Turmeric is often touted as a so-called “cure-all,” but what’s really behind it? Numerous studies show the beneficial effects of turmeric in various diseases of the skin, intestines, or even cancer. Can a single active ingredient really help against so many diseases? What is the best choice, effect & application of turmeric?
In this article, we will focus more on the effects of turmeric on the skin. Also, we note the side effects of turmeric. In addition, you will learn what turmeric actually is and why it should be effective against so many diseases.
The most important facts in brief
- The active ingredient curcumin contained in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-growth, and antibacterial properties. In addition, turmeric can provide protection against so-called “free radicals” and be effective against malignant (malignant) tumors.
- Turmeric comes in numerous varieties. For internal use, there are turmeric capsules, powder, and turmeric milk. This is also called golden milk. The external application of turmeric on the skin can be done by means of a mask.
- Although the effectiveness of turmeric has been tested and partially confirmed in various cell culture and animal studies, there is a lack of sound human studies to date. In addition, the bioavailability of turmeric is very low, which results in low absorption into the body.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric belongs to the genus of ginger plants and is particularly noticeable for its yellow to orange color. In Asia, turmeric has been known for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal plant.
The scientific name of turmeric is Curcuma longa and is derived from the Arabic word “al-krukum”, which means saffron and refers to the coloring effect of the plant. Other names include Curcuma, Curcum, turmeric, or yellow ginger, and saffron root.
The menu of the Ayurvedic diet is based on the individual needs of the body. This can result in mental, emotional, or physical effects.
The turmeric plant is native to China and India. Turmeric is an important component of Ayurvedic nutrition and is found in almost all curry mixtures.
In the 13th century, the turmeric plant came to Europe and in recent years it has been studied for its effects. Scientists found that the contained curcumin protects the body cells and at the same time has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.
What parts of the turmeric plant are processed?
Turmeric is a plant from which the yellow powder as we know it is obtained. This is extracted from the root of the plant, also called the rhizome. The peeled rhizome can be used fresh or dried as a spice or dye.
The rhizome is another term for rootstock. From this shoot, the actual roots extend downward and the leaf shoots extend upward. The rootstock of the turmeric plant contains curcuminoids, which give the tuber its extraordinary yellow color.
The main component of curcuminoids is the frequently known curcumin. This is also considered herbal medicine.
What types of turmeric are there?
Turmeric comes in numerous varieties. In the following, we would like to introduce you to four different types and applications of turmeric.
- Turmeric capsules.
- Turmeric Powder.
- Turmeric Milk.
- Turmeric Mask.
- Turmeric Capsules
Turmeric capsules do not differ greatly in their composition. Mostly they contain a curcumin extract in combination with a piperine extract.
Pure curcumin is also called E100.
The active ingredient in pepper, piperine, is a natural substance that allows curcumin to be better absorbed by the body. However, there are also turmeric capsules that contain the so-called lecithin instead of the plant substance piperine. These are a good alternative especially for people with intolerance.
A popular variant is also turmeric powder. However, turmeric extract, which has a very high concentration of up to 95%, is to be distinguished from this. Turmeric powder usually contains between 2.5 and 5% natural curcumin. Better to know how to take turmeric powder correctly.
To get a high-quality product, we recommend you buy organic turmeric powder. In addition, many of these products are also free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, flavor enhancers, or other additives.
With the help of turmeric powder, you can also make the increasingly popular turmeric milk. Another name for this is also the Golden Milk due to the bright yellow coloring.
Classic ingredients for the Golden Milk are:
- 300 milliliters of cow’s milk or plant milk;
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder or a piece of turmeric 2-3 centimeters in size;
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Optionally, of course, you can add other ingredients:
- 1 small piece of ginger (watch out for spicy!);
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon;
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup for sweetness.
The preparation of the Golden Milk is very simple and quick. Heat the turmeric and ginger in a pot with 120 milliliters of water until a homogeneous mass is formed. Then you can stir one tablespoon of the paste into about 300 milliliters of milk.
Then heat the mixture in a saucepan, stirring well every now and then so that no lumps form. Finally, add the pepper, cinnamon, and sweetness of your choice.
The turmeric mask should You should not leave it on too long and then rinse it off thoroughly with warm water. Now you have already learned some of the inner uses of turmeric.
However, you can also apply turmeric externally with the help of a mask.
However, you should proceed carefully, because the high color intensity of turmeric can discolor your skin unintentionally.
How does turmeric affect the skin?
The question “What does turmeric do to the skin?” we would like to answer you in the following. In doing so, we will show different ways in which turmeric works on different skin conditions.
Free radicals are formed by our body itself, but they can also be caused by harmful external influences.
Turmeric has many beneficial effects as it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, antiproliferative, and antimicrobial effects.
This means it can provide protection against so-called “free radicals,” can be effective against malignant (malignant) tumors, inhibit cell and tissue growth, and reduce the infectivity of microorganisms.
But does turmeric really work? And if so, for which skin problems or skin diseases exactly? We’ll answer these questions and more for you now.
