25 Best Benefits Of Turmeric (Haldi) For Skin, Hair, And Health August 16, 2017

We don’t have to highlight the benefits of turmeric specifically. Right from the moment we were born, someone had been singing them in our ears.

And now, it’s us.

Why?

Because it is a magic herb. Almost. The list of ailments it can cure is quite long. You will know that as you read this post.

KingdomPlantae
GenusCurcuma
SpeciesC. longa
Binomial nameCurcuma longa
Common NamesKunyit, Haridra, Haldi, Indian Saffron, and Arishina
Indian NamesHaldi (Hindi), Pasupu (Telugu), Manjal (Tamil), Manjal (Malayalam), Arasina (Kananda), Haldar (Gujarati), Halud (Bengali) and Halad (Marathi)

Table Of Contents

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is probably the most important spice in Indian dishes. And possibly, the most powerful herb on the planet. Also called haldi in Hindi (and pasupu in Telugu, manjal in Tamil and Malayalam, and arisina in Kannada), turmeric is one of the most studied herbs in science.

Scientifically called Curcuma longa (which is the name of the plant the herb comes from), it grows in India and several other Southeast Asian countries. The dried root of the Curcuma longa plant is ground to make the turmeric powder.

Turmeric powder is yellow. The powder is also used as a coloring agent in South Asian cuisines. The leaves of the turmeric plant also impart a distinct flavor. These leaves are used to wrap and cook food.

The benefits of turmeric are largely due to its phytochemistry. The compounds in turmeric, called curcuminoids (like curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin), have several advantages for human health – which we will discuss in detail in this post. Turmeric also contains volatile oils called turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberene. Other constituents of turmeric are proteins, resins, and sugars.

Numerous studies have spoken of the great benefits of turmeric. One such study was published in Oxford Academic, which stated how turmeric could break through chemoresistance and aid in the treatment of pancreatic cancer (1). Another study spoke about how this herb can delay the onset of diabetes, given its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (2).

The studies are aplenty. But the bottom line is this – that spice you add to almost every dish you prepare at home, that pinch of turmeric, is not to be taken for granted.

Before we proceed, let’s talk a little about the history of this herb.

Back To TOC

What Is The History Of Turmeric?

This herb has been used in Asia for thousands of years and forms a major part of Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, Siddha medicine, and Unani.

There are different versions as to the origin of the name turmeric. Certain sources say the name could be of Latin origin, terra merita (which means, meritorious earth).

The name of the genes of the plant, Curcuma, is derived from the Sanskrit term kuṅkuma, which refers to both turmeric and saffron that are being used in India since the ancient times.

Coming to the important question, what is turmeric good for?

Back To TOC

What Is Turmeric Good For?

One ounce of turmeric gives you 26% of your daily requirement of manganese and 16% of your daily requirement of iron. The herb is also a wonderful source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C (3).

Turmeric improves your body’s ability to digest fats. It reduces gas and bloating as well. The herb treats other skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

It works wonders for inflammation – given that is has been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent both in Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. More importantly, turmeric can help prevent grave diseases like cancer and diabetes arthritis – and even aids in the treatment of certain brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and depression.

Even turmeric water can help in various ways. All you need are filtered water, half a teaspoon of turmeric, and honey (optional). You can add the turmeric after heating the water a little – stir in honey if you want. Drinking this mixture in the morning can give you a healthy dose of antioxidants and take care of your overall health in the long run.

Raw turmeric can help too. It prevents inflammation and wards off heart disease and stroke. For this very purpose, the turmeric root extract is extensively used in Indian cuisine. You can improve the absorption of turmeric by consuming it in whole food. Even taking turmeric root can enhance absorption – as the natural oils present can enhance the bioavailability of curcumin multifold.

And coming to the nutrients in turmeric…

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Turmeric?

