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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2014 Sep;66(9):1282-93. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12216. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

Stability studies of antiandrogenic compounds in Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. extract.

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Bioscreening Unit, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.



Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. extract is a 5α-reductase antagonist that can be used to treat hair loss. We aimed to study the stability of antiandrogenic constituents, germacrone and other sesquiterpene components in the extract.


Germacrone and the extract were analyzed as solid forms or solublized with polyethylene glycol-40 (PEG-40) or methanol using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography with flame ionization detector. The effects of pH, temperature and light on their stability were studied.


Degradation of antiandrogenic compounds in C. aeruginosa was highly sensitive to temperature especially pure anhydrous germacrone, which was completely lost within 3 days at 45°C. Curiously, degradation was slower than as a dried extract. Paradoxically, when solubilized with PEG-40, it was largely intact even after 90 days at 45°C. The MS spectrum of a major degradation product suggested that it was elemenone probably produced by Cope rearrangement. Two other putative degradation products were germacrone-1,10-epoxide and germacrone-4,5-epoxide suggesting that oxidation of double bonds was an important mechanism. Germacrone stability was unaffected by pH (2.0-9.0) but only as dried extract it was slightly degraded by light.


Antiandrogenic constituents of C. aeruginosa were instable at high temperature and in solid form. Thus, the extract would be optimately stored as a solution or otherwise as solid form at low temperature.


Curcuma aeruginosa; antiandrogen; degradation; germacrone; stability

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