Curcuma longa Anhang

[Shrikant Mishra and Kalpana Palanivelu]

This paper discusses the effects of curcumin on patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Curcumin (Turmeric), an ancient Indian herb used in curry powder, has been extensively studied in modern medicine and Indian systems of medicine for the treatment of various medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis, haemorrhoids, gastric ulcer, colon cancer, breast cancer, atherosclerosis, liver diseases and arthritis. It has been used in various types of treatments for dementia and traumatic brain injury. Curcumin also has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of AD. Curcumin as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipophilic action improves the cognitive functions in patients with AD. A growing body of evidence indicates that oxidative stress, free radicals, beta amyloid, cerebral deregulation caused by bio-metal toxicity and abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to the key event in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with AD has improved.

This paper reviews the various mechanisms of actions of curcumin in AD and pathology.

Keywords: Alternative approach to Alzheimer's, beta amyloid plaques, curcumin, curcumin and dementia, epidemiology, turmeric

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and behavioral changes. It is the most common type of pre-senile and senile dementia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 5% of men and 6% of woman of above the age of 60 years are affected with Alzheimer's type dementia worldwide. In India, the total prevalence of dementia per 1000 people is 33.6%, of which AD constitutes approximately 54% and vascular dementia constitutes approximately 39%. AD affects approximately 4.5 million people in the United States or approximately 10% of the population over the age of 65, and this number is projected to reach four times by 2050. The frequency increases to 50% by the age of 80 years. Every year more than $100 billion is spent for health care in the U.S. to treat AD in primary care settings alone.

Neuropathology of AD:

The neuropathological process consists of neuronal loss and atrophy, principally in the temporoparietal and frontal cortex, with an inflammatory response to the deposition of amyloid plaques and an abnormal cluster of protein fragments and tangled bundles of fibres (neurofibillary tangles). Neurotic plaques are relatively insoluble dense cores of

5-10 nm thick amyloid fibrils with a pallor staining “halo” surrounded by dystrophic neuritis, reactive astrocytes and activated microglia. There is an increased presence of monocytes/macrophages in the cerebral vessel wall and reactive or activated microglial cells in the adjacent parenchyma. The main protein component of amyloid in AD

is the 39-42 amino acid (beta) amyloid peptide (A-beta).

Neuritic plaques are one of the characteristic structural abnormalities found in the brains of Alzheimer patients


Curcumin [Curcuma longa (Haldi I)] is the source of the spice Turmeric and used in curries and other spicy dishes from India, Asia and the Middle East. Similar to many other herbal remedies, people first used curcumin as a food and later discovered that it also had impressive medicinal qualities. It has been used extensively in Ayurveda for centuries as a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory agent to relieve pain and inflammation in the skin and muscles. It has also proven to have anti-cancer properties. Curcumin holds a high place in Ayurvedic medicine as a “cleanser of the body,” and today, science is finding a growing list of diseased conditions that can be healed by the active ingredients of turmeric.

Botanical name: Curcuma longa; Family: Zingiberaceae, the ginger family. Turmeric is a sterile plant and does not produce any seeds. The plant grows up to 3-5 ft tall and has dull yellow flowers. The underground rhizomes or roots of the plant are used. The rhizome is an underground stem that is thick and fleshy ringed with the bases of old leaves. Rhizomes are boiled and then dried and ground to make the distinctive bright yellow spice, turmeric.

Turmeric History:

Probably originating from India, turmeric has been used in India for at least 2500 years. It is most common in southern Asia and particularly in India. Turmeric was probably cultivated at first as a dye and later on it was used as cosmetic and as an auspicious and aromatic food substance. It possesses antiseptic, anti-inflammatory detoxifying properties as well as carminative properties. Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia and was widely used in Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani systems.

It is thought to be a hybrid selection and vegetative propagation of wild turmeric (Curcuma aromatica), which is native to India, Sri Lanka and the eastern Himalayas and

some other closely related species.

Curcumin and Alzheimer's Disease

Worldwide, there are over 1000 published animal and human studies, both in vivo and in vitro in which the effects of curcumin on various diseases have been examined. Studies include epidemiological, basic and clinical research on AD.


E number            E100            As curcumin is brightly colored, it may be used as a food color. It is often used as food additive.

