Turmeric is a commonly used spice that originates from the Curcuma longa plant. We most likely know it for its spiciness and use in dishes such as curry.
However, Turmeric has been extensively used within Chinese and Indian cultures, including as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is best consumed in its pure sense, rather than as a component of curry powder or other spices.
However, the Western world has been slow to notice the benefits of turmeric, though turmeric can provide many health and beauty benefits, some of which are outlined below.
Turmeric Health Benefits
Turmeric has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties in Eastern cultures; this helps the body to fight infection and repair itself. It is the oil that the turmeric provides that has the scientifically proven anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Curcumin, the oil derived from turmeric, has been studied in numerous experiments, and has been shown to be equally as effective as typical anti-inflammatory drugs. The key difference is there are no side effects associated with curcumin oil. This is good news for those who suffer from joint conditions, such as arthritis, where inflammation plays a key role in exacerbating chronic pain.
Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease are common disorders that affect many people throughout the world and can be quite debilitating. Studies have investigated the effect of turmeric in mice who have such diseases.
Although the researchers are not entirely sure how it works, curcumin oil improved cell functions and reduced the symptoms. Certain symptoms such as mucosal ulceration were almost completely removed.
Indigestion and Heartburn Relief
Turmeric has also been shown to help with the common conditions of indigestion and heartburn. These are frequently experienced by individuals and can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable.
Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder and increases bile production; in Germany, turmeric is prescribed for such problems.
Studies have shown that there is a protective effect of turmeric on the heart. Initial research shows that turmeric can help to reduce the build-up of plaque in the heart, a key contributor to heart attacks. Turmeric may help to prevent oxidized cholesterol, which is what damages blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels are a critical factor in many heart diseases, such as health attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Research has shown that turmeric can actually delay the onset of diabetes. In a study, participants were tracked over a period of time and given either a placebo or curcumin tablets.
At the end of the study, not one participant who had taken the curcumin had developed diabetes. It is argued this finding is due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Turmeric has been shown to have important antioxidant properties, which may help to protect cells against cancer, particularly in cells in the colon. Turmeric can help to protect vulnerable cells against free radicals, which can be harmful to the body.
Moreover, turmeric can help the body to expel mutated cells that may have developed cancer already. However, research is still working out how turmeric can help with cancer prevention.
High cholesterol is a common disorder and has been linked to many different, some serious, disorders.
Initial research shows that the oil in turmeric, curcumin oil, can help to lower cholesterol levels. It works on the liver and encourages it to produce more receptors that produce lower cholesterol.
Uses In Cooking
- Turmeric in dried spice form can add loads of flavor to curries, stews, stir-fries and roasted meat and chicken.
- Fresh turmeric is a root that looks much like fresh ginger. It can be juiced along with other fruits and vegetables. It can be added to smoothies.
- It makes a great addition to a chicken marinade adding a bright orange color to the mix; it is a key ingredient in Middle Eastern chicken kabobs.
- Use it to substitute saffron or mustard as it provides an equal yellow hue
- Jazz up white rice, by squeezing fresh turmeric through a garlic press and adding it to the rice, offers lots of flavor, and a golden color.
- Use fresh chopped or grated turmeric in coleslaw to add color, flavor, and key nutrients.
Everyone should seek medical advice before adding extra turmeric to their diet and sometimes it may actually have negative effects for some people, for example, its ability to slow blood clotting could be dangerous for anyone taking anticoagulant medication. If in doubt, speak to your medical professional.
Turmeric Benefits For Skin
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 two type of turmeric, one used in food which gives a good yellow stain and one used in skin care product .You should ask the supplier which type you need.
Turmeric is effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties that fight pimples and breakouts to provide a youthful glow to your skin. Turmeric face mask not only helps to clear acne scars and inflammation, but also reduces the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands. 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.
Facial Mask for Oily Skin
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. For oily skin, make a paste by mixing 1 ½ tablespoons of sandalwood powder and a pinch of ground turmeric with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and apply it on your face. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
Facial Mask for Dry Skin
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.
Eliminate Signs Of Aging
Being an excellent exfoliating agent, turmeric can help eliminate the signs of aging. 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.
Stretch Marks Treatment
Turmeric can help lighten stretch marks. For this purpose, apply a mixture of besan (gram flour) and turmeric with yogurt/raw milk/water on the stretch marks.
Turmeric can provide quick relief in case of burns, thanks to its antiseptic properties. You can apply a mixture of turmeric and aloe-vera gel on the burn and experience the wound heal in no time.
Skin Pigmentation and Skin Tanning Reduction
To remove 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.
Facial Hair Removal
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.
Cracked Heels Treatment
Turmeric is an excellent healing agent. 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.
Skin Conditions Treatment
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. Topical application of a mixture of kasturi turmeric with milk can soothe the skin and reduce the redness and inflammation.
Removes Dead Cells
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.
Turmeric Benefits For Hair
Not just 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. Some of the turmeric benefits for hair are given below.
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.
Prevents Hair Loss
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. Warning: When turmeric is applied directly to hair it slow down the growth, but if you eat turmeric it helps prevent inflammation of the hair follicle that causes hair loss.
Natural Hair Dye
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 colour. It can be combined with other yellow coloured 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 colour.
Treatment of Scalp Conditions
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, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.