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Drugs and Health Products

Turmeric -CURCUMA LONGA - 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.


  • 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 and/or statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.


August 13, 2021

Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information

Table 1. Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information
Proper name(s) Common name(s) Source information
Source material(s) Part(s) Preparation(s)
Curcuma longa
  • Common turmeric
  • Curcuma
  • Indian-saffron
  • Jianghuang
  • Turmeric
  • Yellow ginger
Curcuma longa Rhizome Dried

References: Proper name: USDA 2018; Common names: USDA 2018, McGuffin et al. 2000; Source information: PPRC 2005, ESCOP 2003, Blumenthal et al. 2000.

Route of administration

Topical (Paranjape 2005; Williamson 2002)

Dosage form(s)

Acceptable dosage forms for topical use are indicated in the dosage form drop-down list of the web-based Product Licence Application form for Compendial applications.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

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

The following combined use(s) or purpose(s) is/are also acceptable

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

Claims for traditional use must include the term "Herbal Medicine", "Traditional Chinese Medicine", or "Ayurveda".



Adults 18 years and older


Methods of preparation: Powdered, Non-Standardized Ethanolic Extracts (Dry extract, Tincture, Fluid extract)

5 - 100% of dried rhizome or extract in the finished product (Jamali et al. 2020; API 2001; Nadkarni and Nadkarni 1976).


For dry extracts, above a concentration of 5%, maximum extract ratio allowed is 25:1.

Direction(s) for use

Apply to affected area as needed.

Duration of use

No statement required.

Risk information

Caution(s) and warning(s)

Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/physician if symptoms persist or worsen.


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

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

Storage conditions

Must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR).


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the NHPID.

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].
  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications.
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. 2003. Exeter (GB): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme.
  • Jamali N., Adib-Hajbaghery M., Soleimani A. 2020. The effect of curcumin ointment on knee pain in older adults with osteoarthritis: a randomized placebo trial. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 20, 305.
  • Kapoor LD. 2001. Handbook of Medicinal Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton (FL): CRC press LLC.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Murthy KRS. 2004. Bhavaprakasha of Bhavmisra, Volume 1. Varanasi (IND): Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy.
  • Nadkarni and Nadkarni 1979. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni's Indian materia medica: with Ayurvedic, Unani-Tibbi, Siddha, allopathic, homeopathic, naturopathic & home remedies, appendices & indexes. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.
  • 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 2018: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Genetics Resource Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [online database]. Curcuma longa L. Beltsville (MD): National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. [Accessed 2018 June 6]. Available from:
  • Williamson EM, editor. 2002. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh (GB): Churchill Livingstone.

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.