Turmeric Curcumin: The Golden Root Good for Your Skin & Other Benefits
7 minute read
Many people have come across the health benefits of turmeric in terms of digestive, heart, and immune health, but few are aware that it also works wonders for your skin.
As the key ingredient for curries, turmeric has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Native to southwest India and a member of the ginger family, turmeric is full of color, flavor, and health benefits.
Curcumin, which is the active compound in turmeric, possesses powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a golden treatment for several serious diseases.
| Related: Turmeric: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory |
It has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine to treat stomach ailments, circulatory problems, and skin wounds to name but a few. Your physical and mental health can improve significantly with regular consumption of turmeric and so can your skin.
Skin Health Matters Too
Not many realize that your skin is the largest organ of your body. While it's important to maintain your internal health, your skin is something that should not be overlooked.
It is important to keep your skin healthy, and you can also enhance its beauty with a little turmeric each day.
Turmeric Hastens Healing
Up until recently, studies involving the healing effects of turmeric on the skin have only been done on animals. A new study of women who had undergone cesarean sections was completed with positive results.
| Related: Turmeric May Lower Heart Disease Risk |
Subjects were given either a placebo healing creak or turmeric cream, and the REEDA scale was used to assess the post-surgical healing. This scale uses redness, edema, bruising, discharge, and wounds as measures.
After two weeks, the group of women using turmeric cream showed faster rates of healing, indicating the positive effects turmeric has on the skin. It is believed that the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties keep infections at bay, which allowed the skin to heal faster.
No More Oily Skin
Your sebaceous glands secrete oils and wax to prevent your skin from becoming too dry. This process keeps your skin soft and supple and allows the epidermis to retain moisture effectively.
However, excessive oil production from an overactive gland can cause acne and other skin conditions. After treatment with turmeric cream, individuals with oily skin found a significant decrease in the amount of oils.
Turmeric contains fatty acids and phytosterols, which are known to reduce excess skin oils.
Protection From Sun Damage
Premature skin aging is most notably caused by sun exposure. Harmful UV rays can cause deep lines, discoloration, freckling, and reduced skin elasticity.
While sunscreen does help to protect your skin, turmeric can go one step further. Studies with mice showed that turmeric cream protected skin from thickening, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, changes in pigmentation, and enlarging of blood vessels.
UV radiation causes an enzyme in your skin to degrade collagen, and turmeric inhibits the activation of this enzyme, which protects your skin.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Turmeric has been studied for its anti-cancer properties for years. Being able to selectively kill tumor cells while leaving normal cells intact makes it rife with potential benefits.
| Related: Can Curcumin Prevent (or Even Cure) Cancer? |
Studies with skin cancer determined that turmeric is able to identify cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. It also can prevent them from forming in the first place.
Your lifespan is controlled by genes that regulate metabolism, DNA repair, antioxidant systems, and cell death. Aging is not a predestined biological mechanism, and genes are not programmed to promote the aging process.
Rather, aging is a signal that the system itself is in decline, and random errors in DNA replication contribute to the accumulation of older cells in the body. The decline of the system is linked to inflammation, which breaks down proteins, causes organ dysregulation, and increases the presence of free radicals.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, making it perfect for preventing chronic inflammation and the spread of cell damage. Studies have shown that when fed turmeric every day, the lifespan of insects increased significantly.
Using turmeric cream also reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging.
Treatment for Chronic Conditions
Curcumin has been found to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of eczema, rosacea, scleroderma, psoriasis, and other skin diseases. The causes of each of these diseases vary, but they have one common denominator: inflammation.
| Related: Turmeric Increases Your Antioxidant Capacity |
There is no better natural anti-inflammatory agent than turmeric, and creams made with this spice can offer much relief for these skin diseases. Because turmeric is excellent for healing, many of the afflictions of skin diseases, such as rashes, swelling, scales, and irritation, all benefit from the exposure.
Turmeric is able to block one of the key inflammatory proteins involved in cellular responses to external stimuli, like stress, UV exposure, and free radicals. When this protein is overactive, your risk for autoimmune diseases is significantly increased because of the chronic inflammation it triggers.
Curcumin not only stops inflammation, but it protects the skin by enhancing collagen production and removing free radicals.
What You Should Do
You can choose to take oral capsules of turmeric or add some to your daily meals. You can also make your own topical cream to apply on wounds or other skin afflictions.
Whenever you use a topical turmeric mask, make sure it dries completely (usually about 30 minutes) before washing away. You also need to take care not to get turmeric on any clothing unless you want all your stuff to have that wonderful golden hue.
The Bottom Line
Your skin is important and provides protection to every important cell, tissue, and organ in your body. It is your first line of defense from environmental toxins and pathogens, so you need to take care of it.
The process of aging may try to wear it down, but with turmeric creams and supplements, you can give your skin longevity. And just like it adds that golden hue to your meals, turmeric can add that golden glow to your skin.