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MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF BLACK TURMERIC: A REVIEW

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Abstract

Commonly known as ‘Black Turmeric’ is a perennial herb with bluish-black rhizome of the family Zingiberaceae. This species has been gradually increasing in popularity in the interested community for its unmatched medicinal properties. In ethno medicinal practices, the traditional healers use the genus Curcuma for the treatment of various types of diseases but Curcuma caesia Roxb. Is a very less known and almost untouched drug. Rhizomes of the plant have been explored for antifungal activity, smooth muscle relaxant and anti‑asthmatic activity, antioxidant activity, analgesic activity, locomotor depressant, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effects, anxiolytic and CNS depressant activity, anti‑bacterial activity, anti‑ulcer activity and many other miscellaneous activities.
Innoriginal International Journal of Sciences | Volume 4 | Issue 3 | May-June 2017 | 1-4
Review Article
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF BLACK TURMERIC: A REVIEW
ARYA VENUGOPAL1*, RINU K A2, DHANISH JOSEPH3
1Department of Pharmaceutics, Nirmala College of Pharmacy, Muvattupuzha, Kerala-686661.2,3Department of Pharmaceutics, Nirmala
College of Pharmacy, Muvattupuzha, Kerala-686661
Email: aaryavenugopal1512@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
Commonly known as ‘Black Turmeric’ is a perennial herb with bluish-black rhizome of the family Zingiberaceae. This species has been gradually
increasing in popularity in the interested community for its unmatched medicinal properties. In ethno medicinal practices, the traditional healers
use the genus Curcuma for the treatment of various types of diseases but Curcuma caesia Roxb. Is a very less known and almost untouched drug.
Rhizomes of the plant have been explored for antifungal activity, smooth muscle relaxant and antiasthmatic activity, antioxidant activity, analgesic
activity, locomotor depressant, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effects, anxiolytic and CNS depressant activity, anti bacterial activity, antiulcer
activity and many other miscellaneous activities.
Keywords: Curcuma caesia, black turmeric, perennial herb, traditional healers, medicinal uses.
INTRODUCTION
Black turmeric (Curcuma caesia Roxb.) is an important medicinal
plant belonging to zingiberaceae family. Curcuma caesia, black
turmeric is a perennial herb with bluish-black rhizome. The
rhizomes of Curcuma caesia have a high economical importance
owing to its reputed medicinal properties. Rhizome of this plant is
claimed to be useful in treating several disease like piles, leprosy,
bronchitis, asthma, cancer, epilepsy, fever, wounds, impotency,
fertility, tooth ache and vomiting etc [1].The rhizome of black
turmeric has a high economic importance owing to its medicinal
properties. Black turmeric has been regarded as endangered by the
central forest department of India due to bio piracy [2].
In the hilly areas of the country this endangered medicinal plant
grows, thus needs to be conserved for future generations. C.caesia is
a wonder herb and contains the highest content of curcumin and it is
a chemical substance with many curative properties [3]. It is used for
treatment of menstrual disorders, piles, impotency and epilepsy.
Externally, this plant has been used in the treatment of wounds,
white patches on the skin and leprosy sores [4]. It is also capable of
enhancing fertility levels. It is also used for the treatment of
enlargement of the spleen and certain types of tuberculosis. The
rhizome as well as the leaves of the plant is used in medical
formulations [5].
