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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 2, Pages 255-260
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nel008
Original Article

Comparison of Anti-inflammatory Activities of Six Curcuma Rhizomes: A Possible Curcuminoid-independent Pathway Mediated by Curcuma phaeocaulis Extract

1Division of Biofunctional Evaluation, Research Center for Ethnomedicine, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama Toyama, 930-0194, Japan
2Division of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama Toyama, 930-0194, Japan
321st Century COE Program, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama Toyama, 930-0194, Japan

Received 28 December 2005; Accepted 10 February 2006

Copyright © 2006 Chihiro Tohda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We aimed to compare the anti-inflammatory activities of six species of Curcuma drugs using adjuvant arthritis model mice. When orally administered 1 day before the injection of adjuvant, the methanol extract of Curcuma phaeocaulis significantly inhibited paw swelling and the serum haptoglobin concentration in adjuvant arthritis mice. Also when orally administered 1 day after the injection of adjuvant, the methanol extract of Curcuma phaeocaulis significantly inhibited paw swelling. Other Curcuma species (Curcuma longa, Curcuma wenyujin, Curcuma kwangsiensis, Curcuma zedoaria and Curcuma aromatica) had no significant inhibitory effects on adjuvant-induced paw swelling. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 activity was significantly inhibited by the methanol extract of C. phaeocaulis. Curcuminoids' (curcumin, bis-demethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcumin) were rich in C. longa, but less in C. phaeocaulis and C. aromatica, not in C. wenyujin, C. kwangsiensis and C. zedoaria, suggesting that curcuminoids' contents do not relate to inhibition of arthritis swelling. Therefore, C. phaeocaulis may be a useful drug among Curcuma species for acute inflammation, and the active constituents of C. phaeocaulis are not curcuminoids.