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 6 g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 24
Calories from Fat 6
%Daily Value
Total Fat 1g1%
Saturated fat0 g 1%
Trans fat
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 3 mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 6%
Sugars
 0g
Protein
 1g
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving
 
%DV
Vitamin A0.0 IU0%
Vitamin C1.73% 
Vitamin D ~ ~ 
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)0.2 mg  1%
Vitamin K0.9 mcg 1%
Thiamin 0.0 mg1%
Riboflavin0.0 mg 1%
Niacin0.3 mg 2%
Vitamin B60.1 mg 6%
Folate2.6 mcg 1%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg 0%
Pantothenic Acid
Choline3.3 mg  
Betaine0.7 mg   
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving
 
%DV
Calcium 12.4 mg1%
Iron2.8 mg16%
Magnesium 13.0 mg3%
Phosphorus 18.1 mg2%
Potassium 170 mg5%
Sodium 2.6 mg0%
Zinc0.3 mg2%
Copper 0.0 mg2%
Manganese 0.5 mg26%
Selenium 0.3 mcg 0%
Fluoride 
*Percentage daily value are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs
Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21.

Consuming turmeric daily is one way you can improve your health. But in what ways? Which is what we will look at now.

Back To TOC

What Are The Health Benefits Of Turmeric?

1. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

As per numerous studies, curcumin, a potent compound in turmeric, can reduce inflammation in the body. One way of increasing turmeric intake is by adding it to your dishes while cooking – which you might be doing already. You can drink turmeric tea as well – just boil four cups of water and add one teaspoon of ground turmeric. You can also add lemon or honey to taste.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, curcumin in turmeric can aid in arthritis treatment. The compound modifies the responses of the immune system, and this helps prevent joint inflammation (4).

More importantly, the functioning of turmeric is safe and natural. Unlike ibuprofen or aspirin, the curcumin in turmeric fights inflammation naturally without harming the kidneys or liver (5). In fact, some level of inflammation is necessary for the body’s optimal functioning. It is only when these levels of inflammation go out of control (which, unfortunately, is what happens in most cases) that there is a problem. In one recent study, osteoarthritis patients adding 200 mg of curcumin a day experienced lowered pain and increased mobility. Curcumin also prevents the release of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are so powerful that it is as effective as certain drugs used for the condition (6). These anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric are so potent that it can help in the treatment of cancer as well (7). More interestingly, there has been no long-term study till date that talks of the adverse effects of curcumin. The Food and Drug Administration has declared curcumin as GRAS (generally regarded as safe).

One downside could be the poor bioavailability of curcumin – it has been found that the serum concentration of this compound usually peaks 1 to 2 hours after oral intake, and gradually declines within 12 hours. We already saw how to improve the bioavailability of curcumin. Another way could be combining the compound with piperine (a compound derived from pepper) (8). Turmeric with black pepper is one healthy combination.

Turmeric is also used to treat gastrointestinal issues linked to irritable bowel syndrome, which is caused by inflammation (9). According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the human body that are responsible for inflammation (10).

In case you are taking curcumin supplements for arthritis, this is the dosage recommended by the Arthritis Foundation – 500 milligrams of curcumin, twice a day. But we advise you to talk to your doctor before you go for supplements.

As per another study, extracts containing curcuminoids are far more beneficial in relieving arthritis than extracts containing other turmeric compounds as well (11). And yes, curcumin is one of the few curcuminoids in turmeric.

2. Offers Excellent Antioxidant Properties

Turmeric is known to scavenge free radicals, inhibit peroxidation, and reduce iron complex – all of which are a direct result of its antioxidant properties (12). And not just ground turmeric, but even its oil has antioxidant properties (13).

In another study conducted on rats, turmeric was able to prevent diabetes-induced oxidative stress – owing to its antioxidant properties (14).

Another study reveals that the antioxidant properties of curcumin can improve memory retention in humans. In yet another study, the compound had also inhibited apoptosis (the death of cells as a part of an organism’s development) – attributing the effects to curcumin’s antioxidant properties (15).

