Introduction to Turmeric
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), or “The Golden Spice of India,” is one of the most commonly used kitchen ingredients. Turmeric is used in plenty to enhance the color and flavor of the food in many Asian cuisines. This Golden Spice, sometimes called the ‘Indian saffron’, offers an array of health and therapeutic benefits.
Turmeric is a small perennial plant that belongs to the ginger family. The rhizomes are dried, and crushed to produce the brilliant yellow spice. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been traditionally used to treat an array of conditions from diabetes to skin problems, including acne. Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric make it highly beneficial for the skin.
Curcumin, an antioxidant in turmeric, has potent chemo-preventative properties that can help in skin regeneration and wound healing. Turmeric is the best remedy for breakouts of acne and scars.
In India, turmeric is grown abundantly and is easily available. In the olden days, turmeric was used in almost every household as a beauty ingredient. With urbanization and the availability of new skin care products in the market, the usage of this wonder spice has declined. Now, with new studies reiterating the benefits of turmeric for flawless skin and overall health, it is time we rediscovered this golden spice, and experience its benefits as an elixir for skin problems.
Here are some of the benefits of turmeric in treating common skin conditions.
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of turmeric help kill the bacteria that causes acne Propionibacterium acnes. A study found that curcumin is 36 times stronger than azelic acid in treating acne bacteria.
One of the simplest ways to treat acne is to mix half a teaspoon of turmeric with water to make a fine paste and apply it on the areas affected by acne. Once the paste dries, wash it off with lukewarm water. This same procedure can be followed by replacing water with olive oil, coconut oil and yogurt.
Removes Scars and Lesions
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the skin pores are clogged with dead cells, dust and bacteria. Severe acne can leave behind scars once it has healed.
Turmeric and honey work wonders on damaged skin cells. The antioxidant properties of both turmeric and honey can repair the damaged skin quickly.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of honey to form a fine paste
- Apply this mixture on the scars and massage the skin gently
- Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and wash it off with cool water
Lightens Skin Tone
Curcumin in turmeric helps reduce hyperpigmentation and lightens the skin. Exfoliation helps even the skin tone. Turmeric can therefore be used as an exfoliant to remove dead cells and lighten the skin.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of chickpea flour with 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Combine all the ingredients well to make a fine paste. Apply the paste on the face, neck and massage in circular motions
- Leave the paste for 20 minutes and rinse off using warm water
The same procedure can be followed for skin lightening by replacing chickpea flour and olive oil with rice flour and milk. Try these simple remedies at least twice a week for flawless skin.
Reduces Signs of Aging
Aging can cause dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines that give the skin a dull appearance. Turmeric can be used as a weapon to combat the signs of aging. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
- Combine a teaspoon of turmeric with yogurt to make a thick paste. Apply the paste evenly on the skin and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash the face with warm water.
- A teaspoon of turmeric powder can be mixed with a teaspoon of tomato juice and can be used as a face pack.
- Add a teaspoon of coconut milk to turmeric powder and squeeze fresh tomato juice or lime juice. Combine the mixture well and apply this paste on the face and neck. Wash the face with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
Moisturizes the Skin
Turmeric can help soothe the skin and soften dry patches. Turmeric powder can be mixed with rice flour and water to make an exfoliating scrub to moisturize the skin.
- Mix equal quantities of turmeric powder with powdered oats. Add honey to make a paste. Gently rub the paste on the face and neck. Allow to dry and rinse well with warm water.
- Make a thick paste from turmeric powder, chickpea flour and rosewater to make a paste. Use the mixture as a body scrub to remove dead cells and hydrate the skin.
Reduces Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are visible lines on the skin that can occur due to sudden weight loss, stress, pregnancy and other physical conditions. Turmeric could be an inexpensive remedy to treat stretch marks as it helps maintain skin elasticity.
- Combine equal quantities of turmeric powder and coconut oil. Apply the mixture on stretch marks and massage gently. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash it off thoroughly.
- Mix turmeric, chickpea flour, raw milk and apply gently on stretch marks. Follow this remedy at least twice a week for better results.
Removes Unwanted Hair
Turmeric can be used to remove unwanted hair on the upper lip, underarm, arms and legs.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of milk and apply on the upper lip
- Leave it on for 20 minutes
- Once it dries, rub it gently and wash it off to remove hair
The same procedure can be followed by replacing milk with egg white to remove unwanted hair.
These simple tips with turmeric may cause temporary staining on the areas of skin where turmeric is applied, however, do not be alarmed, as it is free from side effects.
Since turmeric is found abundantly in nature, why rely on commercial skin care products and drugs? Use this wonder spice for flawless and glowing skin. Let turmeric add some spice, and beauty, to your life!