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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-50

Interventional role of Haridra (Curcuma longa Linn) in cancer


Department of Cancer Complementary Care, Kasturba Health Society, 17, K Desai Road, Sthanakvasi Jain Aradhna Dham, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Zankhana M Buch
Consultant Physician, AyurVaid Hospitals, Domlur, Bangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.99556

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Haridra (Curcuma longa Linn (Zingiberaceae family)) is a rhizomatous household spice and has been a widely used herb in India since ancient times. Ayurvedic pharmacodynamics of C. longa are described as follows: Rasa - tikta and katu, Guna - rukhsha and laghu, Virya - ushna, Vipak - katu and Doshaghnata - tridoshshamak. It is used as a tonic, carminative, antidiarrheal, hepatoprotective and as a purifying agent. It is also used in cancer management. Since years, haridra has been used as a hemostyptic agent. However, the oncopreventive aspect of haridra has drawn the scientists towards it. Use of haridra in medoja arbuda is documented in Sushrut Samhita. Recently, it has been found that chronic inflammation has played a role in cancer formation. The kapha and vata shamaka property is responsible for the shothghna activity of haridra. Several studies have also proved the anti-inflammatory condition of haridra. The essential oil, containing ar-turmerone, as a major component has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effect of haridra. Experimental studies 'in vitro and in vivo' in diverse models have also proved the anti-tumor activity of haridra. Curcumin,the chief ingredient, of it is mainly responsible for anticancer property. However other constituents like Turmerone and polysacchrides also play a major role in anti cancer activity. The free radical scavenging activity as well as inhibition of lipid peroxidation by curcumin has been reported by Kuttan et al. The mechanisms underlying the anticancer potential of curcumin are complex. Many reports in literature mention about that work carried out regarding the suppression of proliferation of cells of different tumors. They include the down regulation of transcription factors, inhibiting COX2, LOX, inducible nitric oxide synthase, matrix metalloproteinases 9, cell adhesion molecules along with TNF-α. Curcumin inhibits TNF-α-induced AKT activation whereby levels required for NFkβ gene expression are suppressed. Curcumin suppresses the tumor angiogenesis resulting in regression in the tumor metastatic growth. Goel et al. have shown the inhibition of expression of COX2 in human colon tumor cell line (Vaidya et al.). Kuttan et al. showed that the ethanol extract of turmeric as well as the ointment of curcumin produced remarkable symptomatic relief in 62 patients with external cancerous lesions. Scientists at institute of cytology and preventive oncology (ICPO) based in Noida, UP, have found that curcumin protects body from HPV that is one of the primary causes of cervical cancer. Bhide et al. showed the therapeutic effect of turmeric oil and turmeric oleoresin on oral submucous fibrosis (SMF) patients. At MRC KHS, a cervical cancer prevention study was approved by an independent ethics committee. The primary objective was to see whether administration of oral turmeric oil for a period of 12 weeks, resulted in the arrest or regression of the premalignant condition, LGSIL, i.e. low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion as detected by Pap smears during the therapy period. It was observed that the lesion in Pap smears was arrested in 3/19 cases and regressed in 16/19 cases (Joshi et al, Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2011). Experimental data suggest that curcumin acts at each stage of promotion, progression, and metastasis of cancer. Haridra which has anticancer potential ,can be considered as complementary medicine for cancer treatment as well as prevention.


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