Acute Oral Toxicity Study of Ethanol Extract of Curcuma longa L. in Mice

마우스에서 울금 에탄올 추출물의 단회 경구투여 독성에 관한 연구

  • Kim, Soo-Hwan (Department of Integrated Biomedical and Life Science, Graduate School, Korea University) ;
  • Lee, Hyeong-Seon (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Jungwon University)
  • 김수환 (고려대학교 일반대학원 의생명융합과학과) ;
  • 이형선 (중원대학교 의료보건대학 임상병리학과)
  • Received : 2014.08.18
  • Accepted : 2014.10.14
  • Published : 2014.10.30


A yellow-colored pigment is found in turmeric, or Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae), a perennial herb distributed mainly throughout tropical and subtropical regions. C. longa has potent antiviral, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. However, pharmacological mechanisms of ethanol extract derived from C. longa remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential acute toxicity of C. longa (Curcuma longa L.) extract in BALB/c mice administered a single oral dose of 0, 20, 200, and 2,000 mg/kg by gavage. After the administration of the agent, signs of toxicity were observed every hour for the first 6 hr and every day for 14 days. No mortality, abnormal clinical signs, or pathological changes were observed compared to a control group, and there were no differences in the body weights of the control and treatment groups. Biological serum activities were not significantly changed in the treatment group compared to the control group. These results indicate that a single oral administration of C. longa extract does not exert any toxic effects at a dose of 2,000 mg/kg body weight and that the $LD_{50}$ of C. longa extract is greater than 2,000 mg/kg body weight. Accordingly, C. longa appears to have potential in various functional agents or foods, without toxicity.


Acute toxicity;BALB/c mice;Curcuma longa L.;$LD_{50}$;single oral


  1. Choi, H. Y. 2009. Antimicrobial activity of UlGeum (Curcuma longa L.) extract and its microbiological and sensory characteristic effects in processed foods. Korean J Food Cook Sci 25, 350-356.
  2. Andrew, M. A. and Matthew, S. M. 2000. Isolation of curcuma from turmeric. J Chem Educ 77, 359-362.
  3. Geoffrey, N. R., Amitahb, C. and Muraleedharan, G. N. 1998. Nobel bioactivities of Curcuma longa constituents. J Nat Prod 61, 542-545.
  4. Gupta, S. K., Agarwal, R., Srivastava, S., Agarwal, P., Agarwal, S. S., Saxena, R. and Galpalli, N. 2008. The anti-inflammatory effects of Curcuma longa and Berberis aristata in endotoxin-induced uveitis in rabbits. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 49, 4036-4040.
  5. Han, M. H., Kim, J. W., Kim, K. Y., Kim, S. G., Yu, G. J., Cho, Y. B., Hwang, H. J., Kim, B. W., Kim, C. M. and Choi, Y. H. 2014. Single dose oral toxicity of Schisandrae semen essential oil in ICR mice. J Life Sci 24, 191-195.
  6. Kang, E. H., Lee, I. K., Hwang, M. H., Choi, J. Y., Chang, Z. Q., Rhee, M. H., Yun, B. S., Jiang, C. Z., Kim, K. S., Rhee, M. H. and Park, S. C. 2007. Anti-obesity activity, anti-cancer activity and single oral dose toxicity of Inonotus xeranticus extracts. Toxicol Res 23, 253-261.
  7. Kang, W. S., Kim, S. H., Park, E. J. and Yoon, K. R. 1998. Antioxidative property of turmeric (Curcuma Rhizoma) ethanol extract. Korean J Food Sci Technol 30, 266-271.
  8. Kim, Y. J., You, Y. H. and Jun, W. J. 2012. Hepatoprotective Activity of Fermented Curcuma longa L. on Galactosamine- Intoxicated Rat. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41, 790-795.
  9. Kim, D. H. L., Park, S. Y. and Kim, J. Y. 2001. Curcuminoids from Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) that pretect PC12 rat pheochromocytoma and normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells from bA (1-42) insult. Neurosci Lett 202, 57-61.
  10. Kim, D. H. L. and Park, S. Y. 2002. Discovery of Natural Products from Curcuma longa that Protect Cells from Beta-Amyloid Insult: A Drug Discovery Effort against Alzheimer's Disease. J Nat Prod 65, 1227-1231.
  11. Kim, M. S., Chun, S. S. and Choi, J. H. 2013. Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) on antioxidative systems and oxidative damage in rats fed a high fat and cholesterol diet. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 42, 570-576.
  12. Lee, H. S., Li, L., Kim, H. K., Bilehal, D., Li, W., Lee, D. S. and Kim, Y. H. 2010. The protective effects of Curcuma longa Linn. Extract on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats via upregulation of Nrf2. J Microbiol Biotechnol 20, 1331-1338.
  13. OECD. 2007. OECD guideline for testing of chemicals. Acute oral toxicity-fixed dose procedure. OECD/OEDC.
  14. Rivera-Espinoza, Y. and Muriel, P. 2009. Pharmacological action of curcumin in liver disease or damage. Liver Int 29, 1457-1466.
  15. Ryn, G. Y., No, K. H., Ryu, S. R. and Yang, H. S. 2005. Study of separation and analysis method an effective component from UlGeum (Curcuma longa) and a contained curcumin as product of national and partial region cultures. Appl Chem 9, 57-60.
  16. Stein, U., Greyer, H. and Hentschl, H. 2001. Nutmeg (myristicin) poisoning report on a fetal case and a series of cases recorded by a poison information centre. Forensic Sci Int 118, 87-90.

Cited by

  1. Study on Single-dose Intramuscular Toxicity of Shinbaro Pharmacopuncture in Sprague-Dawley (SD) Rats and Beagle Dogs vol.25, pp.3, 2015,