The rhizomes of Curcuma species possess pharmacological properties and produce a large number of
phytochemicals, several of which have not been investigated. In the present study, non starch polysaccharides from eight
Curcuma species viz. C. aeruginosa, C. amada, C. aromatica, C. brog, C. caesia, C. malabarica, C. rakthakanta and C.
sylvatica were isolated and their nature and bioactivity were studied and compared with that of C. zedoaria. Non starch
polysaccharides constituted about 1% of the dry weight of all the rhizomes. Arabinose, galactose, glucose, rhamnose and
glucuronic acid were the major monosaccharide units. The polysaccharides exhibited both antioxidant and antiinflammatory
activity. IC50(DPPH) values ranged from 4.7 - 12.5 mg, highest DPPH scavenging activity was produced by
rhizome polysaccharides from C. aeruginosa, which was comparable with that of C. zedoaria (3.4 mg). All the
polysaccharides exhibited high anti-inflammatory activity, some were superior to the standard drug, voveran. Bioactive
polysaccharides having significant antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties can be exploited for pharmaceutical
Anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, composition; Curcuma species, non starch polysaccharides,
Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Sreekariyam, Trivandrum - 695017, India.