Role of curcumin in health and disease

Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008 Apr;114(2):127-49. doi: 10.1080/13813450802033958.


Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an orange-yellow component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice often found in curry powder. In recent years, considerable interest has been focused on curcumin due to its use to treat a wide variety of disorders without any side effects. It is one of the major curcuminoids of turmeric, which impart its characteristic yellow colour. It was used in ancient times on the Indian subcontinent to treat various illnesses such as rheumatism, body ache, skin diseases, intestinal worms, diarrhoea, intermittent fevers, hepatic disorders, biliousness, urinary discharges, dyspepsia, inflammations, constipation, leukoderma, amenorrhea, and colic. Curcumin has the potential to treat a wide variety of inflammatory diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, psoriasis, etc, through modulation of numerous molecular targets. This article reviews the use of curcumin for the chemoprevention and treatment of various diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Liver Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology


  • Antioxidants
  • Curcumin