Does turmeric help fight blemished skin, pimples, or acne?
In our research, we have not found any studies that show either an improvement or a worsening of the skin’s appearance in cases of blemished skin or acne.
Due to the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-growth properties of turmeric, it is worth trying internal or external application for pimples or blemished skin. However, the intake or application should be regular and over a longer period of time to be able to achieve improvements.
Acne, on the other hand, is a serious skin disease for which you should better consult a specialist in the form of a beautician or dermatologist.
Does turmeric work against psoriasis?
The positive effect of turmeric on the skin disease psoriasis has been confirmed, because the active ingredient curcumin inhibits crucial psoriasis pathways and downstream inflammation.
It is a hereditary, non-contagious chronic skin and joint disease.
A 1% curcumin cream alleviated the severity of inflammation in patients with psoriasis. This also means that conventional turmeric products may not show the same efficacy. If you suffer from the skin disease psoriasis, it is, therefore, advisable to ask a doctor about a suitable therapy method with turmeric and to use prescription creams if necessary.
How to dose turmeric for the skin?
The recommended daily dose of turmeric powder is up to 3 grams. In the case of turmeric capsules, you should adhere to the consumption amount specified in the package insert.
In principle, the duration of use of turmeric is also not limited.
Nevertheless, you should increase carefully when taking turmeric to exclude side effects and a possible intolerance.
The dosage is also very individual and depends on several factors such as the reason for taking or the type of application.
If you have a serious skin disease, you should discuss the intake of turmeric and the respective dosage in advance with your trusted doctor.
Who should not take turmeric and can too much turmeric be harmful?
In principle, the intake of turmeric is harmless. However, the consumer advice center advises the following groups of people to refrain from taking turmeric:
|Group of people||Reason for not using turmeric|
|Pregnant and nursing women||Turmeric can promote menstruation and stimulate the uterus, which may endanger pregnancy.|
|People who take blood thinners||These have a potentially increased risk of bruising and bleeding.|
|People with gallstones||Turmeric can promote the release of too much bile, thereby resolving biliary colic.|
|People who have an allergy to piperine||This group of people should, if possible, resort to turmeric capsules with the additive lecithin.|
The question as to whether too much turmeric is harmful can be answered quite clearly with no. The daily intake of turmeric is considered harmless, with the exception of the aforementioned groups of people. Furthermore, we have not found any evidence or studies that show external application on the skin, for example in the form of the turmeric mask, to be harmful.
What side effects can occur when taking turmeric?
We already know that taking turmeric is safe for most people. But are there side effects when taking turmeric and if so, what are they?
The consumer advice center lists some side effects when taking turmeric:
- Pain in the digestive tract.
Accordingly, the correct dosage of turmeric is very important. Therefore, when you start taking turmeric, you should use smaller amounts at first and pay attention to your body’s reaction.
Is there an initial worsening of the skin when using turmeric?
According to our research, a so-called “initial worsening” is often the case at the beginning of taking turmeric. That is, there may be a worsening of symptoms first. Accordingly, turmeric often leads to detoxification symptoms of the body.
However, these can look very different, depending on what you use turmeric for. Through the skin, however, the body can secrete certain substances, which is why the first time you take or use turmeric for the skin can often lead to a worsening. Whether and when an initial worsening occurs is very individual, because not everyone’s skin condition worsens.
What are the alternatives to turmeric for the skin?
Turmeric is supposed to help against many different diseases, so we would like to conclude with three other possible effects of turmeric.
We have summarized the other effects of turmeric for the intestines, the joints, certain metabolic diseases, or even hair loss in this table:
|Intestinal diseases / Ulcerative colitis||Due to the anti-inflammatory property of turmeric, there are numerous studies investigating the effects of curcumin on inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. However, at this time, the efficacy of turmeric in this regard is still unclear. It is also questionable to what extent curcumin is effective at all, as oral administration does not appear to be superior to placebo in improving ulcerative colitis.|
|Joints / Osteoarthritis||Curcumin has been shown in studies to be an alternative treatment for joint conditions such as knee osteoarthritis. The beneficial effects of curcumin are especially crucial for patients who cannot tolerate side effects from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.|
|Metabolic diseases||Despite the low bioavailability of curcumin, its efficacy for metabolic diseases such as diabetes, atheroskelerosis, and kidney disease.|
|Hair loss / increased hair growth||Regarding the improvement of hair loss or increased hair growth, we have not found any substantiated studies. Nevertheless, people report positive results in their private testimonials.|
The effectiveness of turmeric is controversial. There are numerous positive testimonials and many studies have been able to demonstrate various effects from curcumin. However, these studies are not human studies, which makes it difficult to assess the actual effect on the human body.
Nevertheless, curcumin is basically harmless and has properties that can positively influence the appearance of the skin, for example. So if you want to improve the appearance of your skin and do not belong to the group of people who should not take turmeric, the internal or external use of turmeric is always worth a try.