The Genus Curcuma and Inflammation: Overview of the Pharmacological Perspectives

Plants (Basel). 2020 Dec 30;10(1):63. doi: 10.3390/plants10010063.


The Curcuma genus has been extensively used for therapeutic purposes in traditional or folk medicine worldwide, including for its anti-inflammatory activity. Curcuma spp.'s active constituents, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and terpenoids, can act on various targets in the signaling pathway, restrain pro-inflammatory enzymes, lower the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and reduce oxidative stress, which subsequently suppresses inflammatory processes. Preclinical and clinical studies have reported the predominant anti-inflammatory activity of several Curcuma species. This review provides an overview of the anti-inflammatory effects of different extracts, preparations, and bioactive components in this genus. This analysis may provide a scientific basis for developing new and alternative methods for the isolation of a single entity from this genus to attenuate inflammatory conditions. The Curcuma genus is waiting for researchers interested in developing safe and efficient anti-inflammatory agents for further investigation.

Keywords: Curcuma; anti-inflammatory agents; inflammation; pharmacology; pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Publication types

  • Review