Aim of the study: Curcuma comosa extract and some purified compounds from this plant have been reported to have estrogenic-like effects, and estrogen improves learning in some animals and potentially in postmenopausal women; therefore, this study tested the hypothesis that Curcuma comosa and estrogen have similar beneficial effects on spatial learning and memory. Materials and methods: Curcuma comosa hexane extract, containing 0.165. mg of (4. E,6. E)-1,7-diphenylhepta-4,6-dien-3-one per mg of the crude extract, was orally administered to ovariectomized Wistar rats at the doses of 250 or 500. mg/kg body weight. 17β-estradiol (10μg/kg body weight, subcutaneously) was used as a positive control. Thirty days after the initiation of treatment, animals were tested in a Morris water maze for spatial learning and memory. They were re-tested every 30 days and a final probe trial was run on day 119. Results: Compared to control rats, OVX rats displayed significant memory impairment for locating the platform in the water maze from day 67 after the surgery, onward. In contrast, OVX rats treated with either Curcuma comosa or estrogen were significantly protected from this decline in cognitive function. Further, the protection of cognitive effects by Curcuma comosa was larger at higher dose. Conclusions: These results suggest that long-term treatment with Curcuma comosa has beneficial effects on learning and memory function in rats. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.