Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil


Generic Name
Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil
DrugBank Accession Number

Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is extracted from Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb., a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) that is widely distributed in the region of Southeastern Asia 3. Curcuma xanthorrhiza is also known as Javanese Turmeric or Temoe Lawak 5. For centuries, Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil has been used as a traditional medicine due to its antibacterial, antispasmodic, antioxidative, antitumor, anti-inflammatory and protective effects 1. It has been used in the treatment of stomach diseases, liver disorders, constipation, bloody diarrhoea, dysentery, children’s fevers, hypotriglyceridaemic, haemorrhoids and skin eruptions 3. Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is comprised of 1-2% of curcumin and 3-12% volatile oil, which mainly contains sesquiterpenes, 44.5% of xanthorrhizol, and a small amount of Camphor 5. However the principal active components of Curcuma xanthorrhiza are Curcumin and xanthorrhizol that display a wide range of pharmacological activities and synergistic effects 5. Curcumin is a mixture of dicinnamoylmethane derivatives and other phenolic and non-phenolic diarylheptanoids 5. Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is found as an active ingredient in cosmetic and hygienic products, and marketing of products containing Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is authorized in some European countries including Germany and the Netherlands 5.

  • Curcuma xanthorrhiza root oil
  • Curcuma xanthorrhiza volatile oil
  • Curcuma zanthorrhiza oil
  • Curcuma zanthorrhiza root oil
  • Temu lawak oil



Indicated for the symptomatic relief of digestive disturbances, such as feelings of fullness, slow digestion and flatulence 5.

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Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is reported to exert diuretic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive, antirheumatic, antihepatotoxic, antidysmenorrheal, antispasmodic, antileucorrhoeal, antibacterial, and antifungal actions experimentally and in literature 1. In vivo, oral administration of Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil in rats caused a persistent but transient (5h) increase of bile secretion due to the increase in the total bile acids in the excretive bile 5. This cholagogic effect is attributable for a major part to d-camphor contained in the oil 5. In a study of rats with cisplastin-induced hepatotoxicity, administration of Curcuma xanthorrhiza extract resulted in serum enzyme levels such as alanine aminotransferases (ALT), aspartate aminotransferases (AST), and y-glutamate transferases 1. In addition, it was shown to mediate hepatoprotective actions against β-D-galactosamine-induced liver damage and alcohol 1. In male ICR mice treated with cisplatin known to induce toxicity of kidneys and liver, xanthorrhizol demonstrated nephroprotective and hepatoprotective actions to attenuate the elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, as well as blood glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and glutamate–oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) levels 2.

Anti-inflammatory actions: Curcuminoid derivatives and xanthorrhizol elicit anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting oedema formation 5.

Antibacterial effects: Xanthorrhizol displays a broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. In a study, it showed the highest antibacterial activity against dental caries causing bacteria (Streptococcus species) to disrupt their biofilm formation in vitro, followed by periodontitis causing bacteria (Actinomyces viscosus and Porphyromona gingialis) 2. It also strongly inhibited Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, and acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes 2. Xanthorrhizol additionally exhibits anticandidal and antifungal properties 2.

Antiplatelet effects: In vitro, both curcumin and xanthorrhizol showed a strong inhibition towards platelet aggregation stimulated by arachidonic acid, collagen, and ADP in human whole blood 2.

Anticancer effects: Co-administration of curcumin and xanthorrhizol in MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in synergistic growth inhibition of breast cancer cells 2. Topical application of 2 and 6 μmol xanthorrhizol in rats inhibited TPA-induced tumour formation 5.

Mechanism of action

The prinicipal components, Curcumin and xanthorrhizol, mediate the main pharmacological actions of Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions: Curcumin and xanthorrhizol are natural antioxidant to exert an anti-inflammatory effect by scavenging the reactive oxygen species, such as hydroxyl radical, superoxide anion, and singlet oxygen, or by chemically reducing oxidized compounds 1. Curcumin inhibits liposomal peroxidation and peroxide-induced DNA damage, and the mechanism of action is thought to involve modulation of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and stimulation of ICAM- 1 5. Based on the findings in vitro, xanthorrhizol may be a potent inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) to decrease their expression via NF-kB pathway and subsequently inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) 2. In activated primary cultured microglial cells, xanthorrhizol was found to inhibit COX-2, iNOS, proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) 2.

Hepatoprotective actions: The hepatoprotective effect of Curcuma xanthorrhiza oil is considered mainly a result of its antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to decrease the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines 5. Xanthorrhizol may also attenuate phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) 2,5.