TAXONOMICAL HIERARCHY [6]
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta Sinnott
Subphylum: Euphyllophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida “monocotyledons” “commelinids”
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Zingiberoideae
Tribe: Hedychieae
Genus: Curcuma
Species: C. caesia Roxb
Vernacular Names in different parts of India C. caesia is known by
different names [6]
Hindi: Kali Haldi, Nar Kachura Krishna Kedar
Manipuri: Yaingang Amuba or Yaimu
Marathi: Kala-haldi
Kannada: Kariarishina, Naru Kachora
Bengali: Kala Haldi
Mizo: Aihang, Ailaihang
Telugu: Nalla Pasupu
Assamese: Kala Haladhi
Nepalese: Kaalo Haledo
MORPHOLOGY OF THE PLANT [7]
Rhizome: The rhizome is tuberous and has camphoraceous sweet
odor and 2-6 cm in diameter, the shape and size is often variable. It
is sessile, and covered with adventitious roots, root scars and warts
and is laterally flattened. The nodal and inter nodal zones present
due to its circular wrinkles on the surface. The surface of rhizome is
dark brown, bluish black, or buff in color; a false impression of
growth rings is the circular arrangements of remnants of scaly
leaves. The branching is more or less sympodral
Root: At the propagation stage the rhizome is not developed. Yellow
brown long fibrous and tapering adventitious roots are found all
over the surface of rhizome
Leaves: The leaves are found of 10-20 grouped. Leafs are broad
oblong lanceolate and glabrous. In the middle region the lamina
shows deep farraginous purple colored clouds. The petiole is ivory
color and unsheathing the petioles encircles each other forming a
pseudo axis. The variation is parallel, typical characteristic of
monocots
Inflorescence: The inflorescence is 15-20 cm long dense spike, which
arises much before the opening of leaf, the bracts are green, and the
bracts of coma are deep red, when it is old it become crimson.
Flowers: The flower is smaller than bracts with pale yellow and
reddish border. Calyx: 10-15 mm long, obtuse, 3 toothed, and
Corolla: long tubular with pale yellow lip - 3 lobed semi-elliptic
CONSTITUENTS
It contains: alkaloids, terpenes, amino acids, carbohydrates, tannins,
flavones, flavonoids, steroids, reducing sugars, proteins,
anthraquinones, glycosides, cardiac glycosides [3].
The volatile rhizomes oil of Curcuma caesia contains of 30
components, representing 97.48% of the oil, with camphor (28.3%),
ar-turmerone (12.3%),(Z) ocimene (8.2%), 1,8cineole (5.3%),
elemene (4.8%), borneol(4.4%), bornylacetate (3.3%)and curcumen
e (2.82%), ar- curcumene (6.8%) as the major constituents [9].
Vol 4, Issue 3, 2017 ISSN 2349-7041
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2
MEDICINAL USES
The rhizomes of the herb are often used for pneumonia, cough, and
also for cold in children.
The rhizomes of herb are used as a rubeficient to rub the body after
taking a Turkish bath.
The rhizome of C.caesia is used for fever and asthma in adults.
In northeast India, the powder of rhizomes is used as a face-pack.
Fresh rhizomes are crushed and applied as a paste on forehead for
relief from migraine or applied on the body for sprains and bruises.
The rhizomes act against leukoderma, epilepsy, cancer and HIV /
AIDS.
Intake of small amount of rhizome paste is claimed to expel gases
from the stomach and cure menstrual disorders.
The rhizome of the plant is aromatic, contains essential oil and used
for a variety of purposes.
The characteristic pungent smell of the rhizome is mainly due to the
presence of essential oil rich in camphor and starch.
The rhizome of the herb is traditionally used for the treatment of
hemorrhoids, leprosy, asthma, fever, wounds, vomiting,
anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, gonorrheal discharges and inflammation.
Also Curcuma caesia rhizome extract had been used as smooth
muscle relaxant, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant [3].
Fresh rhizome of black turmeric is used in wounds and nagging
sores for relief and quick healing.
Curcuma caesia provides relief from stomach problems
including indigestion. Chewing a small piece of rhizome will provide
relief from indigestion or stomach pain. It also helps in easy
digestion and the proper functioning of the liver and kidneys [2].
Rhizome and leaves of kali haldi is used in different parts of the
world. It is used as a tonic for the brain and the heart.
Rhizomes are often used for treatment of leucoderma, piles,
bronchitis, asthma, Tumors, tuberculous glands of the neck,
enlargement of the spleen, epileptic [9].
