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Thai traditional medicine employs a wide range of indigenous herbs in the forms of tincture or tea for the cure of skin and systemic inflammatory diseases. The protection by Thai plants extracts against UVB DNA damage and cytotoxicity was investigated in human keratinocytes. Petroleum ether, dichloromethane and ethanol extracts were prepared from 15 Thai herb species, and the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant and UV-absorbing properties were assessed by standard procedures. Cytoprotective effects were evaluated on the basis of cell survival, caspase-3 activity and pyrimidine dimers determination. High total phenolic and flavonoid contents were found in the ethanol and dichloromethane fractions. Dichloromethane extract of turmeric was shown to possess the highest antioxidant activity. The maximum UV absorptions were found in the ethanol extract of turmeric and in the dichloromethane extract of ginger. These extracts stimulated the synthesis of Thioredoxin 1, an antioxidant protein, and could protect human HaCaT keratinocytes from UV-induced DNA damage and cytotoxicity. The present data support the utilization of turmeric and ginger extracts in anti-UV cosmetic pharmaceuticals.

Original publication




Journal article


Photochemistry and photobiology

Publication Date





214 - 224


Ph.D. Program in Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Keratinocytes, Humans, Curcuma, Ginger, DNA Damage, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Ultraviolet Rays, Thailand