Therapeutic potential of curcumin in eye diseases

Cent Eur J Immunol. 2019;44(2):181-189. doi: 10.5114/ceji.2019.87070. Epub 2019 Jul 30.


Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) derived from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in Asian countries to treat liver diseases, rheumatoid diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, infectious diseases and cancer. It exhibits a wide range of pharmacological properties, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial and anticancer activity. Herein the mechanisms of curcumin impact on oxidative stress, angiogenesis and inflammatory processes are described indicating that curcumin use may inhibit those pathological conditions and restore body homeostasis. Its effectiveness was also proved for major eye diseases. In this review, the influence of curcumin on eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal neovascularization, corneal wound healing, dry eye disease, conjunctivitis, pterygium, anterior uveitis are reported. The analysis of a number of clinical and preclinical investigations indicates that curcumin may be used as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of various eye disorders.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration (AMD); angiogenesis; cataract; conjunctivitis; curcumin; diabetic retinopathy; eye disease; glaucoma; reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Publication types

  • Review