Rhizome of Curcuma caesia is grounded in the form of a paste in
rheumatic arthritis.
Fresh rhizome decoction is used as antdiarrhoeiaric and to get relief
from stomach ache. The fresh rhizome paste of Curcuma caesiais
applied during the snake bite and scorpion bite .The dried powder
used to mixed with seed powder of Andrographis paniculata Wall ex
.Nees and applied during insect and snake bite.
In Assam fresh rhizome juice mixed with mustard oil and is given to
cattles in dysentery.
In Asian Rhizome of Curcuma caecia used for wound, pox & tumour.
Powdered tuber is orally administered with water in stomachache
and bloating [10].
Anti-Inflammatory activity
Proteins isolated from aqueous soxhlet extraction of rhizome
Curcuma caecia showed significant antioxidant activity which was
found to be heat stable. When tested on the carrageenan rat paw
model system it showed high anti-inflammatory activity at a dose
level of 100mg/kg [11].
Antiemetic activity
The ethanol extract of Curcuma caecia rhizome showed significant
antiemetic activity on chick emetic model and compared with
domperidone [12].
Depressant and hypnotic activity
Curcuma caecia has potential therapeutic value for the management
of depressive disorders. The methanol extract of Curcuma caecia
(MECC) rhizome was studied for CNS depressant activities and
reported that the flavonoids, saponins and tannic acid are involved
for the protecting brain function from CNS disturbance
antidepressant. The analgesic activity of Curcuma caecia extract was
evaluated by both acetic acid induced writhing method and tail flick
method in mice to assess peripheral (non-narcotic) and central
(narcotic) type of activities and revealed remarkable analgesic,
locomotor depressant, anticonvulsant and hypnotic activity [13].
Bronchodilating activity
Pritesh Paliwal et al. (2011) investigated the bronchodilating activity
of extracts of C. caesia. Bronchodilator activity of the extract was
studied on the histamine aerosol induced Bronchospasm and pre-
convulsion dyspnoea in guinea pigs. Treatment with methanolic CC
extract 500 mg/kg showed significant protection against histamine
induced bronchospasm. In this study CC extract significantly
prolonged the latent period of convulsions followed by exposure to
histamine aerosol at the dose of 500 mg/kg and showed maximum
protection of 34.84% at 4th h as compared to chlorpheniramine
maleate (standard) 2 mg/kg, p.o. which indicating its H1 receptor
antagonistic activity and supports the anti-asthmatic properties of
the plant [14].
Analgesic Activity
Different extracts obtained from C. caesia and C. amada rhizomes
possess analgesic and antipyretic activity. Analgesic and antipyretic
activities of the plant extracts was evaluated using chemical model
of acute pain and brewer’s yeast induced hyperthermia in rats. The
writhing and pyrexia were observed at the doses of 250 and 500
mg/kg body weight of rats. Both the plants exerted analgesic and
antipyretic activity. Where by C.amada showed better response in
comparison to C. caesia [15].
Locomotor Depressant, Anti-convulsant and Muscle Relaxant
Effects
Indrajit Karmakar et al. (2011) evaluated the MECC for some neuro
pharmacological activities like analgesic, Locomotor, Anticonvulsant
property and muscle relaxant effect in experimental animal models.
The results of acetic acid induced writhing showed significant
inhibition of writhes, at both test doses as compared with control
group in a dose dependent manner. In tail flick test MECC at the both
doses exhibited significant increase in reaction time of mice. In
locomotor activity study, it was found that MECC significantly
depressed the locomotor activity in mice in a dose dependent
fashion. In anticonvulsant evaluation methanolic extract of Curcuma
caesia pre-treatment exhibit significant and dose dependent
protection from PTZ-induced convulsions in mice. In muscle relaxant
study, the MECC significantly and dose dependently decreased the
fall off time in mice demonstrating its muscle relaxant property [16].
