As an essential ingredient in curry dishes, turmeric is a commonly used spice at home. When mixed with other spices its gives the curry its flavour, and also gives the curry a yellow appearance. Apart from its importance in cooking, it has many health and beauty benefits too.
Turmeric is a super spice. It has known benefits in treating dementia and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also commonly used in tea for its anti-inflammatory properties. If anyone was sick in our house with a minor cold or throat infection, my mum would make us warm ginger and turmeric tea.
Its effects in beauty are also well recognised. It’s a regular ingredient for facial and beauty regimes in South Asia, especially India. As part of traditions, turmeric is also applied on the bride to be, to achieve glowing skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which can fight the signs of ageing (Brauser, 2010). A study by Swanson et al (2009), found that turmeric reduced hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Subjects applied a moisturiser with niacinamide on one side of their face, and moisturiser containing a combination of niacinamide and turmeric on the other side of their face. There was a significant reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the side which turmeric was applied. Turmeric also has healing properties, it is known to accelerate wound healing and reduce scarring (Phan, 2003).
When I was younger, I would watch my mum apply a turmeric face mask. Now I know why it’s such a popular beauty product. There’s plenty of other natural beauty products that can be combined with turmeric, but these are my favourite. I usually use very small amounts, you can add more to make a bigger mix. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing off.
Also! Be cautious with towels and clothing, as turmeric easily stains. It is best to apply to a smaller area first, to check for any sensitivity. Stop treatment with any signs of allergies and sensitivities and seek medical advice from your local doctor. Occasionally skin may appear slightly yellow if left on too long, so I usually limit this face mask to days where I have no work or social events coming up.
Turmeric and yogurt.
1 teaspoon of turmeric mixed with 2 teaspoons plain yoghurt
Turmeric and honey.
1 teaspoon of turmeric mixed 2 teaspoons of manuka honey.
Turmeric and sandalwood.
1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of sandalwood mixed in 2 teaspoons of plain yoghurt.
Brauser, D. (2010). Turmeric cream decreases signs of ageing. Medscape.
Phan, D. (2003). Methods of treatment for skin disorders using turmeric extract and a hydroxy acid. Retrieved from http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2003/0113388.html
Swanson, C. L., Deng, G. A., Kaczvinsky, J. R., Li, J., Pepple, S. C., Raleigh, P. S. and Robinson, L.R. (2009). Topical turmeric extract in a moisturizing cream formula reduces the appearance of facial spots and fine lines and wrinkles on human facial skin. P&G Beauty & Grooming, 804, Cincinnati, Ohio USA , 2Beijing, PRC.