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Drugs and Health Products

Turmeric - Topical

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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient. It is a referenced document to be used as labelling standards.


  • Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label(s) at the applicant's discretion.
  • The solidus (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms or that the statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.


February 26, 2010

Proper name(s)

Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) (USDA 2008)

Common name(s)

Turmeric (McGuffin et al. 2000)

Source material(s)

Rhizome (PPRC 2005; ESCOP 2003; Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Route(s) of administration

Topical (Paranjape 2005; Williamson 2002)

Dosage form(s)

The acceptable dosage forms suited to topical administration.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Traditionally used in Ayurveda to relieve pain and inflammation, and assist healing of minor wounds such as cuts and burns, and minor skin irritations (Paranjape 2005; Murthy 2004; API 2001; Kapoor 2001).


1-4 g dried rhizome powder, per day (Williamson 2002; API 2001; Kapoor 2001)

Directions for use:
Apply to affected area as needed.

See Appendix 1 for examples of dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

No statement required.

Risk information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s)

Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen.


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current NHPD Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product must comply with the minimum specifications outlined in the current NHPD Compendium of Monographs.
  • The medicinal ingredient may comply with the specifications outlined in the Turmeric, Powdered Turmeric Monographs published in the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP 32).

References cited

  • API 2001 [1990]. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, 1st edition, Part I, Volume I. Delhi (IN): The Controller of Publications; [Reprint of 1990 publication].
  • Bensky D, Gamble A. 1993. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. Revised Edition. Seattle (WA): Eastland Press, Incorporated.
  • Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.
  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications.
  • Boon H, Smith M. 2004. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs. Toronto (ON): Robert Rose Inc.
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. 2003. Exeter (GB): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme.
  • Goel A, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. 2008. Curcumin as "Curecumin": From kitchen to clinic. Biochemical Pharmacology 75:787-809.
  • Kapoor LD. 2001. Handbook of Medicinal Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton (FL): CRC press LLC.
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
  • Mills E, Dugoua J, Perri D, Koren G. 2006. Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation: An Evidence-Based Approach. London (GB): Taylor and Francis Medical.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.
  • Murthy KRS. 2004. Bhavaprakasha of Bhavmisra, Volume 1. Varanasi (IND): Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy.
  • O'Neil MJ, Heckelman PE, Koch CB, Roman KJ, editors. 2009. Next link will take you to another Web site The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 14th edition. Electronic version [online]. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc. [Accessed 2009 November 27].
  • Paranjpe P. 2005. Indian Medicinal Plants- Forgotten Healers (A Guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine). Delhi (IND): Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan.
  • PPRC 2005: Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China, Volume 1, English edition 2005. Beijing (CN): The State Pharmacopoeia Commission of the People's Republic of China.
  • USDA 2008: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Genetics Resource Program. Next link will take you to another Web site Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [online database]. Curcuma longa L. Beltsville (MD): National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. [Accessed 2009 November 13].
  • USP 32: United States Pharmacopeial Convention. 2009. United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP 32-NF27). Rockville (MD): The United States Pharmacopeial Convention.
  • Wichtl M, editor. 2004. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 3rd edition. Stuttgart (DE): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers.
  • Williamson EM. 2003. Potter's Herbal Cyclopaedia: The Authoritative Reference work on Plants with a Known Medical Use. Saffron Walden (GB): The C.W. Daniel Company Limited.
  • Williamson EM, editor. 2002. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh (GB): Churchill Livingstone.
  • Winston D, Kuhn MA. 2008. Winston and Kuhn's Herbal Therapy and Supplements. A Scientific and Traditional Approach, 2nd edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
  • Wren RC. 1907. Potter's Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. London (GB): Potter and Clark.

References reviewed

  • Aggarwal BB, Goel A, Kunnumakkara AB. 2008. Curcumin as "Curecumin": From kitchen to clinic. Biochemical Pharmacology 75:787-809.
  • Araújo CA, Leon LL. 2001. Abstract: Biological activities of Curcuma longa L. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 96(5):723-728.
  • Deodhar SD, Sethi R, Srimal RC. 1980. Preliminary studies on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (di-feruloyl methane). Indian Journal of Medical Research 71:632-634.
  • Felter HW. 1983. The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1922 original].
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. 1983. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 2, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD, Sólyom AM, Timmermann BN. 2006. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Natural Products 69(3):351-355.
  • Gerard J. 1975. The Herbal or General History of Plants. The Complete 1633 Edition as Revised and Enlarged by Thomas Johnson. NY (NY): Dover Publications.
  • Grieve M. 1971. A Modern Herbal, Volume 2. New York (NY): Dover Publications [Reprint of 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company publication].
  • Hatcher H, Planalp R, Cho J, Torti FM, Torti SV. 2008. Curcumin: From ancient medicine to current clinical trials. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 65:1631-1652.
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • Jurenka JS. 2009. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Alternative Medicine Review 14(2):141-153.
  • Khory RN, Katrak NN. 1999. Materia Medica of India and their Therapeutics. Delhi (IN): Komal Prakashan.
  • Kiso Y, Suzuki Y, Watanabe N, Oshima Y, Hikino H. 1983. Antihepatotoxic principles of Curcuma longa rhizomes. Journal of Medicinal Plant Research 49:185-187.
  • Kohli K, Ali J, Ansari J, Raheman Z. 2005. Curcumin: a natural antiinflammatory agent. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 37(3):141-147.
  • Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B. 1991. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 33:91-95.
  • Mills S. 1985. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalsim. Wellingborough (GB): Thorsons Publishers Ltd.
  • Moerman DE. 1998. Native American Ethnobotany. Portland (OR): Timber Press.
  • Rivera-Espinoza Y, Muriel P. 2009. Pharmacological actions of curcumin in liver diseases or damage. Liver International 29(10):1457-1466.
  • Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. 1986. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapy and Toxicology 24(12):651-654.
  • Srimal R, Dhawan B. 1973. Pharmacology of diferuloyl methane (curcumin), a non-sterodal anti-inflammatory agent. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 25:447-452.

Appendix 1: Examples of dosage preparations and directions for use


  • 1-4 g dried rhizome powder, per day (Williamson 2002)
  • 1-3 g dried rhizome powder, per day (API 2001)
  • 1-4 g dried rhizome powder, per day (Kapoor 2001)

Directions for use: Apply to affected area as needed.