Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)
| Used as a key ingredient for making curries, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant native to southwest India and a member of the ginger family. Turmeric roots – or rhizomes – can be peeled and eaten fresh or dried and ground up into a fine powder. |
Apart from being used as an ingredient in cooking, turmeric offers many health benefits. Turmeric contains more than 300 antioxidants, which makes turmeric a powerful healer. While there have been plenty of studies on the wound healing effects of turmeric on animals, a new clinical trial has revealed that turmeric does indeed speed up the healing process in human subjects as well.
Imparting an aromatic, earthy scent with a slightly bitter and peppery taste, turmeric has played a role in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years to treat stomach ailments, improve blood circulation, and heal skin wounds.
More recently, studies on the healing properties of turmeric have signaled that this potent herb may be beneficial for a variety of medical conditions. Curcumin – one of the most important active compounds found in turmeric – is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral powerhouse.
Turmeric has been used as a beauty product for centuries. It is an inexpensive and natural way of treating several skin problems and getting a flawless skin. It comes with a range of benefits for the skin.
There are numerous methods you can utilize turmeric, utilizing turmeric essential oil (extracted from turmeric root) is one. Extraction pulls out all oil friendly compounds from turmeric root. Turmeric essential oil then may be used in a variety of methods to offer advantages towards inflammation, muscle pains, etc.
Turmeric oil is extremely effective as well as loaded with rare compounds since it is obtained from such a powerful healer herb. Whenever examined turmeric oil may possibly show the existence of 400-500 different types of molecules. What is even more amazing is that a number of these molecules have got receptor sites within our neuroendocrine systems too.
Several turmeric oils usually are 60-65% alpha-curcumene (a Sesquiterpene hydrocarbon). This is the key component in turmeric root which provides turmeric its anti-inflammatory qualities. Because of its dynamic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, several studies have suggested curcumin can help counteract the effects of aging and age-related disease. One study observed that insects fed a diet of curcumin had a significantly longer lifespan. Another report, published in Immunity & Ageing, identified turmeric as a safe, beneficial spice that may be a prime ingredient for preventing the process of aging.
Curcumin has been shown to be quite effective in calming the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, scleroderma, rosacea, and other skin diseases. Although the underlying causes of these conditions vary, they share inflammation of the skin in common.
Curcumin can not only halt inflammation in its tracks, but it also protects the skin by improving collagen production while vanquishing free radicals. And because it works so effectively for healing wounded skin, many of the manifestations of skin disease – dryness, rashes, scaliness, swelling, and irritation – are repaired since curcumin helps increase connective tissue formation and promotes blood flow.
Turmeric oil has been utilized along with other essential oil including Frankincense, Plai, etc. for preparing anti-inflammatory as well as pain relieving formulas.
Turmeric oil has been discovered helpful for arthritis and also joint care. It may also help in muscle pain.
Turmeric is beneficial for oily skin as it regulates the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Sandalwood acts as an astringent and orange juice, being a source of vitamin C, helps clear the blemishes. In order to prevent the skin from becoming too dry, oils and waxes are secreted by the sebaceous glands. This helps the epidermis retain moisture while keeping the skin soft and supple. Excessively oily skin, usually due to overactive sebaceous glands, can lead to acne, cysts, and other woeful skin conditions.
To measure the effects of turmeric cream on oil production of the skin, a 2012 study found that after four weeks of treatment there was a “significant decrease” in skin oils when turmeric was applied twice daily. Over a period of three months, turmeric cream reduced facial oils by nearly 25%! The researchers noted this beneficial effect was likely because turmeric contains fatty acids and phytosterols, which have been observed in other studies to reduce excess skin oils.
Although wearing sunscreen can help protect against sun damage, turmeric was shown to prevent many of the adverse effects of exposure to ultraviolet B radiation. Being an excellent exfoliating agent, turmeric can help eliminate the signs of aging. Turmeric can help lighten stretch marks. Turmeric can provide quick relief in case of burns, thanks to its antiseptic properties. Turmeric is an excellent healing agent and can be used for treatment of cracked heels.
Being a natural antiseptic, Turmeric with milk is effective in treating skin conditions like poison ivy, eczema and psoriasis. Eczema is quite itchy and a painful disease characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin.
Turmeric can be beneficial for your hair in a number of ways. The use of turmeric with other ingredients can promote hair growth and can treat scalp conditions. Turmeric oil is known to assist in avoiding hair loss, particularly male pattern baldness. This action is additionally related to its anti-oxidation as well as anti-inflammatory qualities. Turmeric oil is additionally utilized in numerous skincare formulas for making skin appear younger.
Hair loss can take place due to various reasons like unhealthy diet, stress or disease. Curcumin is a component of turmeric that can inhibit the activity of the growth agent beta-one, known as TGF beta-one, which causes the death of hair follicles resulting in hair loss. Turmeric mixed with honey and milk can be extremely beneficial as they reduce the negative effects on your hair.
