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Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb.


No documentation

Vernacular Names

Malaysia                Temu Hitam, Temu ireng, Kunyit tebu
English Aeruginous turmeric, Pink and Blue Ginger
China Ngo suk
Indonesia Temu ireng (Java); Temu erang, Temu itam (Malay); Koneng hideung, Temo koneng (Sunda); Temo erang (Madura), Temu leteng (Makasar); Temu lotong (Bugis)
Thailand Kha min dam [1][2][3][4][9]

General Information


Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. The rhizome is about 16 cm long and 3 cm thick, with grey shining exterior and pink tips. The inside is bluish or blue-green in colour with a white cortex. The root-tubers are large and numerous, on short roots. The leaf shoots measure more than 100 cm tall. Leaf-blades have wide brownish suffusion on either side of the midrib on the distal half only. The blades measure 45 cm x 16 cm to 80 cm x 20 cm, with petiole measuring from 0-17 cm long. The inflorescence appears separate from the leaf shoot with scape 20-50 cm tall, enclosed by 2 or 3 long sheaths. The spike is 14-18cm tall and 6-8cm wide with the coma-bract purple in colour and the lower ones streaked with green. The flowering bracts are light green. The upper ones are tipped purple. The corolla-lobes and tubes are deep crimson-pink, staminodes and lip pale yellow, median band on lip deep yellow; anther spurs are of medium length. [13]

Plant Part Used


Chemical Constituents

Curcumin; demethoxycurcumin; bis-demethoxycurcumin; cycloisolongifolene, 8,9-dehydroformyl; dihydrocostunolide; curcumenol; zedoarol; isocurcumenol; stigmasterol; α-sitosterol; germacrone; zederone; dehydrocurdione; curcumenol; zedoarondiol; isocurcumenol; zedoalactone A & B; zedoarondiol; camphor, curzerenone, epicurzerenone, curcumine [5] [6] [7]

Traditional Uses

The rhizome of C. aeruginosa is considered bitter, hot and has analgesic property. It is traditionally used to treat rheumatism, contusions and irregular menstruation [2].In Indonesia C. aeruginosa is used to treat piles, gonorrhea, antidote to poisons, prolapsed uterus, and to prevent spread of diseases in infants through mother’s milk [1].  It also useful for treatment of skin diseases like rashes, and sores and loss of appetite.  In Indochina it is used in the treatment of colic and as antiflatulent [3].In Malaysia the rhizome is used to treat breathlessness, worm infestation, obesity and skin diseases including sores and ringworm [4].

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

The essential oil extracted from the rhizome of C. aeruginosa exhibited promising antibacterial activity and contains cycloisolongifolene, 8,9-dehydro formyl (35.29%) and dihydrocostunolide (22.51%) compounds. This oil showed moderate antimicrobial activity when tested using disc diffusion method against bacteria and fungi for zone of inhibition compared to tetracycline (Tet) or nystatin (Nys) as a positive control for the following microbes: Bacillus cereus (9.3±0.4 mm; Tet: 22.5±0.7 mm), Staphylococcus aureus (7.0±0.0 mm; Tet: 17.0±0.0 mm), Escherichia coli (no inbition; Tet: 13.3±0.4 mm), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (7.5±0.0 mm; Tet: 23.0±0.0 mm), Candida albicans (7.0±0.0 mm; Nys: 10.3±0.4 mm) and Cyptococcus neoformans (8.8±0.4 mm; Nys: 18.0±0.0 mm) [6].

Antioxidant activity

The crude extract and two isolated compounds (curcumenol and isocurcumenol) from the rhizome of C. aeruginosa exhibit antioxidant activities [7]. The rhizome also showed significant superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, which is an antioxidant enzyme that catalyzes the disproportionation of the harmful superoxide anionic radical to hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen[8]

Antiandrogenic activity

Germacrone is one of the six sesquiterpenes isolated from the rhizomes of C. aeruginosa. This compound was found to have antiandrogenic activities in LNCaP cells when proliferation was testosterone-induced. It is the most potent inhibitor of 5α-reductase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone with IC50 of 0.42±0.05 mg/mL[9] 

