What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. The plant is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, that requires temperatures between 68 to 86° F and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered each year for their rhizomes, some for propagation in the following season and some for consumption.
The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing.
In the U.S. turmeric is known as a super-food in which many studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. (Remember, if your body is aligned so will your skin!) Turmeric is used to treat many health conditions. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties. Other preliminary lab studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on studies, turmeric and curcumin might also help treat upset stomach, diabetes, depression, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.
Curcumin: The Secret Weapon
Turmeric and Curcumin are sometimes used interchangeably but they are not the same. Curcumin is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is found in the spice turmeric. Not to be confused with cumin, which is also an Indian spice. Curcuminoids are natural phenols.
Plant-based compounds containing phenol are known to be antioxidants. Phenol-based compounds have been found to have some cancer prevention properties. The complex structures of phenolic compounds can help make cancer cells more receptive to chemotherapy treatments.
Turmeric in my skin care
Turmeric has proven to be effective on acne, dark spots, inflammation, wrinkles, and fine lines. The anti-inflammatory qualities can target your pores and calm your skin. You may want to try a turmeric mask to help reduce acne, scarring, and naturally brighten any desired area. I have added a few DIY masks that you can try at home for different skin issues but first let me make you aware of a few things.
Avoid leaving on overnight, as turmeric has the potential to stain. (Especially if you are a lighter complexion.) A great way of removing the stain is to massage a few drops of coconut oil or castor oil to the area and wiping the oil away using a cotton ball.
I'm frequently asked, how often can a turmeric mask be applied..... I say, everyday! You can apply it to your face, neck, or desired area daily as long as it is mixed with all or either of these - milk, honey, gram flour, or yogurt.
If a stain is stubborn and won't come off right away, don't worry as it isn't permanent.
DIY Turmeric Mask Recipes
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbls lime juice
Mix together to form a paste and apply for 15 minutes then rinse.
apple cider vinegar
1 tbls turmeric powder
1 tbls raw local oganic honey
Apply apple cider vinegar to face using a cotton ball and wait 5 minutes before applying mask. Mix together and apply for 20 minutes then rinse with warm water.
2 tbls flour
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbls milk
Mix together and apply for 20 minutes then rinse.
1 tbls lemon juice
3 tbls milk
¼ tbls turmeric powder
Mix together slowly then apply for 10-20 minutes then rinse.
1 egg yolk
1 pinch turmeric powder
1 tsp olive oil
Mix together to form a paste and let dry for 20 minutes then rinse with warm water.
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp almond milk
3 tsp baking soda
Mix together and massage with finger tips over clean, damp skin.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think....