Wound Healing

Wound healing is a highly ordered process, requiring complex and coordinated interactions involving peptide growth factors, of which transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is one of the most important. Nitric oxide is also an important factor in healing, and its production is regulated by iNOS. Topical application of curcumin accelerated wound healing in normal and diabetic rats. The wound healing is partly associated with the regulation of the growth factor TGF-beta-1 and iNOS (Mani et al 2002). Curcumin's wound healing ability has been confirmed in several other animal studies (Sidhu et al 1998, 1999). Wounds of animals treated with curcumin showed earlier re-epithelialisation, improved neovascularisation, increased migration of various cells including dermal myofibroblasts, fibroblasts, and macrophages into the wound bed, and a higher collagen content (Sidhu et al 1999). It appears to be effective when used orally or as a local application.

Curcumin has also demonstrated powerful Inhibition against hydrogen peroxide damage in human keratinocytes and fibroblasts (Phan et al 2001) and pretreatment with curcumin significantly enhanced the rate of wound contraction, decreased mean wound healing time, increased synthesis of collagen, hexosamine, DNA and NO, and improved fibroblast and vascular densities in full thickness wounds in mice exposed to whole-body [gamma]-radiation (Jagetia & Rajanikant 2004).

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