The three medicinal herbs, Curcumalonga, Curcuma caesia and Curcuma aromatica of family Zingiberaceae are highly valued worldwide for their high medicinal value and economic significance. The detail of phytochemical and pharmacological importance of Curcuma longa has been well explored, in contrast to C. caesia and C. aromatica. In the present investigation the phytochemical and pharmacological importance of other two species C. caesia and C. aromatica has been explored and compared with C. longa. Extracts were prepared from the rhizomes of all three varieties by successive extraction procedure with different solvents with increasing polarity. Phytochemical evaluation were performed by total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and other qualitative assay. Antioxidant activity of the rhizome extracts were evaluated by different in vitro assays viz. DPPH, ABTS, FRAP etc. The antimicrobial activity was performed by the agar well diffusion method against different pathogenic microorganisms. The different solvent fractions of all three Curcuma species showed varying antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. C. aromatica and C. longa have higher antioxidant potential as compare to C. caesia and C. aromatica have high potential of antimicrobial activity. Ethanol and Methanol extract of rhizomes of all three species have great potential of antioxidant activity. C. aromatica ethanol extract showed highest activity in DPPH, FRAP, TRP and also highest phenol content. Thus all the species of curcuma are capable of retarding oxidative stress and damage by free radicals so these ethno medicinal plants can be used as a potent natural antioxidant and antibiotic drug.
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