Antibacterial actions: While the mode of antibacterial action of xanthorrhizol is not fully understood, it is thought to involve suppression of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) induced by microbial infection 2.

Anticancer actions: The cytotoxic actions of xanthorrhizol against tumour cells is thought to be contributed by its phenol group and may involve its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities, induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by reducing cyclin D1 proto-oncogene expression or triggering cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) 2. In various cancer cell models, xanthorrhizol was shown to induce apoptosis via activation of p53-dependent mitochondrial pathway. In HeLa cervical cancer cells, xanthorrhizol upregulated p53 and Bax without any effects on Bax/Bcl-2 expression 2. There is also evidence that xanthorrhizol-induced cell death is mediated by the activation of caspase. Xanthorrhizol increased the expression and promoter activity pro-apoptotic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1), which is notably inhibited during the development of human colorectal cancer and neoplastic tumors 2. Other mode of action involves the regulation of MAPK pathway and inhibition of Akt/NF-kB pathway 2.

Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic actions: In vitro, xanthorrhizol upregulated pS2 and promoted the interaction of ER-estrogen response elements in MCF-7 cells. It acted as a partial estrogen antagonist of hERα in T47D cells 2. Curcumin also activates gene expression in the breast cancer cell line MCF7, indicating that it may have low estrogenic activity 5.


There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.

Volume of distribution

There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.

Protein binding

There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.


There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.

Route of elimination

There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.


There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.


There are no pharmacokinetic data for xanthorrhizol. Refer to Curcumin for its pharmacokinetic information.

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An aqueous extract of Curcuma xanthorrhiza did not produce any signs of toxicity in mice or rats up to an oral dose of 2 g/kg bw 5. In a single toxicity study, no mortality was observed after a single oral administration of xanthorrhizol to mice at 500 mg/kg 5. The oral median lethal dose (LD50) of curcumin in mice was >2g/kg bw and single oral doses of curcumin at 1-5 g/kg bw induced no toxic effects in rats.4 No case of overdose has been reported.

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Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
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Drug Interactions
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Food Interactions
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Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
BAMBOO SALT Eunganggo Jook YeomCurcuma xanthorrhiza oil (0.025 g/100g) + Aminocaproic acid (0.05 g/100g) + Glycyrrhizinate dipotassium (0.04 g/100g) + Sea salt (3 g/100g) + Silicon dioxide (20 g/100g) + Sodium fluoride (0.22 g/100g) + Ursodeoxycholic acid (0.02 g/100g)PasteDentalLg Household & Health Care Ltd.2011-03-15Not applicableUS flag
BAMBOO SALT Eunganggo Jook Yeom ToothpasteCurcuma xanthorrhiza oil (0.025 g/100g) + Aminocaproic acid (0.05 g/100g) + Glycyrrhizinate dipotassium (0.04 g/100g) + Sea salt (3 g/100g) + Silicon dioxide (20 g/100g) + Sodium fluoride (0.22 g/100g) + Ursodeoxycholic acid (0.02 g/100g)PasteDentalLg Household & Health Care Ltd.2010-05-25Not applicableUS flag


Drug Categories
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Affected organisms
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Chemical Identifiers

CAS number
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General References
  1. Devaraj S, Ismail S, Ramanathan S, Yam MF: Investigation of antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of standardized Curcuma xanthorrhiza rhizome in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damaged rats. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:353128. doi: 10.1155/2014/353128. Epub 2014 Jul 14. [Article]
  2. Oon SF, Nallappan M, Tee TT, Shohaimi S, Kassim NK, Sa'ariwijaya MS, Cheah YH: Xanthorrhizol: a review of its pharmacological activities and anticancer properties. Cancer Cell Int. 2015 Oct 21;15:100. doi: 10.1186/s12935-015-0255-4. eCollection 2015. [Article]
  3. Salea R, Widjojokusumo E, Veriansyah B, Tjandrawinata RR: Optimizing oil and xanthorrhizol extraction from Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb. rhizome by supercritical carbon dioxide. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 Sep;51(9):2197-203. doi: 10.1007/s13197-014-1272-3. Epub 2014 Feb 9. [Article]
  4. EMA Assessment Report: Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb. (C. xanthorrhiza D. Dietrich)., rhizoma for oral use [Link]
  5. European Medicines Agency (EMA): Assessment report on Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb. (C. xanthorrhiza D. Dietrich)., rhizoma [File]

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials


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Dosage Forms
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Experimental Properties
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Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at March 27, 2024 05:12