Anxiolytic and CNS Depressant Activity
Indrajit Karmakar et al. (2011) evaluated the Methanolic extract of C.
caesia rhizome for Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant
activities. Methanolic extract of C. caesia was studied for Hypnotic
activity, Forced swim test and Tail suspension test. Methanolic
extract of C. caesia (50 and 100 mg/kg; i.p.) produced significant and
dose dependent reduction in the onset and prolongation of sleep
duration induced by pentobarbitone. Methanolic extract of C.caesia
on immobility period in both FST and TST at the doses of 50 and 100
mg/kg, i.p for 7 successive days to mice reduce the immobility
periods significantly in a dose dependent manner, denotes
significant antidepressant activity [17].
Anthelmintic Activity
Gill Randeep et al. (2011) studies two most popular species of genus
Curcuma, C. amada and C. caesia were proved for their anthelmintic
activity. In this study, 4 extracts viz. Petroleum ether,
Dichloromethane, ethanol and aqueous extract of rhizomes of
Curcuma amada and Curcuma caes ia were investigated for
anthelmintic activity at three different concentrations. Three
concentrations (50 mg/ml, 100 mg/ml and 150 mg/ml) of each
extract were studied which included the determination of paralysis
time and time of death of earthworms. All the extracts of both the
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plants exhibited dose dependent activity. The results indicated that
ethanol extract (150 mg/ml) of C. caesia was most effective in
causing paralysis of earthworms, while the ethanol extract (150
mg/ml) and Dichloromethane extract (150 mg/ml) of both Curcuma
species were very effective in causing death of earthworms [18].
Anti-bacterial Activity
Angel Gabriel Rajamma et al. (2012) investigated antioxidant and
antibacterial activities of oleoresins isolated from nine Curcuma
species. Oleoresins were extracted from rhizomes of nine starchy
Curcuma species such as C. aeruginosa, C. amada, C.aromatica, C.
brog, C. caesia, C.malabarica, C.rakthakanta, C.sylvatica and C.
zedoaria [19].
Thrombolytic Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Curcuma caesia
rhizomes
Due to activation of plasminogen the extract showed significant clot
dissolution activity, so the C.caesia is used for the treatment of
ischemic myocardium or thromboembolic disorders. However, the
exact mechanism and action of the extract remain unclear [20].
Neuropharmacological assessment of Curcuma caesia Rhizome
in experimental animal models
The ethanol extracts of Curcuma caesia exhibited an important
neuro pharmacological activity. The study was conducted in adult
male Swiss albino mice in methanol extract of C. caesia rhizome for
evaluating neuro pharmacological activities. Methanol extract
C.caesia at 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight was evaluated for
analgesic activity against acetic acid-induced writhing and tail flick
tests. Using actophotometer locomotors activity was estimated.
Anticonvulsant effect was assessed against pentylenetetrazol
induced convulsion in mice and muscle relaxant effect was evaluated
by using Rota-rod apparatus. The methanol extract of C. caesia
showed significant inhibition of writhes in a dose dependent manner
and also exhibited significant increase in tail flicking reaction time of
mice, were not dose dependent, Peak analgesic effect was increase
up to a maximum. In a dose dependent manner the methanol extract
of C.caesia significantly depressed the locomotors activity in mice.
The methanol extract of Curcuma caesia pre-treatment exhibited
significant and dose dependent protection from PTZ-induced
convulsions in mice by slowing the onset of convulsions. The
methanol extracts of C. caesia significantly and dose dependently
decreased the fall off time in mice demonstrating its muscle relaxant
property [21].