3. Promotes Brain Health And Prevents Neurological Diseases

3. Promotes Brain Health And Prevents Neurological Diseases Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

Curcumin in turmeric can also boost the regeneration of brain cells. And aromatic-turmerone, another bioactive compound in turmeric, can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain by as much as 80%.

Given the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric, the herb can also offer overall protection to the brain. It can even prevent the accumulation of beta-amyloids, destructive agents present in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. And since patients with Alzheimer’s tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, turmeric could be a direct help (16).

Also, curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier (a semipermeable membrane barrier that separates the extracellular fluid in the brain from the circulating blood) – an ability that makes it an important neuroprotective agent.  More interestingly, statistics show that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is 25 percent lower in India than in the US, given the extensive use of turmeric in the cuisines of the former. Rats that were fed turmeric developed fewer amyloid plaques (linked to Alzheimer’s) than rats that weren’t. You can simply add turmeric to any of your curry dishes or salads. Sprinkling a pinch of turmeric in your soup can also work wonders.

And here’s another stunning study – scientists have found that turmeric might prevent new fear memories from getting stored in the brain (17). The curcumin in turmeric might also eliminate pre-existing fear memories, paving the way for groundbreaking treatment options for psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. As per researchers, the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin could be the reason behind this.

One Mexican study had proved that curcumin restores the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in diabetes and obesity patients (18). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, is a vital protein in humans that contributes to nerve cell survival and functioning.

Curcumin also prevents neurotoxicity caused by metals like lead or cadmium. The compound has also delayed the degradation of neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s (19). Numerous other mice studies showed that turmeric not only helps reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms but also lowers the risk of neurodegenerative diseases (20).

Curcumin in turmeric can also aid in the treatment of depression, tardive dyskinesia (impairment of voluntary movement), and diabetic neuropathy (21). In other animal studies, curcumin had also exhibited beneficial effects towards chronic stress.

The compound has shown to benefit patients with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord). Curcumin achieves this by regulating the inflammatory cytokines. Multiple sclerosis also involves the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier and autoimmune attack – and as per a study, neuroprotective approaches (like the intake of turmeric) work better before the initiation of damage (22).

4. Prevents Heart Diseases

The antioxidant properties of turmeric are known to offer cardiac protection, especially in the case of diabetes. Curcumin in turmeric also helps reduce the serum cholesterol levels, thereby contributing to heart health (23).

Research shows that turmeric was used for treating chest pain in ancient Indian and Chinese medicine. In other cases of obesity, the herb had reduced cholesterol concentrations – and more importantly, had increased the levels of good cholesterol. Curcumin had also shown to prevent numerous heart disorders, the most prominent of them being myocardial infarctions (obstruction of blood supply to the tissues in the heart) (24).

As per a report by the Michigan State University, curcumin can also prevent the clogging of arteries (25). Another study states the benefits of curry powder, with turmeric being one of its primary ingredients. We often experience a spike in our blood sugar levels post a meal. This sudden sugar rush can lead to the build-up of plaque in the arteries, eventually causing a heart attack. The curry powder with turmeric as one of the ingredients could increase the blood flow of the individual, averting danger (26).

In yet another study conducted by the University of Indonesia, curcumin had reduced the cholesterol levels in patients with acute coronary syndrome (27).

5. Prevents Cancer

Curcumin had exhibited anticancer properties in numerous studies (28). In fact, countries that consume about 100 to 200 milligrams of turmeric every day were found to have lower incidences of cancer. In some cancer patients who were given turmeric, the tumors had shrunk. In a few others, the chemicals of the immune system that destroy cancer cells became more concentrated.

Laboratory studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric can slow cancer growth and even make chemotherapy more effective. It also protects the healthy cells from damage from radiation (29). More research is underway.

