Anti-arthritic effects and toxicity of the essential oils of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.)

Janet L. Funk, Jennifer B. Frye, Janice N. Oyarzo, Huaping Zhang, Barbara N. Timmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Turmeric (Curcuma longa L., Zingiberaceae) rhizomes contain two classes of secondary metabolites, curcuminoids and the less well-studied essential oils. Having previously identified potent anti-arthritic effects of the curcuminoids in turmeric extracts in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), studies were undertaken to determine whether the turmeric essential oils (TEO) were also joint protective using the same experimental model. Crude or refined TEO extracts dramatically inhibited joint swelling (90-100% inhibition) in female rats with streptococcal cell wall (SCW)induced arthritis when extracts were administered via intraperitoneal injection to maximize uniform delivery. However, this anti-arthritic effect was accompanied by significant morbidity and mortality. Oral administration of a 20-fold higher dose TEO was nontoxic, but only mildly joint-protective (20% inhibition). These results do not support the isolated use of TEO for arthritis treatment but, instead, identify potential safety concerns in vertebrates exposed to TEO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-849
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2010

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Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Arthritis
  • Curcuma longa l
  • Essential oil
  • Liver
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Turmeric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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