Mechanism of Curcuma longa and Its Neuroactive Components for the Management of Epileptic Seizures: A Systematic Review

Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021;19(9):1496-1518. doi: 10.2174/1570159X19666210517120413.


Curcuma longa (Turmeric) is a tropical herbaceous perennial plant of the family Zingiberaceae and contains curcuminoids, sesquiterpenoids and monoterpenoids as its major components. Given the broad range of activities that Curcuma longa possesses and also its use as a traditional epilepsy remedy, this review attempts to systematically review the experimentally proven activities of Curcuma longa and its bioactive components, which are related to the management of epileptic seizures. Using the PRISMA model, five databases (Google Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect, SCOPUS and SpringerLink) were searched using the keywords ["Curcuma longa" AND "Epilepsy"] and ["Curcuma longa" AND "Seizures"], leaving 34 articles that met the inclusion criteria. The present systematic review elaborated on the experimentally proven potential of Curcuma longa components, such as an aqueous extract of Curcuma longa itself, Curcuma longa oil and active constituents like curcuminoids and bisabolene sesquiterpenoids found in Curcuma longa with anti-seizure potential. Using human equivalent dose calculations, human treatment parameters were suggested for each component by analysing the various studies in this review. This review also determined that the principal components possibly exert their anti-seizure effect via the reduction of corticosterone, modulation of neurotransmitters signalling, modulation of sodium ion channels, reduction of oxidative DNA damage, reduction of lipid peroxidation, upgregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediated inhibition. It is anticipated that this review will help pave the way for future research into the development of Curcuma longa and its neuroactive constituents as potential drug candidates for the management of epilepsy.

Keywords: Curcuma longa; Curcumin; Epilepsy; Seizures; Turmeric; ar-turmerone; α-atlantone.; α-tumerone; β-turmerone.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Curcuma
  • Epilepsy* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Seizures
  • Sesquiterpenes*


  • Sesquiterpenes