Epidemiological Studies

Various studies and research[9,10] results indicate a lower incidence and prevalence of AD in India. The prevalence of AD among adults aged 70-79 years in India is

4.4 times less than that of adults aged 70-79 years in the U.S. Researchers investigated the association between the curry consumption and cognitive level in 1010 Asians between 60 and 93 years of age. The study found that those who occasionally ate curry (less than once a month) and often (more than once a month) performed better

on a standard test (MMSE) of cognitive function than those who ate curry never or rarely.

Mechanism of action of curcumin on Alzheimer's disease:

The process through which AD degrades the nerve cells is believed to involve certain properties: inflammation, oxidative damage and most notably, the formation of

beta-amyloid plaques, metal toxicity [Figure 3]. There have been several studies on effects of curcumin on AD. Outlined below are some of the studies and their conclusions.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is AIAN-11-13-g003.jpg


Different mechanisms of action of curcumin in AD

Effects of Curcumin on Macrophages

A study conducted at UCLA found that curcumin may help the macrophages to clear the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease. Macrophages play an important role

in the immune system. They help the body to fight against foreign proteins and then effectively clear them. Curcumin was treated with macrophages in blood taken from nine volunteers: six AD patients and three healthy controls. Beta amyloid was then introduced. The AD patients, whose macrophages were treated with curcumin, when compared with patients whose macrophages were not treated with curcumin, showed an improved uptake and ingestion of the plaques. Thus, curcumin may support the immune system to clear the amyloid protein.


Curcumin on glial cells:

Recent histological studies reveal the presence of activated microglia and reactive astrocytes around A-beta plaques in brains from patients with AD. The chronic activation of microglia secretes cytokines and some reactive substances that exacerbate A-beta pathology. So neuroglia is an important part in the pathogenesis of AD. Curcumin has a lipophilic property and can pass through all cell membranes and thus exerts its intracellular effects. Curcumin has anti-proliferative actions on microglia. A minimal dose of curcumin affects neuroglial proliferation and differentiation. Its inhibition of microglial proliferation and differentiation were studied and researched by the University of Southern California Los Angeles (UCLA). Researchers using doses of 4, 5, 10, 15, 20 microM concentration of curcumin in C-6 rat glioma 2B-clone cells, a mixed colony

of both neuroglial cells in a six- day trial, showed that curcumin dose dependently stops the proliferation of neuroglial cells, by differentiate into a mature cell or undergo apoptosis. It inhibits neuroglial cells proliferation dose dependently (i.e.) higher the concentration, the greater the inhibition. It has shown to decrease the glutamine synthetase (GS) assay, a marker enzyme for astrocytes. In the same study, curcumin was shown to increase CNP (2′3′- cyclic Nucleotide 3′-phosphohydrolase), a marker enzyme for oligodendrocytes. The overall effect of curcumin on neuroglial cells involves decreased astrocytes proliferation, improved myelogenesis and increased activity and differentiation of oligodendrocytes.

Curcumin as an Anti Inflammatory in Alzheimer's

One of the important pathogenesis in Alzheimer's disease is the chronic inflammation of nerve cells. Several studies have demonstrated the associated inflammatory changes such as microgliosis, astrocytosis and the presence of pro-inflammatory substances that accompany the deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. Patients with the prolonged use of certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as ibuprofen have been shown to have a reduced risk of developing the symptoms of AD; however, the chronic use of NSAID can cause a toxic effect on the kidneys, liver and GI track. Curcumin has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. Through its various anti-inflammatory effects, it may have a role in the cure of AD. Curcumin inhibits Aβ-induced expression of Egr-1 protein and Egr-1 DNA-binding activity in THP-1 monocytic cells. Studies have shown the role of Egr-1 in amyloid peptide-induced cytochemokine gene expression in monocytes. By inhibition of Egr-1 DNA-binding activity by curcumin, it reduces the inflammation. The chemotaxis of monocytes, which can occur in response to chemokines from activated microglia and astrocytes in the brain, can be decreased by curcumin.

Curcumin is found to inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX-2), phospholipases, transcription factor and enzymes involved in metabolizing the membrane phospholipids into prostaglandins. The reduction of the release of ROS by stimulated neutrophils, inhibition of AP-1 and NF-Kappa B inhibit the activation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-alpha and IL (interleukin)-1 beta. Overall, curcumin decreases the main chemical for inflammation and the transcription of inflammatory cytokines. Curcumin inhibits intracellular IL-12 p40/p70 and IL-12 p70 expression. The exposure to curcumin also impaired the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-). These studies indicate a potent inhibitor of pro-inflammatory cytokine production by curcumin and it may differ according to the nature of the target cells.