Comparative anti-oxidant activity of nonenzymatic and enzymatic
extracts of Curcuma zedoaria, Curcuma angustifolia and Curcuma
caesia
The non-enzymatic and enzymatic extracts of three important
medicinal plants namely C. zedoary, C.caesia and C.angustifolia were
used to compare the antioxidant activity. By using in-vitro systems
both the enzymatic and non-enzymatic extracts of the rhizome and
leaves of these plants were analyzed for their free radical-
scavenging activity. DPPH scavenging activity of C.caesia was found
to be 55.32±0.2 at a concentration of 200μg/ml of crude extract. The
hydroxyl radical scavenging activity of Curcuma caesia was found to
be 40.26± 0.01 of the crude extracts and it was compared to ascorbic
acid (standard), which was found to be 52.33 ± 0.40 at the
concentration of 50 μg/ml. In case of enzymatic extracts 2, 2-
diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity of C. caesia
was found to be 31.2± 0.8 at a concentration of 200μg/ml. The
maximum antioxidant activity was found in catalase, superoxide
dismutase and glutathione peroxidase enzyme [22].
A comparative study of phenol content and antioxidant activity
between nonconventional Curcuma caesia Roxb. And Curcuma
amada Roxb
Krishnaraj et al .studied to investigate the phenol content and
antioxidant activity of a nonconventional Curcuma sp. namely,
Curcuma caesiain comparison with another species Curcuma amada.
The reducing power and superoxide, ABTS and DPPH radical
scavenging activities were determined to compare the antioxidant
activity. The total phenol content of methanol extracts of rhizomes
was found to be 37.64 and 44.33 mg TAE/g dry materials,
respectively. These phenolic compounds are generally responsible
for antioxidant activity. The reducing power of C. caesia was more
than the C. amada, similarly superoxide, ABTS and DPPH scavenging
ability of C. caesia rhizome was more than the C.amada [23].
Study of the anti-ulcerogenic activity of the ethanolic extracts of
rhizome of Curcuma caesia against gastric ulcers in
experimental animals
Curcuma caesia has significant ant-ulcer activity. The ethanol extract
of Curcuma caesia exhibited significant anti-ulcer activity in the
experimental animal model studied by Swarnamoni et al. The albino
rats of either sex were used to evaluate the anti-ulcer activity. The
treatment of rats with ethanol extract of Curcuma caesia (EECC-
500mg/kg) produced significant reduction of ulcer index, gastric
acid volume, pepsin, free and total acidity along with increased
production of gastric mucus in Aspirin induced ulcer animal model.
Aspirin treatment caused a significant increase in the ulcer index,
pepsin activity, free and total acidity, volume of gastric juice and
decreased mucus production. Curcuma caesia extract decreased the
gastric volume and gastric acid secretion significantly by
pretreatment with aspirin [24].
Effect of Curcuma caesia leaves on rice seed germination and
seedling establishment
Curcuma caesia Roxb leaves exhibited a significant effect on rice
seed germination and secondary root formation. The maximum
radical growth as well as the secondary root formation was shown
by rice seed treated with the presence of C. caesia leaves placed
above and below the seed in comparison to the distilled water
treated, and leaves extract in water 5%(w/v) .The experimental
plant did not exhibit such stimulation effect in rice seed treated with
extract because during grinding and filtration, the essential oil get
volatized and escaped. While that of cut leaves gradually escaped
and spread inside the patridishes giving stimulation to the
germination of the seeds. The result obtained in this study indicated
that C. Caesia leaves have potential rice seed germination activity
due to the presence of volatile oil [25].
Smooth Muscle Relaxant and Antiasthmatic Activity Arulmozhi et
al. (2006) evaluated antiasthmatic property of C. caesia.
The hydro alcoholic extract of Curcuma caesia (CC extract) was
tested for its relaxant effect in guinea pig trachea and also in the
presence of various receptor antagonists and enzyme inhibitors.
Furthermore, the possible role of hydro alcoholic extract in calcium
channel modulation was investigated in depolarized rabbit aorta.
The CC extract concentration dependently relaxed the carbachol (1
μM)induced precontractions and the presence of an antagonist,
such as propranalol, glibenclamide, 2′, 5′dideoxyadenosine,
achymotrypsin, LNNA and methylene blue, did not affect the log
concentration relaxing response curves of cumulative CC extract to
carbachol (1 μM)induced precontraction [26].
