Updated: Nov 20
Turmeric has many wonderful healing properties: It is antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. All of which make it highly effective to reduce many common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, pigmentation and blemishes. Not only does turmeric take care of scars and inflammation but it reduces oil secretion from sebaceous glands which is amazing for those humid summer months and for those with greasy skin.
Turmeric is the root of the turmeric plant that is used as a spice, usually in a dried form. For Somalis, turmeric is not just a spice, it is also a much favoured beauty product! ... The mix of ground turmeric powder and a bit of water is said to cleanse the skin and give it a natural glow.
turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3Trusted Source).
The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
SUMMARYTurmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
2. Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
Inflammation is incredibly important.
It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you.
Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body's own tissues.
Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.
Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectivenessof some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source ).
It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (10, 11Trusted Source).
Without getting into the details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (12Trusted Source, 13, 14).
Curcuma longa, Curcuma domestica
Origin: A yellow-colored powder ground from the root of the turmeric plant. The turmeric plant grows in India and Indonesia and is related to the ginger family (it is a common ingredient in curries). Curcumin is a key chemical in turmeric.
Claims: Reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA); treats bursitis. Known as a cleansing agent, turmeric often is used as a digestive aid in India.
What we know: Traditionally used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis turmeric/curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the target of celecoxib (Celebrex).
Studies: Several recent studies show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. A 2006 study showed turmeric was more effective at preventing joint inflammation than reducing joint inflammation.
A 2010 clinical trial found that a turmeric supplement called Meriva (standardized to 75 percent curcumin combined with phosphatidylcholine) provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee OA.
In a small 2012 pilot study, a curcumin product called BCM-95 reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA better than diclofenac, an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Dosage: Capsules, extract (more likely to be free of contaminants) or spice. For OA: Capsule, typically 400 mg to 600 mg, three times per day; or 0.5 g to 1 g of powdered root up to 3 g per day. For RA: 500 mg twice daily.
"Curcumin makes up only about 2 to 6 percent of turmeric, so be sure to check the standardized amount of curcumin," advises Randy Horowitz, MD, medical director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucso