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Therapeutic Potential Of Curcuma Oil

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 17 December 2022
Therapeutic Potential Of Curcuma Oil

Gynaecological cancers encompass all uncontrolled and aberrant cell growth in the female reproductive system, therapeutic interventions are constantly evolving, but there is still a high death rate, significant side effects and medication resistance, making the task of treatment challenging and complex. The essential oil extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa is a promising natural drug, which has excellent biological activity on cancer cells and is to be developed as a new type of anti-gynaecological tumour therapeutic agent.

Due to their high prevalence and mortality, gynaecological cancers, like ovarian, cervical, endometrial, vulvar, and vaginal malignancies, place a significant burden on women around the world. They are not only a serious health risk for women, but also affect fertility. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy remain the current conventional approaches for the treatment of these tumours; nevertheless, the development of postoperative recurrence rates and drug resistance renders it urgent to explore new anti-tumor targeting agents.

Curcuma oil is an essential oil derived from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, a plant of the ginger family, with bioactivities such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.

Curcuma longa has been reported to be extensively used as an innate colouring and flavouring ingredient in food and medicine in Asian countries, and in China, Curcuma oil has been approved in the United States by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) as a drug for the treatment of various diseases.

Sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes, including β-elemene, curcumol, furanodiene, furanodienone, germacrone, curdione, etc., are important active components of Curcuma oil, according to phytochemical investigations on the Curcuma longa plant.

Numerous studies have shown that Curcuma oil, as well as any of its major constituents, has powerful antitumor effects via promoting apoptosis and autophagy, inhibiting cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and preventing tumour angiogenesis. 

Curcuma oil has been shown to be a broad-spectrum anti-tumor agent, acting through multiple pathways and multiple targets. It not only has positive therapeutic benefits against established gynecological tumors but also prevents tumor onset and can be used as a chemosensitizer for adjuvant therapy. 



Zhang Y, Peng F, Yu C. Therapeutic potential of Curcuma oil and its terpenoids in gynecological cancers. Biomed Pharmacother. 2023 Jan;157:114016. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2022.114016. Epub 2022 Nov 14. PMID: 36395609.

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsCancerHerbal MedicineBlogsWestern Herbal Medicine, Nutrients, Chinese & Ayurveda


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • British Naturopathic Association