Curcumin is also found to suppress the initiation, progression, and metastasis of numerous kinds of tumors (30). Curcumin also employs numerous mechanisms for killing cancer cells because of which the cells may not develop any kind of resistance against the compound (31). Other studies have proven that curcumin is well tolerated even at higher doses (32). It is known to offer protection against the cancers of the brain, breast, bone, and the gastrointestinal system.

In one Chinese study, curcumin was found to be effective in the treatment of breast cancer (33). The compound was also found to protect against colorectal cancer in yet another study. It achieves this by sensitizing the cancer cells to chemotherapy, which paves the way to their smoother elimination (34). Curcumin can also work in the mouths of patients suffering from neck and head malignancies and reduces cancer growth. It was also found that curcumin binds to an enzyme named IKK, and prevents its functioning (the enzyme promotes cancer growth) (35).

Curcumin has incredible potency, speaking from the perspective of curing cancer. One metabolite in curcumin, which could be available in very low amounts in the blood post its ingestion, could still have remarkable anti-metastatic effects (36). Curcumin can also prevent cancer of the prostate.

What is more interesting is that curcumin also activates certain proteins in the body that suppress tumors. It can even differentiate a healthy gene from a sick gene, and stunningly enough, can alter the expression of the sick gene. This simply means that curcumin can change DNA, alter the course of genes, and totally turn around the health of cells.

Another Chinese study had discovered that curcumin could inhibit cancer-associated fibroblasts (connective tissues that produce collagen and other fibers) – which might lead to prostate cancer (37). The compound also prevents prostate cancer metastases. It makes the tumor cells synthesize less of cytokines, which promote metastasis. This leads to a reduced frequency of metastasis formation.

Though not clinically tested yet, curcumin also shows great promise in treating melanoma (or skin cancer) (38). In studies, it had stopped the laboratory strains of melanoma and provoked the cancer cells to commit suicide (39).

Turmeric has also been found to shield the DNA from exterior pollutants that can cause leukemia. In fact, the spice can also reduce the risk of childhood leukemia by cutting the effects of some of the risk factors (40).

6. Delays Aging

Turmeric contains curcuminoid pigments that turn on the genes that enhance the body’s synthesis of antioxidants. This protects the cells of the brain and skin from free radical damage, improves concentration, and even slows down the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

In one animal study, curcumin and its metabolite (tetrahydrocurcumin) were found to increase the lifespan. This was found to be achieved by regulating the responses to oxidative stress and age-related genes (41). Aging is also caused by random errors in DNA replication – and curcumin might correct these errors, slowing down the aging process (42). Another study states the possibility of curcumin extending the lifespan of humans (43).

7. Might Aid In Diabetes Treatment

As per a scientific review, curcumin can lower the glucose levels in the blood, thereby helping prevent diabetes (44). In another study, people with prediabetes who were given a dose of curcumin for 9 months were found to be less likely to develop the disease (45). The compound can also change how the overactive immune system works in patients with type 1 diabetes. It can also boost the immunomodulatory medicines prescribed for the patients with type 1 diabetes. In another study, curcumin supplementation had reduced the oxidative stress experienced by diabetic rats (46).

Curcumin in turmeric can also aid in the treatment of liver disorders associated with diabetes. It had suppressed diabetic cataracts in rats in yet another study conducted by the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (47).

Ingestion of 6 grams of turmeric was found to increase postprandial insulin levels (48). This could be due to the stimulation of beta-cell functioning by the curcumin in turmeric. Turmeric may also be supplemented as an adjuvant to prevent molecular complications in type 2 diabetes.

According to one Iranian study, curcumin can promote bone resorption in diabetic animals (49). It can also be beneficial for diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction. Curcumin supplementation had also shown to reduce insulin resistance, improve the functioning of pancreatic beta-cells, and enhance glucose tolerance (50).

8. Improves Immunity

8. Improves Immunity Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can help boost immunity to a great extent. It was found that curcumin stops the recruitment of certain immune cells which, when overactive, can lead to ailments like heart disease and obesity.

