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Ayu. 2018 Oct-Dec;39(4):220-225. doi: 10.4103/ayu.AYU_232_17.

Natural stains Zingiber officinale Roscoe (ginger) and Curcuma longa L. (turmeric) - A substitute to eosin.

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Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.



Stained slides are of the utmost source of information in pathology. The routine stains utilize synthetic dyes which pose various health hazards which necessitate the importance of natural extracts as a histological stain.


The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of ginger and turmeric extracts as histological dyes in tissues keeping eosin as standard.


The objective of this study is to compare the staining potential, intensity, specificity, and shelf life of ginger and termuric extract dyes.

Materials and Methods:

Extracts of fresh rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe and Curcuma longa L. were obtained by dissolving them in alcohol, which was used to stain sections of 25 cases. Observer 1 compared the staining intensity, while observers 2 and 3 assessed preset parameters at regular intervals and subjected to Kappa statistics and Mann-Whitney U-test.


Z. officinale and C. longa solutions had pH 4-5 and temperature 24°C-27°C. Z. officinale showed better staining intensity and specificity to the cytoplasm and basic components of connective tissue as compared to C. longa. Crispness (P = 0.01) and background staining (P = 0.05) showed a significant difference. Shelf life of Z. officinale was better than C. longa.


Z. officinale gave a better staining than C. longa and was found to be closest to eosin and is easily available, cost-effective and biodegradable.


Curcuma longa; Zingiber officinale; eosin; natural stains

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