Curcumin as an Anti-oxidant

Curcumin inhibits the activity of AP-1, a transcription factor involved in expression of amyloid, which is linked to AD. Curcuminoids are proven to have strong antioxidant action demonstrated by the inhibition of the formation and propagation of free radicals. It decreases the low-density lipoprotein oxidation and the free radicals that cause the deterioration of neurons, not only in AD but also in other neuron degenerative disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's disease. In one study, curcuma oil (500 mg

Kg(-1) i.p.) was given 15 min before 2 h middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by 24 h reflow in rats. This significantly diminished the infarct volume, improved neurological deficit and counteracted oxidative stress.


A study conducted at Nanjing Medical University (China) showed that a single injection of curcumin (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.v.) after focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion in rats significantly diminished the infarct volume, improved neurological deficit, decreased mortality and reduced the water content in the brain.

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; according to the scientists, these properties believe help ease Alzheimer's symptoms caused by oxidation and inflammation. A study conducted at Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) demonstrated that the administration of curcumin significantly reduced lipid peroxidation and lipofuscin accumulation that is normally increased with aging. It also increased the activity of superoxide dismutase, sodium-potassium ATPase that normally decreased with aging. In another study, curcumin has been shown to protect the cells from betaA (1-42) insult through antioxidant pathway. Curcumin protects brain mitochondria against various oxidative stress. Pre-treatment with curcumin protects brain mitochondria against peroxynitrite (a product of the reaction of nitric oxide with superoxide) a potent

and versatile oxidant that can attack a wide range of cells in vitro by direct detoxification and in vivo by the elevation of total cellular glutathione levels.

Curcumin on Haemoxygenase Pathway

Natural antioxidant curcumin has been identified as a potent inducer of hemoxygenase, a protein that provides efficient cytoprotection against various forms of oxidative stress. By promoting the inactivation of Nrf2-keap1 complex and increased binding to no-1ARE, curcumin induces hemoxygenase activity. The incubation of astrocytes

with curcumin at a concentration that promoted hemoxygenase activity resulted in an early increase in reduced glutathione, followed by a significant elevation in oxidized glutathione content. Glutathione is an important water-phase antioxidant and essential cofactor for antioxidant enzymes protecting the mitochondria against endogenous oxygen radicals. Its level reflects the free radical scavenging capacity of the body. GSH depletion leads to tissue damage due to lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage.

Beta-Amyloid Plaques

The most prominent characteristic feature in AD is the presence of beta-amyloid plaques. These plaques are basically an accumulation of small fibers called beta amyloid fibrils. Because the deposition of beta-amyloid protein is a consistent pathological hallmark of brains affected by AD, the inhibition of A-beta generation, prevention of A-beta fibril formation, destabilization of pre-formed A-beta would be an attractive therapeutic strategy for the treatment of AD. The levels of beta-amyloid in AD mice that were given low doses of curcumin were decreased by around 40% in comparison to those that were not treated with curcumin. In addition, low doses of curcumin also caused a 43% decrease in the so-called “plaque burden” that these beta-amyloid have on the brains of AD mice. Surprisingly low doses of curcumin given over longer period were actually more effective than high doses in combating the neurodegenerative process of AD. At higher concentration, curcumin binds to amyloid beta and blocks its self assembly.

The key chemical features in amyloid beta are the presence of two aromatic end groups and any alterations in these groups has profound effect on its activity.

Because of the lipophilic nature of curcumin, it crosses the blood brain barrier and binds to plaques. Curcumin was a better A-beta 40 aggregation inhibitor and it destabilizes the A-beta polymer. In in vitro studies, curcumin inhibits aggregation as well as disaggregates to form fibrillar A-beta 40. A Japanese study showed that using fluorescence spectroscopic analysis with thioflavin T and electron microscopic studies, curcumin destabilizes the fA-beta(1-40) and fA-beta(1-42) as well as their extension.

Curcumin-derived isoxazoles and pyrazoles bind to the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) and inhibit amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism. Curcumin given to APPswe/PS1dE9 mice for 7 days crosses the blood-brain barrier as demonstrated by muliti-photon microscopy and reduces the existing senile plaques.[29] In another study, curcumin has been shown to increase the phagocytosis of amyloid-beta, effectively clearing them from the brains of patients with AD.

