A wound is a type of injury in which the skin is torn, cut, or punctured, commonly referred to as open wound, or where blunt force trauma causes a bruise or contusion known as closed wound, as stated in Wikipedia. Wound healing is an intricate process in which the skin or another organ-tissue repair itself in response to an injury that restores the function of damaged tissues. Proper healing of wounds is essential for the restoration of disrupted anatomical continuity and disturbed functional status of the skin.

The basic principle of optimal wound healing is to minimize tissue damage and to provide adequate tissue perfusion and oxygenation. This includes proper nutrition and environment for the purpose of restoring the anatomical continuity and function of the affected area.

In this article, we will explore the past and present studies and researches on the potential of curcumin for wound healing.

Chronic Wounds and the Role of Antioxidants in Would Healing

Chronic wounds can be major concerns for both the patient and the physician. A chronic wound is a wound that does not heal in an orderly set of stages and in a predictable amount of time the way most wounds do; wounds that do not heal within three months are often considered chronic. Statistics have shown that chronic wounds affect nearly 6 million people worldwide and it can seriously impact their overall quality of life.

Past researches have indicated that the application of antioxidants compounds such as triterpenes, alkaloids, or flavonoids could effectively reverse the mechanism that causes (pathogenesis) many diseases leading to massive oxidants. These active principles have been employed to promote the process of wound healing due to its excellent antioxidant activity (Chithra, Sajithlal, &Chandrakasan, 1998; Mukherjee, Verpoorte, & Suresh, 2000).

High Antioxidant Content in Curcumin for Wound Healing

Turmeric which is scientifically known as Curcuma Longa has been used in Indian traditional medicinal practices due to its wound healing properties. Curcumin, the yellow pigment obtained from the rhizomes of Curcuma Longa has been widely used for centuries in indigenous medicine for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory conditions (Ammon & Wahl, 1991). More recently, in the past two decades, topical application of curcumin for wound healing has been extensively studied due to curcumin’s high antioxidant content. In a 1999, Sidhu et al. demonstrated that curcumin supplementation promotes wound healing in streptozotocin-treated diabetic rats and genetically diabetic mice.

Topical application of CICM Curcumin Incorporated Collagen Matri (CICM) represents a feasible and productive approach to support the dermal wound healing (Gopinath et al., 2004).

In another study titled the “Role of curcumin, a naturally occurring phenolic compound of turmeric in accelerating the repair of excision wound” by Jagetia and Rajanikant, it was found that curcumin pre-treatment has a conducive effect on the irradiated wound and could be a substantial therapeutic strategy in initiating and supporting the cascade of tissue repair processes in irradiated wounds.

More recently, a 2012 research by Li has shown how curcumin-nano-formulation loaded Methoxy Poly(Ethyleneglycol)-Graft-chitosan film (curcumin-MPEG-chitosan film) was developed and its applicability in the wound healing was investigated and the results proved the effectiveness of curcumin-MPEG-chitosan film in the application of wound healing.

Effectiveness of Curcumin for Wound Healing

The various studies have indicated the relationship between the high antioxidant content posses by curcumin as a significant healing agent in wound healing process. As research is continuously conducted, past and present studies have proven that natural products can be interesting sources in alternative treatment and medication.

References

Ammon, H. P., & Wahl, M. A. (1991). Pharmacology of Curcumalonga. PlantaMedica, 57(1):1–7
Baboir, B.M. (1978). Oxygen dependent microbial killing by phagocytes (first of two parts). N Engl J Med 298:629–68.
Chithra, P., Sajithlal, G. B., &Chandrakasan, G. (1998). Influence of Aloe vera on collagen characteristics in healing dermal wounds in rats. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 181 (1):71–76.
Gopinath D., Rafiuddin Ahmed M., Gomathi K., Chitra K., Sehgal P.K., Jayakumar R. (2004). Dermal wound healing processes with curcumin incorporated collagen films, Biomaterials 25 :1911–1917
Griendling, K.K.  (2000). NAPDH oxidase: role in cardiovascular biology and diseases. Circ Res 86:494–501.
Jagetia, G.C., Rajanikant, G.K. (2004). Role of curcumin, a naturally occurring phenolic compound of turmeric in accelerating the repair of excision wound, in mice whole body exposed to various doses of gamma-radiation. Journal of Surgical Research 120: 127–138
Li, X., Nan, K., Li, L., Zhang, Z., Chen, H. (2012). In vivo evaluation of curcumin nano formulation loaded methoxypoly(ethyleneglycol)-graft-chitosan composite film for wound healing application, Carbohydrate Polymers 88 :84–90
Kumar B., Vijayakumar M., Govindarajan R., Pushpangadan P. (2007). Ethnopharmacological approaches to wound healing—Exploring medicinal plants of India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 114 (2007) 103–113
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Mehra, K.S., Mikuni, I., Gupta, U., Gode, K.D., (1984).Curcuma longa (Linn) drops in corneal wound healing Tokai. Journal Experimental Clinical Medicine 9:27–31.
Mukherjee, P. K., Verpoorte, R., & Suresh, B. (2000). Evaluation of in-vivo wound healing activity of Hypericumpatulum (Family: Hypericaceae) leaf extract on different wound model in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 70(3):315–321.
Pierce, G.F., Mustoe, T.A., (1995). Pharmacologic enhancement of wound healing. Annual Review of Medicine 46: 467–481.
Sidhu, G.S, Mani, H., Gaddipatti, J.P., Singh, A.K, Seth, P., Banaudha, K.K, Patnaik, G.K, Maheshwari, R.K. (1999). Curcumin enhances wound healing in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and genetically diabetic mice. Wound Repair Regen 7(5):362–74.
Sidhu, G. S., Singh, A. K., Thaloor, D., Banaudha, K. K., Patnaik, G. K., &Srimal, R. C. (2002). Enhancement of wound healing by curcumin in animals. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 6(2):167–177.
Singer, A. J., & Clark, R. A. F. (1999). Cutaneous wound healing. New England journal of medicine, 341 (10):738.
Singh M., Govindarajan R., Nath, V.,Rawat A.K.S., Mehrotra, S., (2006). Antimicrobial, wound healing and antioxidant activity of Plagiochasmaappendiculatum Lehm. et Lind. , Journal of Ethnopharmacology107 :67–72
Skaper, S.D, Fabris, M., Ferrari, V., Carbonare, M.D, Eon, A. (1997). Quercetin protects cutaneous tissue associated cell types including sensory neurons from oxidative stress induces by glutathione depletion: cooperative effects of ascorbic acid. Free RadicBiol Med 22(4):669–78.
Wiseman, H., Halliwell, B. (1996). Damage to DNA by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species: role in inflammatory disease and progression to cancer. Biochem J 313:17–29.

 

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