In the present study, the anti-atherosclerotic effect and the underlying mechanism of curcuma oil (C. oil), a lipophilic fraction from turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), was evaluated in a hamster model of accelerated atherosclerosis and in THP-1 macrophages. Male golden Syrian hamsters were subjected to partial carotid ligation (PCL) or FeCl3-induced arterial oxidative injury (Ox-injury) after 1 week of treatment with a high-cholesterol (HC) diet or HC diet plus C. oil (100 and 300 mg/kg, orally). Hamsters fed with the HC diet were analysed at 1, 3 and 5 weeks following carotid injury. The HC diet plus C. oil-fed group was analysed at 5 weeks. In hyperlipidaemic hamsters with PCL or Ox-injury, C. oil (300 mg/kg) reduced elevated plasma and aortic lipid levels, arterial macrophage accumulation, and stenosis when compared with those subjected to arterial injury alone. Similarly, elevated mRNA transcripts of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, cluster of differentiation 45 (CD45), TNF-α, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-1β and IL-6 were reduced in atherosclerotic arteries, while those of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and IL-10 were increased after the C. oil treatment (300 mg/kg). The treatment with C. oil prevented HC diet- and oxidised LDL (OxLDL)-induced lipid accumulation, decreased the mRNA expression of CD68 and CD36, and increased the mRNA expression of PPARα, LXRα, ABCA1 and ABCG1 in both hyperlipidaemic hamster-derived peritoneal and THP-1 macrophages. The administration of C. oil suppressed the mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IFN-γ and increased the expression of TGF-β in peritoneal macrophages. In THP-1 macrophages, C. oil supplementation prevented OxLDL-induced production of TNF-α and IL-1β and increased the levels of TGF-β. The present study shows that C. oil attenuates arterial injury-induced accelerated atherosclerosis, inflammation and macrophage foam-cell formation.