Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat cancers of the testicles, ovaries, or bladder. Common side-effects include nausea, diarrhea, inability to taste food, dry skin and signs of dehydration. One of the major side-effects is peripheral neuropathy.
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family .Turmeric is commonly used as a spice and is found in curry powder. Earlier studies have shown curcumin to protect the nervous system in neurological diseases.
A study, conducted on rats, was published in Experimental Neurobiology (2015 Jun;24(2):139-45. doi: 10.5607/en.2015.24.2.139. Epub 2015 Apr 27). The rats were injected with cisplatin (2mg/kg) twice per week for a period of five weeks. The rats were divided into two groups, with one group receiving curcumin (200 mg/kg per day) and the other acting as a control.
The researchers found that the rats who were given the curcumin had less neuropathy when compared to the control group. This was evidenced by improved sciatic nerve conduction and less atrophy in the nervous system (researchers looked at the L4 dorsal root ganglia).