Curcumin was also found to stimulate the immune system and destroy the bacteria that cause drug-resistant tuberculosis. It also induces apoptosis (a mechanism used by human immune cells to kill bacteria) (51). Curcumin also changes the way immune cells communicate with each other, enhancing the overall immunity of the individual.

The curcuminoids in turmeric also modulate the response of various types of immune cells – these include the T cells, B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, and natural killer NK cells. This action improves the immune system of a person (52).

9. Works As A Natural Antiseptic

Turmeric displays excellent antibacterial properties against various types of bacteria, some of them which include E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhi – accentuating its antiseptic properties (53).

In yet another study, curcuminoids in turmeric had shown inhibitory activities against 8 types of dangerous bacteria. The application of aqueous curcumin extract to cheese had reduced the bacterial counts of S. typhi bacterium. The compound had also demonstrated a synergistic effect in combination with certain antibiotics. And not just bacteria, but turmeric had exhibited its protective properties against various kinds of fungi and viruses as well (54).

Another study states that turmeric has been extensively used for ages for its antiseptic properties. It even helps treat dental pain and other periodontal problems (55).

10. Detoxifies The Liver

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, curcumin in turmeric stimulates bile production by the gall bladder. The liver, as we know, uses bile to flush out toxins. Bile also rejuvenates the cells in the liver that break down harmful compounds.

The detoxification effects of curcumin are so good that the compound can also be used to treat mercury intoxication (56).

11. Reduces Menstrual Pain

According to one Iranian study, curcumin in turmeric was found to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. This effect could be attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects (57).

As per a report by the Evergreen State College, turmeric can be used to treat menstrual pains – as was used by the ancient Chinese and Indian healers (58).

12. Works As A Natural Painkiller

Since it helps relieve inflammation, turmeric can act as a natural painkiller. This is particularly true for arthritis pains (59). Turmeric also improves circulation, which can help eliminate pain. Simply mix two tablespoons of turmeric with water to get a paste, and apply this to the affected area.

13. Treats Digestive Disorders

As per one study, gastric issues like GERD could be caused by inflammation and oxidative stress and must be treated with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants (60). Which is why turmeric could be a great option. Turmeric can also reduce the sensitivity of the esophagus to acid, reducing GERD symptoms.

In numerous preclinical trials, turmeric had shown to protect the gastrointestinal tract because of its anti-inflammatory effects. It can also improve the symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion) and maintain remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (61).

Studies of human tissues have shown that curcumin in turmeric preferentially gets accumulated in the intestine, liver, and colon. This could be another reason for its promise in treating digestive disorders. Curcumin can also help prevent colorectal cancer. It also provides opportunities to cure or even prevent liver ailments (62). Turmeric also reduces bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion (63).

14. Aids Weight Loss And Metabolism

14. Aids Weight Loss And Metabolism Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

Do you know that obesity leads to inflammation in the body that eventually leads to diabetes and heart disease? The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric deal with this right at the beginning. This helps prevent cholesterol and high blood sugar, which also contribute to obesity. When your body is not busy fighting too much inflammation, it is easier to focus on weight loss.

Also, when you gain weight, your fat tissues expand and new blood vessels form. Curcumin was found to prevent the formation of these blood vessels – and might contribute to less fat gain. This study has been performed only on mice, and hence, we need more studies to confirm similar possibilities in humans.

Another Korean study found that turmeric changes white fat to brown fat. It even enhances your metabolism and suppresses the production of new fat. Turmeric can also lower blood cholesterol levels, promoting weight gain (64). Turmeric also lowers the levels of certain proteins that can contribute to fat production. Evidence suggests that curcumin can induce weight loss and prevent obesity-related diseases (65).  Though curcumin doesn’t seem to affect appetite, it had shown to reduce fat cells (66).

