CHAPTER 13: Toxicology Aspects of Turmeric
Published:15 Oct 2020
S. P. Borse, A. S. Kulkarni, H. Koshia, K. K. Vasu, and M. Nivsarkar, in The Chemistry and Bioactive Components of Turmeric, ed. S. Gopi, S. Thomas, A. B. Kunnumakkara, B. B. Aggarwal, and A. Amalraj, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020, pp. 293-306.
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa), from the Zingiberaceae family, is an important herb. Its rhizomes are widely used throughout the world as a principal spice and drug. Turmeric is taken as a therapeutic adjuvant assuming that it is fully safe with different drugs and/or herbal formulations. However, this may or may not always be the case. This depends on the intensity and type of drug(s)–herb(s)–disease(s) interactions. These include pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions. Turmeric and especially curcumin hold the potential to inhibit or alter important drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) and drug transporters (DTs); this can directly affect the serum concentration of a drug that may result in serious side effects. For instance, co-administration of turmeric with warfarin results in bleeding. Additionally, turmeric has around 200 identified chemical constituents that need to be studied for both safety and efficacy considering them singly and in holistic combination. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that turmeric is subjected to a high standard of scientific testing.