Uterine relaxant activity

The chloroform and methanol extracts of C.aerugenosa proved to have inhibitory effects on the contraction of rat uterine muscles induced by oxytocin, prostaglandin F2alpha, and Acetylcholine. This activity may be partly due to their ability to interrupt the influx of Ca2+ through voltage-gated L-type calcium channels. The methanol extract however, could also reduce the contraction of oxyticin in Ca2+ free ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) solution suggesting the possibility of intracellular mechanism being involved. [10]

Anti-PAF activity (Platelet-activating factor)

The methanol extract of the rhizome of C. aeruginosa was amongst the 37 species of Malaysian medicinal plants that showed strong  inhibitory effects on platelet-activating factor binding to rabbit platelet with 75.4 % inhibition and IC50 value of  5.8 µg/mL.[11] 


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

Hair growth stimulant activity

A randomized clinical trial was done to 87 men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) to study the effects of 5% hexane extract of C. aeruginosa (source of natural 5a-reductase inhibitor) and 5% minoxidil on male pattern baldness. The 5% hexane extract and 5% minoxidil together with the combination of both formulations were applied twice daily for six months and compared with placebo. The results showed that the combination formulation was more effective than individual drug in effecting significant (p = 0.008) overall hair regrowth activity, global photographic review (p < 0.001), and hair shedding (p = 0.004). The drugs slowed hair loss while at the same time increased hair growth. [12]

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Hariana HA. Tumbuhan Obat & Khasiatnya, Niaga Swadaya. Jakarta. 2008; pg. 129 – 131.
  2. Hembing HMW. Atasi Asam Urat & Rematic ala Hembing, Puspa Swara. Jakarta. 2007; pg. 47.
  3. Fauziah M., Tanaman Obat Keluarga, Niaga Swadaya, Jakarta pg. 75.
  4. Arifin N. Penyembuhan Semula Jadi dengan Herba. PTS Litera Utama. Kuala Lumpur. 2005; pg. 234 – 235.
  5. Bos R, Windono T, Woerdenbag HJ, Boersma YL, Koulman A, Kayser O. HPLC-photodiode array detection analysis of curcuminoids in Curcuma species indigenous to Indonesia. Phytochem Anal. 2007 Mar;18(2):118-22.
  6. Kamazeri TS, Samah OA, Taher M, Susanti D, Qaralleh H. Antimicrobial activity and essential oils of Curcuma aeruginosa, Curcuma mangga, and Zingiber cassumunar from Malaysia. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Mar;5(3):202-9.
  7. Md. Saad, Suhaila. Phytochemical Constituents and Biological Activity of Curcuma Aeruginosa Roxb., C.Ochrorhiza Val. and Andrographis Asculata Nees. Masters thesis.2006. Universiti Putra Malaysia.
  8. Moon-ai W, Niyomploy P, Boonsombat R, Sangvanich P, Karnchanatat A. A superoxide dismutase purified from the rhizome of Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. as inhibitor of nitric oxide production in the macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cell line. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2012 Apr;166(8):2138-55. Epub 2012 Mar 7.
  9. Suphrom N, Pumthong G, Khorana N, Waranuch N, Limpeanchob N, Ingkaninan K. Anti-androgenic effect of sesquiterpenes isolated from the rhizomes of Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. Fitoterapia. 2012 Jul;83(5):864-71. Epub 2012 Mar 21.
  10. haina P, Tungcharoen P, Wongnawa M, Reanmongkol W, Subhadhirasakul S. Uterine relaxant effects of Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. rhizome extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 30;121(3):433-43. Epub 2008 Nov 5.
  11. Jantan I, Rafi IA, Jalil J. Platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor-binding antagonist activity of Malaysian medicinal plants. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):88-92.
  12. Pumthong G, Asawanonda P, Varothai S, Jariyasethavong V, Triwongwaranat D, Suthipinittharm P, Ingkaninan K, Leelapornpisit P, Waranuch N. Curcuma aeruginosa, a novel botanically derived 5α-reductase inhibitor in the treatment of male-pattern baldness: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Dermatolog Treat. 2012 Oct;23(5):385-92. Epub 2011 Jul 14.
  13. Holttum RE.The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula; The Gardens Bulettin Volume XIII, The Botanic Gardens, Singapore 1930, pg. 70 - 71.

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