 18-month-old oils were 7.8 and 7.2 mg/ml respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Thailand


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Extracts