Metal Chelation

Studies showed that metals can induce A-beta aggregation and toxicity and are concentrated on Alzheimer's brain. Chelators' desferroxamine and cliquinol have exhibited

anti-Alzheimer's effects. A study at Capital University Beijing demonstrated the toxicity of copper on neurons. A greater amount of H2O2 was released when copper (2)-A(beta)-40 complexes were added to the xanthene oxidase system. Copper was bound to A(beta)1-40 and was observed by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.

In addition, copper chelators could cause a structural transition of A(beta). There was an increase on beta sheet as well as alpha-helix when copper was introduced.

Another study reveals that copper and zinc bind A-beta inducing aggregation and give rise to reactive oxygen species. There was a conformational change from beta sheet

to alpha helix followed by peptide oligomerization and membrane penetration, when copper (or) zinc is added to A-beta in a negatively charged lipid environment.

Brain iron deregulation and its association with amyloid precursor protein plaque formation are implicated in the pathology of AD.

Curcumin, by interaction with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, prevents neurotoxicity caused by these metals. The intraperitoneal injection of lead acetate in rats in

the presence of curcumin was studied microscopically. The results show lead-induced damage to neurons was significantly reduced in rats injected with curcumin.

A study at Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that by using spectrophotometry, the curcumin effectively binds to copper, zinc and iron. In addition, curcumin binds more effectively with redox-active metals such as iron and copper than the redox-inactive zinc. It is suggested that curcumin suppresses inflammatory damage by preventing metal induction of NF-kappa.

Cholesterol Lowering Effect

High-fat diets and increased blood cholesterol are linked to increased amyloid plaques by the intracellular accumulation of cholestryl esters. Researchers believe that by inhibiting cholesterol formation and decreasing serum peroxides, curcumin might exert beneficial effects on AD.


Curcumin has poor bioavailability. Because curcumin readily conjugated in the intestine and liver to form curcumin glucuronides. In a clinical trial conducted in Taiwan,

serum curcumin concentrations peaked one to two hours after an oral dose. Peak serum concentrations were 0.5, 0.6 and 1.8 micromoles/L at doses of 4, 6 and 8 g/day respectively. It is also measured in urine at a dose of 3.6 g/day. Absorption is poor following ingestion in mice and rats. 38% to 75% of an ingested dose of curcumin is excreted in the faeces. Absorption appears to be better with food. Curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier and is detected in CSF.

Side Effect

No apparent side effects have been reported thus far. GI upset, chest tightness, skin rashes, swollen skin are said to occur with high dose. A few cases of allergic contact dermatitis from curcumin have been reported.

The chronic use of curcumin can cause liver toxicity. For this reason, turmeric products should probably be avoided by individuals with liver disease, heavy drinkers and

those who take prescription medications that are metabolized by liver. Curcumin was found to be pharmacologically safe in human clinical trials with doses up to 10 g/day.

A phase 1 human trial with 25 subjects using up to 8000 mg of curcumin per day for three months found no toxicity from curcumin.


Curcumin interacts with certain drugs such as blood thinning agents, NSAIDs, reserpin. Co-supplementation with 20 mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) significantly increase the bioavailablity of curcumin by 2000%.


Curcumin is not recommended for persons with biliary tract obstruction because it stimulates bile secretion. It is also not recommended for people with gallstones, obstructive jaundice and acute biliary colic. Curcumin supplementation of 20-40 mg have been reported to increase gallbladder contractions in healthy people.


Epidemiological studies have shown that prevalence of AD is 4.4 lower amongst Indian Asians as compared to people of western origin.  D ementia incidence in western countries (P < 0.21) and East Asian countries were lower than that of Europe (P < 0.0004).


Planaria            Curcumin improved the memory curves in planaria with correlation coef. cient of 0.97.


Clinical -Vivo: Blood from six patients with AD and three healthy controls was taken and the macrophage cells were isolated. After treatment of macrophages with curcuminoids, Aβ uptake by macrophages of three of the six AD patients was found to have significantly increased (P < 0.001 to 0.081).[11]


Five animal and two human studies showed statistically significant P values.


Based on the main findings detailed above, curcumin will lead to a promising treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The clinically studied chemical properties of curcumin and its various effects on AD shows the possibility to do further research and develop better drugs based on curcumin for treating AD. The recent review paper of John Ringman also supports some of the abovementioned properties of curcumin in AD; however, large-scale human studies are required to identify the prophylactic and therapeutic effect of curcumin.


Several unanswered questions remain: What is the one main chemical property of curcumin that can be exploited in treating AD? What is the role of curcumin in other neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and other dementias? How does curcumin interact with neuronal plaques? Is it effective only as a food additive? Would it be effective when used alone or with other anti inflammatory drugs?

