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Antifungal activity of turmeric oil extracted from Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae)

Turmeric oil and curcumin, isolated from Curcuma longa L., were studied against fifteen isolates of dermatophytes, four isolates of pathogenic molds and six isolates of yeasts. The inhibitory activity of turmeric oil was tested in Trichophyton-induced dermatophytosis in guinea pigs. The results showed that all 15 isolates of dermatophytes could be inhibited by turmeric oil at dilutions of 1:40-1:320. None of the isolates of dermatophytes were inhibited by curcumin. The other four isolates of pathogenic fungi were inhibited by turmeric oil at dilutions of 1:40-1:80 but none were inhibited by curcumin. All six isolates of yeasts tested proved to be insensitive to both turmeric oil and curcumin. In the experimental animals, turmeric oil (dilution 1:80) was applied by dermal application on the 7th day following dermatophytosis induction with Trichophyton rubrum. An improvement in lesions was observed in 2-5 days and the lesions disappeared 6-7 days after the application of turmeric oil.

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