Turmeric also increases body heat, which can improve your metabolism. Curcumin regulates lipid metabolism, which has a role to play in obesity and the associated complications (67).What Are The Benefits For Hair?

Back To TOC

How Does Turmeric Benefit The Skin?

15. Helps Treat Psoriasis

As per researchers, turmeric might obstruct the inflammatory enzymes linked to psoriasis. It can also lower the levels of cytokines, which stimulate cell inflammation and might eventually lead to psoriasis.

Using turmeric for psoriasis is pretty simple. You can take half a teaspoon of powdered turmeric and slowly add water to it. Keep stirring till you get a paste. Apply a thin layer of this ointment to the psoriasis lesions. Cover with some breathable fabric and leave it on overnight. Remove the fabric and rinse your skin with warm water the next morning.

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric might have excellent benefits in treating psoriasis (68).

16. Aids In Acne Treatment

The antibacterial properties of turmeric aid in acne treatment. And its anti-inflammatory properties treat the inflammation caused by pimples. Turmeric can be used for oily skin as a face wash or a face pack.

You can also use turmeric milk for this purpose. Turmeric and milk have great healing properties that can help treat acne. All you need are 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 3 tablespoons of milk – along with 2 tablespoons of flour and a few drops of honey. Mix well, and apply a thin layer of this mixture on your face. Allow it to dry for 20 minutes. You can then rinse the mask off in the shower and apply your favorite moisturizer after the bath.

Turmeric milk can also help treat dry skin. The same face mask can serve the purpose.

 

17. Prevents Wrinkles

According to a Japanese study, turmeric can prevent the formation of wrinkles and melanin. It also prevents the reduction in skin elasticity caused by chronic UVB exposure (69).

18. Cures Stretch Marks

Turmeric works great for stretch marks. This is, again, because of curcumin – which penetrates the cell membranes. Curcumin is known to alter the physical properties of the cell membrane – and hence, it might cure stretch marks as well.

You can also use turmeric with clotted cream or curd. Simply apply this paste to your waist and stomach before your bath. Wait for about 20 minutes – allowing the treatment to soak in. Wash the paste in your bath.

And by the way, turmeric can treat scars too. A similar treatment should help.

19. Soothes Burns

The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of turmeric help soothe burns as well. Also, the burns (at least, most of them) won’t swell up when you use turmeric. You can also mix turmeric with other oils to enhance the treatment. Simply apply the mixture to the affected areas.

The astringent and antioxidant properties turmeric help heal wounds and reduce scarring (70).

20. Treats Skin Pigmentation

The bleaching properties of turmeric can help treat skin pigmentation. The herb can also keep the skin free from infection. All you have to do is mix one teaspoon each of turmeric powder and lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave it on for 20 minutes. Don’t go out in the sun for at least an hour. Rinse with cold water. You can do this once daily before showering.

Turmeric also helps reduce tan. Take a pinch of turmeric along with some raw milk and lemon juice. Apply this solution to the affected areas. After allowing it to dry properly, wash it off with water.

You can also use a turmeric night cream to improve your complexion. You need a few soaked (and peeled) almonds, and one teaspoon each of turmeric, curd, lemon juice, saffron, and sandalwood powder. Mix all well and store in your refrigerator. Apply the mixture every night, and wash it off in the morning.

21. Treats Hirsutism

This is the condition where facial hair gets excessive – and it is a result of hormonal imbalances. Topical application of turmeric helps in this regard. Even taking turmeric orally can treat hormonal imbalances that cause hirsutism.

22. Heals Cracked Feet

22. Heals Cracked Feet Pinit

Image: iStock

The astringent properties of turmeric help heal cracked feet as well. You can mix equal quantities of castor oil and coconut oil and add a pinch of ground turmeric to make a paste. Apply this paste to your cracked heels and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.