Go to:


[Karasee Pillay]

A Double Blind Homeopathic Drug Proving of Curcuma longa C 30 Analysing Sympotomatology in Relation to the Doctrine of Signatures

5.4 Doctrine of Signatures The botanical name of turmeric is Curcuma longa and it falls within the Zingerberacea botanical family.  It is a perennial herb that grows to approximately one meter in height and has large tufted leaves. The leaf blade is often described as long and tapering towards the base.  The plant produces pale yellow

flowers with three petals and the flowers are found close to ground level.  The rhizome is described as being oblong or cylindrical, having two parts; a primary rhizome,

which is egg- shaped and many cylindrical and branched secondary rhizomes that grow from the primary rhizome. The rhizome is brown on the outside and yellow to yellow-orange on the inside (Bone, 2000:570).  The Zingerberacea family form part of the monocotyledonous plants found throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of Asia. 

Most of the members of the family are known by recognition of their aromatic leaves and thickened, fleshy rhizomes that are rich in essential oils. Members of the family include Aframomum, Amomum, Curcuma, Elettaria, Hedychium, Kaempferia, Languas, Phaeomeria and Zingerber of which Curcuma, Elettaria, and Zingerber are the important medicinal plants of the family (Wikipedia Encyclopedia Zingiberaceae Taxonomy).Curcuma longa is well cultivated in most tropical parts of the world including Africa, India, Madagascar and Malaysia (van Wyk & Mink, 2004:118). It can be assumed that the hot, rainy climate found in these regions is preferential for the growing of Curcuma longa.The Doctrine of Signatures allows one to surmise from the colour of the flowers and root, place of growth, climatic nature or other signatures what the plants medicinal purpose was intended to be (Wagner, 2007:11). The stimulant activity of the Turmeric rhizome According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the Turmeric rhizome is regarded as a Blood and Qi (vital energy) stimulant (Mills; Bone 2000:569). This clearly relates to the increased agility, energy and concentration experienced by certain provers (see 5.3.1). The physical impact of the stimulatory effect of the rhizome can be seen in an increase in the body temperature. One prover (21F) experienced the sides of the face being hot and itchy after taking the remedy. The same prover also described the tongue as experiencing a tingling and itching sensation (21F).

One (16F) prover experienced an intense sensation of increased rate of breathing a short while after taking the remedy.  This increase in respiration was also associated with an increase in the heart rate.  This symptom can also be associated with the Doctrine of Signatures in accordance with the Turmeric rhizome Qi (vital energy) being considered a stimulant (Bone 2000:569) hence the increase in respiration and heart rate. One prover (23F) noted in her journal entries on 4 separate occasions that there was an extreme sensation of burning on urination.  The sensations of the skin experienced during the proving was that of the skin feeling tingly as well as flushed.  These sensations were noted by prover 23F. This relates to the doctrine in two ways with the rhizome being a stimulant as well as being yellow and the sun with the habitat being the tropics creating a sensation of heat. Therefore heat or the yellow colour could be part of the manifestations of symptoms. The impact of the rhizome being yellow The rhizome of Curcuma longa is profoundly yellow in colour (as are the leaves yellow) in the practice of Colour Therapy, yellow is considered the colour of detachment to the point where a person may experience detachment from others and their environment (Wagner, 2007:204).  This clearly relates to the mental themes of irritability, indifference, forsaken feeling, sadness and depression (See 5.3.1). Two of the provers noted very distinctly that the headache they experienced was (06F; 09M) either brought about or < by the sun.  This could also be related again with yellow colour associated with Curcuma longa and the sun being yellow, furthermore the heat of the sun (found in the tropics) is essential for growth of Curcuma longa.

One prover (27M) experienced a recurring dream which was dominated by the colour yellow. The dreams also included foods such as chicken curry and very vivid description of the intensity of the smell, taste and colour of the food. This could be related to the prominent yellow colour of the Curcuma longa plant; with the plant containing both pale yellow flowers as well as the rhizome being yellow this is particularly relevant as the part of the plant used to produce the homoeopathic remedy was the rhizome.  Turmeric is also well known for its use as a spice and the prover dreamt of eating curry with the intensity of smell, taste and colour being described.  The association between gallbladder and headaches In TCM the gallbladder is paired with the liver in a Yin/Yang relationship. When there is disruption/disharmony in the liver, disruption/disharmony of the gallbladder often follows.

