By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
Spice adds zing! to food, but did you know that it can do the same to our skin too, just like turmeric? This root belonging to the ginger family has been around for thousands of years and used in many different ways—from food coloring to flavoring and as herbal medicine. This is because curcumin, the substance that gives turmeric its bright, yellow-orange color, boasts of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-microbial properties—a lot of goodness in one spice! Turmeric is native to India and the Middle East, but it is also abundant in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, where it is called luyang dilaw. Let’s find out how turmeric benefits the skin and learn new ways to maximize this wonder spice!
Turmeric is rich in iron, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. Its use in treating ailments began centuries ago and it has since been known to cure or even prevent a variety of illnesses from toothaches to joint pain, regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, aid digestion, support heart and liver function, and even protect or prevent certain cancers. It has also been known to treat skin conditions too, as it:
- Has astringent and cleansing properties that can heal wounds, repair scars, and fade spots;
- Can inhibit melanin production that can treat hyperpigmentation, and lighten and brighten the skin;
- Has antioxidant properties that can delay signs of aging and protect the skin from the sun and skin cancer;
- Has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can help with rashes, swelling, and itching, such as those with skin allergies, psoriasis, and eczema; and
- Has antibacterial properties that can treat or fight inflammation such as those with acne.
Turmeric can be diluted in water alone, or mixed with different ingredients to make it effective for the skin conditions it can treat. Below are 10 ways to mix turmeric with your kitchen staples and add to your skin regimen!
- Combining turmeric with lemon to reduce oiliness
- Blending turmeric with tomato to encourage faster skin renewal
- Putting together turmeric and milk or turmeric and potato to help those with acne and hyperpigmentation
- Mixing turmeric with olive or castor oil to combat skin dryness, including cracked and flaking skin
- Adding turmeric to cucumber reduce fine lines
- Blending turmeric and oatmeal together to act as gentle exfoliators
- Combining turmeric and aloe vera to soothe burns, swelling, and redness
- Mixing honey or flour with turmeric to moisturize and protect the skin
- Combining turmeric with milk to lighten skin
- Applying turmeric and olive oil to treat dandruff
Sometimes, the best cure can be found in the kitchen! As you have read, turmeric provides a powerhouse of health benefits, whether taken orally or topically. Taking excessive amounts of turmeric may only cause diarrhea or nausea at worst, but it is still advised to only take it moderately. Generally, turmeric is safe for the skin as well, but since everyone’s skin reacts differently, do not forget to consult with your dermatologist too, to ensure that you are not allergic to turmeric or spice and your skin is suitable for these at-home treatments! A lot of studies are proving that turmeric can give more than just a kick to food. With its rich vitamin and nutrient content, no wonder this golden root definitely provides glowing benefits.