Enhanced mucosal healing with curcumin in animal oral ulcer model

Laryngoscope. 2016 Feb;126(2):E68-73. doi: 10.1002/lary.25649. Epub 2015 Sep 29.


Objectives/hypothesis: Oral ulcers are very common and can compromise the quality of life of patients with pain. The objective of this study was to evaluate mucosal healing with curcumin in an animal oral ulcer model.

Study design: Experimental study.

Methods: Twenty New Zealand white rabbits were used. Round filter paper 6 mm in diameter was soaked with 15 μl 50% acetic acid and applied over the upper labial gingiva, creating a uniform circular ulcer. After creation of an oral ulcer, curcumin, the active substance in tumeric, was applied twice over the ulcer in the experimental group but not in the control group. The ulcer area was calculated by maximal (D) and minimal (d) diameter : π × D × d/4. All animals were weighed, and the area was measured on days 0, 7, and 14. On days 7 and 14, half of the animals were sacrificed and gingival specimens were acquired.

Results: Curcumin treatment exhibited accelerated healing such that the gross appearance of the ulcer demonstrated a recognizable difference in wound healing between the curcumin-treated and control groups with time. Weight loss was observed after the creation of oral ulcer in the control group. However, the curcumin-treated group gained weight with time, resulting in a significant weight difference. On day 14, epithelial regeneration was completed in the treated group but incomplete in the control group.

Conclusion: Topical application of curcumin enhanced the wound-healing process of oral ulcer in the animal model, which implicate that curcumin can be used as an effective and safe medical tool in the treatment of oral ulcer.

Level of evidence: NA.

Keywords: Curcumin; mucosa; oral ulcer; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Oral Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Oral Ulcer / pathology
  • Rabbits
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Curcumin