CURCUMIN: Curcumin, or diferuloylmethane, is a crystalline compound that gives the Asian spice turmeric its bright yellow color. The medicinal qualities of turmeric/curcumin have been established for thousands of years and references to this spice have been seen in numerous cultures throughout the world. Today, there is growing scientific evidence suggesting curcumin’s utility (i) for the treatment of chronic pain, skin infections, viral warts, and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, (ii) for acceleration of wound closure, and (iii) for cosmetic ailments such as dyspigmentation. Curcumin exerts its activity through a number of different pathways in the body and is currently being investigated for therapeutic uses in various disease states ranging from cancer to autoimmune or inflammatory disorders. In addition, numerous studies have elucidated the protective effects of curcumin against various pollutants and cytotoxic agents, which also indicates that curcumin may be beneficial in a mitigational or prophylaxis role. Interestingly, curcumin provides an ideal alternative to other drugs because of its relative safety profile, even at high doses.
Although the advantageous properties of curcumin in medicine are well established, its therapeutic potential thus far has been limited because of its poor bioavailablity. A topical administration of curcumin could be highly beneficial because it would be directly delivered to the affected tissue making it useful in treating skin-related disorders. However, limitations still exist for a topical preparation such as the cosmetically unpleasing bright yellow-orange color of the compound, its poor absorption through the skin, and its poor stability at a higher pH…..until now.