23. Aids In Exfoliation

You can prepare a turmeric scrub that helps exfoliate your skin. Mix a tablespoon of turmeric with a tablespoon of water and apple cider vinegar (or rose water). Massage the mixture into the problem areas gently. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse well. Pat dry. You can use a gentle cleanser if the yellow color remains. Using this scrub twice to thrice a week helps remove dead cells from the skin.

Back To TOC

What Are The Benefits For Hair?

24. Prevents Hair Loss

Certain studies say the curcuminoids in turmeric can help prevent hair loss. Though there isn’t enough evidence for this, using turmeric on your hair doesn’t have any harmful effects.

25. Helps Treat Dandruff

A mixture of turmeric and olive oil can eliminate dandruff and improve scalp health. Just mix equal parts of both and leave it on your hair for 20 minutes before shampooing.

Back To TOC

Any Turmeric Recipes?

1. Turmeric Tea

1. Turmeric Tea Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey or fresh lemon juice or grated ginger
Directions
  1. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Put the turmeric into the boiling water and simmer

for 10 to 15 minutes.

  1. Then, take it off from the heat and strain the liquid.
  2. Add honey or lemon juice or grated ginger before consumption.

2. Turmeric Smoothie (Turmeric + Carrot + Ginger)

What You Need

For the carrot juice

  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 1 ½ cups of filtered water

For the smoothie

  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple
  • ½ tablespoon of peeled fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • ½ cup of carrot juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of almond milk, unsweetened
Directions
  1. Make the carrot juice by adding carrots and the filtered water to a high-speed blender. Keep blending until you get a pureed and smooth mixture. Add more water if required.
  2. Drape a large (and thin) dish towel over a mixing bowl and pour the juice over it. Lift the corners of the towel and twist and squeeze until all the juice is extracted. Set aside the pulp for smoothies or baked goods.
  3. Transfer the carrot juice to a mason jar.
  4. Add the smoothie ingredients to the blender and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add more carrot juice or almond milk if required. Scrape down the seeds as and when needed.
  5. Taste and adjust the flavors as required.

That’s with the recipes. But how do you select the right type of turmeric? And how do you store it?

Back To TOC

What About Selection And Storage?

Selection

These days, dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets. But it is better to purchase them from local spice stores in your area as their collection of dried herbs and spices are of a superior quality and comparatively fresher than those offered by regular markets. When purchasing turmeric, always prefer organic turmeric as it does not possess additives.

The color of turmeric varies greatly, and it is important to choose the correct turmeric powder. Often, turmeric is mixed with other ingredients to give it a yellow–red hue. Being a natural colorant, it is also used by industrial workers to ward off the risks that may arise from the usage of artificial coloring material. The turmeric in curry powder has the highest content of curcumin, averaging about 3.14 % in weight. Turmeric is available both in chunks as well as powder and should be purchased after verifying the freshness and quality.

Storage

Turmeric powder should be kept in a tightly sealed container and stored in a cool, dry place, protected from light. Fresh turmeric rhizome should be placed in the refrigerator. Too much heat should be avoided as it can volatilize and dissipate its aromatic essential oil whereas high humidity will cause it to cake. Sunlight, on the other hand, can fade its color. The containers should be tightly closed after use, and older stock should be used first. Exposure to air for a long time will cause flavor and aroma loss.

Does turmeric have any other uses? You bet!

Back To TOC

Any Other Uses Of Turmeric?

