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A water extract of Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) rescues PC12 cell death caused by pyrogallol or hypoxia/reoxygenation and attenuates hydrogen peroxide induced injury in PC12 cells

There are many reports on the pharmacological effects of Curcuma drugs such as their antitumor (Khar et al., 1999), anti-inflammatory (Ozaki, 1990), and immunological activities (Gonda et al., 1993). Traditionally, Curcuma drugs have been used for Oketsu (various syndromes caused by the obstruction of blood circulation such as arthralgia, psy-chataxia and dysmenorrhea) in the system of Chinese medicine (Li, 1977). Although these drugs used to be thought to have different effects, it is doubtful whether the botanical origins of drugs with these names correspond to those of present day drugs with the same names (Sasaki et al., 2003). Since ancient times, especially for Curcuma drugs, it has been difficult to identify the botanical origins, because Curcuma plants and drugs are similar in morphology and the naming of drugs has varied, depending on the portion used or the producing area in addition to the botanical origin.