Studies regarding the uses and biological benefits curcumin have long been paid worldwide
attention. Curcumin is a polyphenol found in the turmeric spice, which is derived from the rhizomes of
Curcuma longa. Curcumin is a major constituent of the traditional Indian holistic system, Ayurveda,
and it is well-known in treating diverse ailments. The aim of this study is to conduct an overview that
introduces the traditional uses and therapeutic effects of this valuable phytochemical with more focus
on the antitumor results. This review was conducted based on published articles on PubMed, Medline,
and Web of Science databases. In this study, the search strategy identified 103 references. Curcumin is
found to possess many functions in recent years. It is commonly used for its antioxidant, antimicrobial,
anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective effects.
Curcumin has been greatly reported to prevent many diseases through modulating several signaling
pathways, and the molecular bases of its anti-tumor bioactivities are imputed to the antiproliferative,
anti-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenesis and anti-metastasis effects. The antitoxic
potential of curcumin against various toxin like Aflatoxin B1 is reported. Although curcumin is a
safe and promising phytochemical, it suffers from bioavailability problems that limit its therapeutic efficacy.
Thus, various promising strategies allowed for the achievement of multiple and effective varieties
of curcumin formulations, such as adjuvants, nanoparticles, liposome, micelle and phospholipid
complexes, metal complexes, derivatives, and analogues. In conclusion, curcumin is widely used for
myriad therapeutic purposes that trigger its significant value. This short review aims to highlight the
known biological activities of curcumin and provide evidence for its antitumor effects.