Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and it has been used for treatment of distal ulcerative colitis. The therapeutic effects of curcumin have not yet been evaluated in diversion colitis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin on colonic mucosa devoid of a faecal stream. Thirty-six rats were subjected to a proximal colostomy and distal colonic fistulation. They were divided into two groups, which were sacrificed two or four weeks after the intervention. Each group was divided into three subgroups treated with the daily application of enemas containing saline or an oily extract of curcumin at 50 mg/kg/day or 200 mg/kg/day. Colitis was diagnosed by histological analysis. Inflammatory grades were assessed using a previously validated scoring system. The infiltration of neutrophils was evaluated based on the tissue expression of myeloperoxidase (MPO), as determined by immunohistochemistry, and a computer-assisted image analysis program. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare inflammation grades and myeloperoxidase levels among groups, and ANOVA was used to verify the variance over time, with the level of significance set at 5% (p<0.05) for both tests. Enemas containing curcumin improved the inflammation of the mucosa without a faecal stream and reduced the tissue contents of MPO. MPO tissue levels did not vary with time or between the concentrations of curcumin used. Enemas with curcumin improved the inflammation of the colonic mucosa, reduced the inflammatory grade and decreased the tissue content of MPO in colon segments without a faecal stream.