Yu Jin

Radix Curcumae, Curcuma Root


It is decocted into 3-10g, or made into pills and powder.

Chemical Composition

Curcumin; Demethoxy curcumin; Bisdemethoxy curcumin; Tumerone; Ar-tumerone; Germacrone; Terpinene; Curcumene; Ar-curcumene; Curdione; Curcumol; Turmerone; Cineole; Caryophyllene; Limonene; Linalool; a-pinene; b-pinene; Camphene; Isoborneol; Borneol; Camphor; b-elemene; s-elemene; Humulene; a-terpinene; Linalool; Linderazulene; Isocurcumenol; Gweicurculactone; b-sitosterol; Daucosterol; Palmitic acid; Curcuma arruginosa; Curcuma chuanyujin. (1)


Yu Jin is contraindicated for bleeding due to yin deficiency, and for non-qi or -blood stasis syndromes. Exercise caution when prescribing Yu Jin to pregnant women.


Inhibiting blood vessel formation

Using the chick embryo method, medicines were put on the membranous blood vessels of chick embryo that had been incubated for 3-4 days. The medicine’s inhibitory effects (or lack thereof) on the formation of blood vessels were determined by whether or not the medicine produced non-blood vessel districts. The results showed that Yu Jin does have the inhibitory effect. (2)

Decreasing blood lipid level

The effects of Yu Jin on blood lipid levels were observed in quails of high lipid diet-modeled hyperlipidemia. The results showed that the levels of serum cholesterol and triglyceride in the treatment group were lower than those in the high lipid control group (P

Antibacterial effects

The essential oils of Pian Jiang Huang (Curcuma Rhizoma), Yu Jin (Curcuma Radix), and E Zhu (Zedoaria) all have an inhibitory effect on 10 common pathogenic fungi. Among which, the volatile oil of Pian Jiang Huang has the strongest antibacterial effects. (3)

Effects on hepatocyte microsome

Yu Jin decoction is shown to inhibit the activity of HMGR in isolated mouse hepatocytes (with a mean inhibition rate of 30%). The intensity of the effect is similar to that of NaF (50mmol/L). (4)

Effects on immunity

Administered to mice of CCl4-induced hepatitis, Yu Jin volatile oil can lower the level of hemolysin and decrease the count of spleen PFCs (P

Anti-oxidation effect

Methanol-based extract of Yu Jin can inhibit the auto-oxidation of edible oil with a 70% inhibition rate. (5)

Effects on serum secretin

When injected by gastrofiberscope into the upper duodenum, the decoction of the herb can stimulate the secretion of secretin in patients with surperficial gastritis, increasing the level of secretin and the concentration of the HCO3 in duodenal juice. (6)

Effects on serum gastrin

Administered orally to patients with chronic surperficial gastritis, Yu Jin decoction is shown to increase the secretion of gastric acid (P

Effects on central nervous system

Curdione can significantly prolong the duration of sleep (including SWS I, SWS II, and REM) in cats. In particular, Yu Jin’s effect on SWS and REM sleep is rather pronounced (stronger than that of the traditional sedative medicine, Zhu Sha An Shen Pills), indicating that Yu Jin has an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system. (7)

Effects on growth inhibitory factors

Administered to patients with slight chronic superficial gastritis, Yu Jin is shown to increase the serum level of growth inhibitory factor (P

Protecting the liver

Even at the small dose of 0.81/kg, Yu Jin can increase the activity of SOD in rats of CCl4-induced mild liver damages, raising the serum level of albumin and decreasing serum MDA and ALT. (8)

Protecting the heart

Under electron microscope, severe ultrastructure damages are observed in rats of vitamin D4-induced cardiac injury. If the subjects are pretreated with Yu Jin volatile oil, however, the damage is considerably less severe (the activities of SOD and GSH-Px are higher, and the ultrastructure is close to normal), indicating that Yu Jin can actively prevent free radicals from inflicting damages to cardiac muscles. (9)

Anti-pregnancy effect

Administered to mice and rabbits by intraperitoneal injection or subcutaneous injection, Yu Jin can abort pregnancy of various stages in mice and early pregnancy in rabbits. Experiments show that Yu Jin has a dose-dependent excitatory effect on the mouse’s pregnant or non-pregnant uterus of mice and on isolated rabbit uterus. (10)

Effects on cAMP levels

Administered to mice, Yu Jin is shown to increase the levels of cAMP in the heart, liver, and spleen, suggesting that Yu Jin has a potential for treating heart, liver and spleen diseases. (11)


  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  2. Yan Da Hai, et al. Chinese herbs with inhibitory effects on formation of blood vessel, as selected by chick embryo method. Heilongjiang Journal of Medicine. 1998;11(2):94.
  3. Cao Yu, et al. The anti-fungal effect of volatile oils of herbs of the curcuma genus, the ginger family. Journal of Guiyang College of Medicine. 1998;13(2):157-159.
  4. Wang Shu Li, et al. The mechanism by which Ju Hua and related Chinese herbs on microsom hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl A-reductase in isolated rat liver cells. Journal of Biochemistry. 1988;4(6):517-522.
  5. Wang Xiao Dong, et al. Research advances on Chinese herbs’ anti-oxidation effects. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1990;6(2):41.
  6. Chen Shao Fu, et al. Yu Jin’s effect on HCO3 and secretin in duodenum. Journal of China University of Medicine. 1992;21(2):126-128.
  7. Hao Hong Qian, et al. Curdione’s regulatory effect on cats’ sleeping rhythmic electric activity. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1994;25(8):423-424.
  8. Liu Jie, et al. Blood stasis-removing herbs’ effect on CC14-induced mild liver damages. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1999;21(8):422-425.
  9. Cui Xiao Lan, et al. China Bulletin of Pharmacology. 1990;7(2):20.
  10. Zhang Ying Gong, et al. Yu Jin’s anti-pregnancy effect. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1983;(6):29.
  11. Liang De Nian, et al. Yu Jin’s effect on cAMP levels in the heart, liver, spleen. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Research. 1986;(1):40.