Headaches follow a disruption of gallbladder and liver function (Gallbladder: Wood-energy yang organ) and pharmacological studies have shown that Curcuma longa improves gastric and hepatic function (Huebner, 2009). In terms of the Doctrine of Signatures the distinct similarity in colour between Turmeric and  the yellow colour of

the bile has therapeutic implications i.e. Turmeric is likely to have a therapeutic action on the gallbladder and the liver (Huebner, 2009); Chelidonium majus too exhibits the same similarity and is well established as a hepato-biliary medicine (Richardson-Boedler, 1999:173). The effect of climatic conditions on Curcuma longa.

Watering of the eye (20F), and mouth (30M) and increased desire for consuming water (23F) in the form of thirst could be argued as being related to the preferential wet, rainy climate in which Curcuma longa grows.

The essence of the shape of the rhizome With regard to female symptoms Prover 19 stated that her left breast felt like there is a large lump within it (19F 00). The sensation

of a ‘large lump‘can be related to the rhizome  which is described as oblong, egg shaped or cylindrical, the very descriptive terms one would use when describing a ‘lump’. Furthermore a key constituent of turmeric rhizome is found to include an essential oil and yellow pigment including curcumin which has been found to inhibit tumours

(Bone 2003:437-438).  It has also been determined that the inclusion of turmeric in the diet may assist in the prevention of breast cancer (Bone 2000:574).  The definitive clinical indication for homoeopathic Curcuma longa in breast tumours must be clinically verified; however from the account of her symptoms it is clear that this prover experienced this unusual symptom whilst being under the influence of the proving substance and thus according to proving methodology this symptom must be considered for inclusion in the materia medica of the substance.  The possible effects of Curcuma longa in relation to the rhythmic system found in Anthroposophical medicine It was noted that during her menstrual cycle whilst on the remedy prover 16 experienced her menstrual pain as being unusually unbearable and the bleeding which occurred was described as being very heavy (16F 28).  In addition to this Prover 19 stated that her left breast feels like there is a big lump inside it (19F 00). It could be argued that in terms of anthroposophical medicine there might have been a disruption in the ‘rhythmic system’ whilst being on the proving remedy. In anthroposophical medicine when a remedy

is produced from a plant with large leaves as in the case of Curcuma longa (Mills, Bone, and 2000:570) mainly the rhythmic system of the person will be affected. It is to be noted that both the male and female reproductive organs falls within the rhythmic system (Wagner, 2007:205-206).  


It is possible for one to surmise possible clinical indications based on the proving symptoms and the Doctrine of Signatures of Curcuma longa. It could be prescribed for the following:

• Depression and anxiety This was experienced significantly by some of the provers during the proving and this in terms of the Law of Similars should be a clinical indication of the remedy.

• Cystitis One prover (23F 01) noted in her journal entries on 4 separate occasions that there was an extreme sensation of burning on urination.  This together with the findings of the Doctrine of Signatures of Curcuma longa supports the use of this remedy for treating cystitis or similar symptoms.

• Fatigue The physiological stimulating effect of Turmeric and the similar action the remedy had on the provers supports the use of this remedy in patients who are experiencing fatigue.

• Headache brought about mainly by the sun or heat Headaches were experienced by eight provers; two of which very specifically described headaches brought on by the heat/sun.  According to the doctrine of signatures, the rhizome being yellow in colour and  having a stimulant nature as well as the habitat of Turmeric being a hot tropical climate  suggests that one may be  able to utilise turmeric for conditions brought about by the heat/sun.

• Diarrhoea Turmeric is often used to aid the digestive tract.  During the proving it was evident that there were many digestive disturbances and one common aspect of this was diarrhoea. Based on these findings it is evident that Curcuma longa could be used as a remedy to treat digestive disturbances and diarrhoea in particular.

• Pain Pain was another aspect of the proving that was very evident. Given Turmeric’s use as an anti-inflammatory and the significant number of symptoms produced which entail pain, one can argue that Curcuma longa may be indicated in conditions characterised by pain and inflammation.

5.6 SUMMARY  With the vast array of symptoms that were elicited during the proving of Curcuma longa it avails itself to the fact that this remedy could be considered

in a wide range of therapeutic modalities.  Some of the characteristic symptoms of the mind, head, and bladder and dreams sections provide clear clinical indications for

the prescription of Curcuma longa according to Homoeopathic principles.



Vorwort/Suchen                                                            Zeichen/Abkürzungen                                    Impressum