Antimicrobial activity
The isolated oil from the rhizome of Curcuma caecia possessed high
antioxidant activity, antibacterial activity and also inhibit g +ve such
as S. aureus and B. subtilis and g-ve such as E. coli bacteria.
Essential oils comprising of mixtures of monoterpenes,
sesquiterpenes, and various aliphatic hydrocarbons are potential
sources of antimicrobial compounds .Ethanolic extract of Curcuma
caecia (EECC) showed a significant antibacterial activity against
Staphyloccocus aureus. The antibacterial properties have also
shown the presence of phenolic compound. Terms of DPPH radical
scavenging activity, hydroxyl radical-scavenging activity and
reported that the nonenzymatic extracts prove to be a better
scavenger of free radical in comparison to enzymatic extracts in
Curcuma species [27].
CONCLUSION
The present study emphasizes the knowledge on the plant Curcuma
caesia Roxb. This study demonstrated that herbal product can be
effective as modern medicine and also thought out to be safe in
Venugopal et al
Innoriginal International Journal of Sciences | Volume 4 | Issue 3 | May-June 2017 | 1-4
4
comparison to the synthetic product. The rhizomes of the plant have
enough bioactive properties. It is prescribed for treatment of piles,
impotency, menstrual disorders and epilepsy. Curcuma caesia have
biological activities like smooth muscle relaxant, anti ulcerogenic,
anthelmintic, anxiolytic and CNS depressant activity and many other
miscellaneous activities. The phytoconstituents are also proved to be
identified. The pharmacological studies reported in this review
confirm the therapeutic value of C. caes ia. This review supports the
possible of Curcuma caesia as a medicinal plant.
CONFLICT OF INTREST
No conflict of interest.
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... It is bitter, hot taste, sharp, with a pleasant odor. The plant possesses anti-fungal, anticonvulsant, CNS depressant activity, muscle relaxant activities, locomotor depressant, analgesic, antibacterial, antipyretic, insecticidal, larvicidal, and antihyperglycemic properties (Dewangan, 2014;Venugopal, 2017). It is used to cure heart diseases and is a good brain tonic. ...
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Background & Aim: Curcuma caesia Roxb., commonly known as “Black turmeric” is a perennial rhizomatous critically endangered herb available in Northeast, Central, and Southern India. The plant possesses various medicinal properties and remains an untouched plant among researchers and growers. Experimental: In the current review keywords including black turmeric and medicinal properties, black turmeric and phytochemical, black turmeric and pharmacological application were searched in scientific websites such as PubMed, ResearchGate, and Google Scholar regarding plant description, distribution, chemical composition, and pharmacological investigation of black turmeric (Curcuma caesia Roxb.) Results: The plant with bioactive compounds in form of carotenoids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, phenolics, terpenoids, coumarins, anthraquinones, etc. possess antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-asthmatic, smooth muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, bronchodilating, anti-convulsant, CNS depressant, locomotor depressant, anthelmintic, anti-bacterial anti-fungal, and anti-mutagenic activities. The potentiality of the rhizome as an antiviral agent against coronavirus has also been justified and under trial. Recommended applications/industries: This review focuses on the description, phytochemical, and pharmacological investigation of the herb to explore its potentiality as an important medicinal plant with special emphasis on its preservation and cultivation among the growers.
... The quality of these effects may be considered either antidotal to possible toxicity or simply therapeutic, e.g., the antispasmodic effect of anise oil from P. anisum or cumin oil from Cuminum cyminum L. of the Apiaceae family (Pourgholami et al., 1999;Sayyah et al., 2002), the anti-asthmatic action of turmeric oil (C. longa), may chang oil from L. cubeba (Venugopal and Dhanish, 2018;Smruti, 2021) and the anticarcinogenic action of (+)-limonene and perillic acid in skin cancer (Lluria-Prevatt et al., 2002;Raphael and Kuttan, 2003). Biological properties of a mixture can thus be enhanced or attenuated by its constituents. ...
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