When shopping for spices, one ingredient that you must never forget is turmeric.
Bright orange-yellow in color, this popular Indian spice has a light, complementary taste and smell. When added to milk and curry, it imparts a nice golden color.
Apart from adding color and taste to your dishes, turmeric is good for your health. It can help improve cardiovascular health, boost digestive health, ease joint pain, increase blood circulation, prevent blood clots, delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes and improve your memory, to name a few.
Turmeric is also especially good for your skin. In fact, it has been used as a skin care ingredient for centuries.
You can use it to tackle a range of skin troubles, from an uneven skin tone to acne and from cracked feet to eczema scars. The skin benefits of turmeric basically come from its active compound curcumin and its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
Here are the top 10 skin benefits of turmeric that you must know.
Whether you are worried about acne breakouts or the resulting scars, turmeric is the right solution for all acne-related problems.
Its antibacterial nature inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria. A 2013 study published in the journal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin reports that curcumin in turmeric exhibits antimicrobial activity that inhibits P. acnes bacteria that cause acne .
Plus, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for reducing acne symptoms.
Turmeric also has natural oil-controlling properties, which help reduce acne breakouts.
Having oily skin can be a nightmare. Excess oil on the outer skin layer often leads to whiteheads, blackheads, blind pimples and other skin irritations. To solve the problem of oily skin, turmeric is very beneficial.
Turmeric has natural oil-controlling properties that can help control the excess oil (sebum) secretion. The fatty acids and phytosterols in turmeric help reduce excess skin oils.
A 2013 study published in the Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research found that the extract obtained from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant can be used in skin preparations to regulate excessive sebum secretion in people suffering from acne and related problems .
Exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays can cause serious damage to the skin. Sun damage can make your skin look dark and dull.
Due to its skin-lightening and anti-aging properties, turmeric helps keep your skin protected from sun damage.
In a 2009 study published in Phytomedicine, researchers analyzed the effects of a turmeric extract on chronic UVB irradiation-induced skin damage in melanin-possessing hairless mice. They found that turmeric extract protected the skin from UV rays, prevented the formation of wrinkles, helped retain skin elasticity and reduced the appearance of dark spots .
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of turmeric work together to heal wounds. Its antiseptic nature also reduces the risk of infections.
The curcumin in turmeric improves wound healing by modulating collagen and decreasing reactive oxygen species. It also minimizes scarring.
A 2014 study published in Life Sciences reports that curcumin helps reduce the body’s natural response to cutaneous wounds, such as inflammation and oxidation . The wound-healing properties of curcumin also enhance granulation tissue formation, collagen deposition, tissue remodeling, and wound contraction.
Another study published in the West Indian Medical Journal in 2015 analyzed the impact of turmeric cream on healing wounds from a cesarean section and found it promoted faster healing and even helped reduce complications from the wounds .
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants that help protect your skin against free-radical damage. This, in turn, slows down the signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
A 2010 study published in Immunity & Ageing reports that curcumin could be a useful anti-aging substance. Not only does it reduce the risk of many of age-related diseases, it also improves one’s skin condition because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties .
A 2016 study published in Phytotherapy Research reports that turmeric/curcumin products and supplements, both oral and topical, may provide therapeutic benefits for skin health .
Turmeric is also beneficial in the treatment of eczema, an inflammatory skin condition that causes symptoms like dry, red, and itchy skin.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties that help treat inflammation and itching. Its antimicrobial nature also helps kill any bacteria that might be causing eczema.
Plus, it helps in the regeneration of healthy skin.
Turmeric is also beneficial for treating psoriasis. The compound curcumin in it has a natural anti-inflammatory action, which can help treat psoriasis symptoms like itchiness, redness, pain, and inflammation.
Curcumin also has the ability to alter gene expression, which in turn helps in fighting this skin condition.
According to a 2015 study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, turmeric may be considered as an alternative topical treatment for psoriasis. It may also be helpful when used alongside traditional treatment methods .
Another study published in Protoplasma in 2016 reports that medicinal plants such as turmeric may help treat and prevent plaque psoriasis. Turmeric extracts may also lessen high levels of cytokines, which stimulate cell inflammation .
Turmeric contains antioxidant components that help provide a natural glow and luster to the skin. In fact, it helps improve your skin tone by bringing out its natural glow.
It also helps fade dark spots by inhibiting skin pigmentation.
Turmeric is known for its soothing properties that may help deal with minor burns. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin help reduce the pain from minor burns. It may also decrease damage to the skin tissues.
A study published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research in 2011 found that treatment of burn wounds with intravenous curcumin in a rat comb burn model decreased burn wound progression and that these effects were bimodal, suggesting more than one mechanism of action .
A 2013 study published in Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs found curcumin to be a promising investigational drug to treat both burn pain and wounds .
Cracked heels not only compel you to keep your feet covered all the time, they also cause a lot of pain. To help treat the cracks on your heels, try turmeric.
Being anti-inflammatory in nature, turmeric helps deal with the pain. Also, its antimicrobial nature plays a key role in preventing any fungal infection from developing.
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