Effect of curcumin on nasal symptoms and airflow in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Dec;117(6):697-702.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2016.09.427. Epub 2016 Oct 24.


Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common disorder that can significantly affect patient quality of life. Previous studies have found that curcumin had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and clinical benefits in cancer and asthma.

Objective: To determine the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of AR and to explore the molecular mechanisms involved.

Methods: In a randomized, double-blind study, 241 patients with AR received either placebo or oral curcumin for 2 months. The therapeutic effects of curcumin were evaluated by nasal symptoms and nasal airflow resistance. In addition, the production of interferon γ, interleukin (IL) 4, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor α from mononuclear cells and IL-8, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule, polyethylene glycol 2, and leukotriene C4 from polymorphonuclear neutrophils were compared before and after curcumin treatment.

Results: Curcumin alleviated nasal symptoms (sneezing and rhinorrhea) and nasal congestion through reduction of nasal airflow resistance. Curcumin was found to exert diverse immunomodulatory effects, including suppression of IL-4, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor α and increased production of IL-10 and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule. However, curcumin did not affect the release of prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene C4 from polymorphonuclear neutrophils.

Conclusion: This pilot study provides the first evidence of the capability of curcumin of improving nasal airflow and modulating immune response in patients with AR.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers
  • Comorbidity
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Nasal Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Nasal Obstruction / drug therapy*
  • Nasal Obstruction / immunology
  • Nasal Obstruction / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / diagnosis*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / metabolism
  • Rhinomanometry
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Curcumin