The yellow hue of turmeric not only makes it usable as a textile dye but also as a natural dye for your hair to brighten your hair color
Turmeric can be used in the treatment of various scalp conditions such as dermatitis and eczema that can lead to itchy, flaky skin, inflammation and thinning hair. Cicatricial alopecia is a scalp ailment caused by inflammation that damages the hair follicles and prevents the growth of new hair. Fungal infections can also cause hair loss. Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is effective against these ailments due its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antioxidant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
As with turmeric, turmeric oil is usually anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, antiviral as well as antiworm.
Turmeric essential oil is also utilized for massage in aroma therapy centers. It offers the treatment to physical stress as well as resolves your all problems associated with your nervous system. It is very useful in reducing any kinds of bacterial infection. It functions like a great medication to rest from stress, fatigue and anxiety.
Some Recipes with Turmeric
Applying turmeric directly to the face and body will leave your skin feeling refreshed and rehydrated. You can purchase turmeric cream or make your own. When applying homemade turmeric masks to your skin, always allow it to dry and harden (usually about 30 minutes) before rinsing it away. Here are some wonderful recipes:
All-Purpose Mask – 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 teaspoon of honey + 1 teaspoon of milk or plain yogurt.
For Acne-Prone Skin – 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 tablespoon of chickpea powder + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice + a touch of water.
For Oily Skin Types – ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 tablespoon of gram flour + a touch of water.
Moisturizing Cream – ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 tablespoon of rose water + 1 tablespoon of fresh cream.
Toner – ⅓ teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 egg white + 1 tablespoon of oats.
Before using turmeric creams, a word of warning: turmeric has a tendency to temporarily dye the skin. Although turmeric-stained skin doesn’t happen with everyone who uses it, you may wish to experiment using these turmeric recipes on an inconspicuous spot on your body to see how your skin reacts.
If you find turmeric stains your skin, you can try to remove it with a facial toner or make a gentle scrub from sugar and water. If these tactics don’t work for you, another option is to moisten a cotton ball in water and rub the stained area; the cotton should help wick up the yellow color.
While golden yellow skin will fade with time, getting turmeric on your clothing and other fabrics will leave a mark so be extra careful when working with this otherwise marvelous herb!
You can prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and sandalwood powder and adding lemon juice to the mixture. Apply it on your face for 10 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. For acne scars, apply a mixture of turmeric and plain water on the marks for 15 minutes.
If you have dry skin, you can make a face mask by combining 1 egg white, 2 drops of olive oil, fresh lemon juice and rose water and a pinch of turmeric. This can be applied to all dry areas such as the face, neck, elbows and knees. Allow it to dry completely and then wash off with warm water.
Turmeric, in combination with other ingredients, is effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. You can prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and rice powder with raw milk and tomato juice and apply it on your face and neck for 30 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. This will reduce wrinkles as well as brighten your skin. If you have dark circles, you can add a pinch of turmeric to 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and apply it around your eyes for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. This is effective in eliminating wrinkles as well as dark circles.
You can make a paste by mixing besan (gram flour) and turmeric powder in equal proportions with water. This paste can also be prepared in raw milk or even yogurt. Apply it evenly on your body and allow it to dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water and scrub your face gently in a circular motion.
For this purpose, apply a mixture of besan (gram flour) and turmeric with yogurt/raw milk/ water on the stretch marks.
You can apply a mixture of turmeric and aloe vera gel on the burn and experience the wound heal in no time.
To brighten skin tanning and pigmentation, apply a mixture of turmeric powder and lemon or cucumber juice on the affected area for 20-30 minutes and wash off with plain water. This should be done regularly for beneficial results.
You can make a facial scrub by mixing kasturi turmeric with chickpea (gram flour). Applying this on your face can inhibit the facial hair growth. This paste should be applied consistently for about a month to get effective results.
If you have cracked heels, you can apply a mixture of 3 spoons of turmeric with a few drops of coconut or castor oil on your heels for 10 to 15 minutes before taking a bath. Doing this regularly will soften your heels.
You can apply a paste made from turmeric and milk or yogurt on your face. Leave the mask overnight and rinse it off the next morning using a light cleanser. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of turmeric to your moisturizer and cleanse the next morning. This should be done twice a week to get beautiful, healthy and younger looking skin.
Topical application of a mixture of kasturi turmeric with milk can soothe the skin and reduce the redness and inflammation.
Make a paste by mixing gram flour and turmeric with water and apply it on your body. Scrub gently while taking a bath. Doing this regularly can rid you of dead cells to give you a glowing and spotless skin. Applying a mixture of turmeric and milk on your face and lips can cleanse your face as well as act as a healing agent for your lips to treat dry and chapped lips.
Dandruff and other scalp issues can be treated by applying a mixture of turmeric and olive oil on your scalp before taking a shower. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash off the mixture with a natural shampoo. It removes the signs of dandruff by increasing the circulation in the scalp and providing nutrition to the hair follicles.
Turmeric can be combined with other yellow colored herbs and flowers such as saffron, calendula and chamomile tea. Boil this mixture and, after cooling, pour it over your head. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes and wash off to get a vivid color.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational
purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not
intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may
vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with
your own health care provider.