Efficacy of curcumin for recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a systematic review

J Dermatolog Treat. 2022 May;33(3):1225-1230. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2020.1819529. Epub 2020 Sep 9.


Background: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is the most common ulcerative lesion of the oral mucosa. The management of RAS is quite challenging with no definitive cure.

Objective: The present systematic review aimed to summarize the available evidence regarding the efficacy of curcumin in the management of RAS.

Methods: PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched in June 2020 for all relevant studies. Clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of curcumin for the management of RAS were included. The primary outcomes were pain and/or clinical improvement.

Results: Eight studies involving 439 subjects were included. The efficacy of curcumin was compared with 1% triamcinolone in four studies, glycerin vehicle in one study, placebo in one study, and honey in one study. Overall, the included studies reported a good efficacy of curcumin in reducing pain and ulcers size in patients with RAS. Four studies found curcumin as effective as triamcinolone in relieving signs and symptoms of RAS. Three studies reported superior results with curcumin as compared with control groups.

Conclusion: The limited available evidence suggests that curcumin have potential benefits in alleviating pain and accelerating healing in patients with RAS. Further well-designed clinical trials with standardized curcumin formulations are highly recommended.

Keywords: Curcumin; aphthous stomatitis; efficacy; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Curcumin* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous* / drug therapy
  • Triamcinolone


  • Triamcinolone
  • Curcumin

Supplementary concepts

  • Sutton disease 2