Immunomodulatory effects of curcumin in allergy

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Sep;52(9):1031-9. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700293.


Recent years have witnessed a global increase in allergy and asthma, particularly in developed countries. Attempts to develop effective control measures for allergy and asthma resulted in the exploration of alternate medicines including herbal remedies traditionally used in old world countries. Turmeric is known for its multiple health restoring properties, and has been used in treating several diseases including several respiratory disorders. Turmeric is a common spice used in the culinary preparations in South and East Asian countries. The active component of turmeric is curcumin, a polyphenolic phytochemical, with anti-inflammatory, antiamyloid, antiseptic, antitumor, and antioxidative properties. Curcumin was reported to have antiallergic properties with inhibitory effect on histamine release from mast cells. The effectiveness of curcumin in allergy and asthma has been further investigated using a murine model of allergy. The results indicate a marked inhibition of allergic response in animals treated with curcumin suggesting a major role for curcumin in reducing the allergic response. The present review focuses on the results of research aimed to understand the immunomodulation induced by curcumin and its associated roles in the amelioration of allergy. These findings needed further evaluation, extrapolation, and confirmation before using curcumin for controlling allergy and asthma in humans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Egypt
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • India
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Plant Roots


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Curcumin