  • Turmeric root can be eaten plain. All you need to do is wash it in running cold water to remove any dirt or debris and peel the skin off with a knife. You can eat it raw.
  • Turmeric powder can be added to your salad dressings to provide an orange-yellow hue. Turmeric root can also be used in salads. For this purpose, peel and chop fresh turmeric root and add it to any salad.
  • You can mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season it with turmeric, cumin, and coriander.
  • Chopped turmeric root can be added to sandwiches to provide flavor, without being overpowering.
  • You can prepare a creamy, low-calorie dip by mixing some turmeric and dried onion with some mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. This can be served with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama, and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric powder is delicious with sautéed apples and steamed cauliflower or green beans and onions. Turmeric is a great spice to flavor lentils.
  • Not just curries, turmeric powder can also greatly complement different kinds of soups. You can also add peeled and chopped turmeric to soups.
  • Turmeric can be used to prepare a delicious dish with cauliflower. Cut cauliflower florets into half and sauté with turmeric for 5 minutes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste after removing from the heat.
  • Fresh turmeric root can be added to your favorite smoothie. Blend a peeled turmeric root with other fresh fruits and vegetables to make a delicious and healthy smoothie.
  • You can also mix turmeric with castor oil for a brilliant skin detox. Or even use it as an acne gel or a soothing face mask.

We have seen all the good in turmeric. But as unbelievable as it might sound, this wonder spice has certain side effects. 

Back To TOC

Does Turmeric Have Any Side Effects? What Are They?

  • Issues During Pregnancy

When consumed orally in medicinal amounts during pregnancy, turmeric might trigger a menstrual period or even stimulate the uterus. This can put the pregnancy at risk (71).

  • Causes Stomach Upset

When taken in large amounts, turmeric can upset the digestive health. In certain cases, it can stimulate the stomach to produce more gastric acid, leading to discomfort.

  • Kidney Stones

In susceptible individuals, there is an increased risk of kidney stones. Hence, people suffering from kidney stones must consult their doctor before using turmeric (72).

  • Increased Risk Of Bleeding

Turmeric might slow blood clotting, and this can increase the risk of bleeding in individuals with bleeding disorders. Also, stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before surgery. 

  • Might Make Blood Sugar Too Low

It can make blood sugar too low in people who are already taking blood sugar or diabetes medications.

  • Infertility In Men

It might lower testosterone levels and decrease sperm movement if it is consumed orally by men. Hence, the spice must be used with caution in people trying to have a baby.

  • Iron Deficiency

Excess amounts of turmeric might prevent the absorption of iron. Individuals with iron deficiency must use turmeric with caution.

And talking about dosage, this is how it goes:

– Dried root, 2 to 2.5 grams per day

– Turmeric powder, 1,200 to 1,800 milligrams per day

– Turmeric tea, ½ ounce of the turmeric root in 4 ½ ounces of boiling water (to be taken twice daily)

– Water-based extract, 30 to 90 drops of aqueous turmeric extract per day

All fine. But we have been lately hearing about turmeric supplements. What’s with them?

Back To TOC

What Are Turmeric Supplements? How Reliable Are They?

Capsules containing turmeric powder – that’s all they are. But their reliability is questionable. This is because the dosage of turmeric varies from person to person (depending on their health conditions). But a turmeric supplement has a fixed dosage – something that cannot be altered (unlike in the case of turmeric powder).

Also, certain turmeric supplements might interact with medications that you already might be taking (73). Consult your doctor in this regard.

But otherwise, turmeric supplements have similar benefits to the powder. You can buy turmeric capsules here.

Back To TOC

Where To Buy Turmeric?

You can buy turmeric powder at your nearest grocery store or supermarket. If you want to shop online, you can get your turmeric powder here.

And if it is specifically organic turmeric, get it here. This type of turmeric would have only been grown naturally.

We know you have a few more questions. Well, here you go!

Back To TOC

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is turmeric a nootropic?

Yes. We have seen that in the benefits. Turmeric is beneficial for the memory and cognitive health, and hence, it is a nootropic.

What are the health benefits of eating raw turmeric every day?

Same as what you saw in this post.

Can I eat too much turmeric?

If you are incorporating turmeric in normal amounts in your food every day, it is impossible to take too much of it. But yes, refrain from taking too much of it – stick to the dosage we have mentioned.

What other spice can replace turmeric?

Saffron and ginger could be two good alternatives.

Conclusion

Turmeric has superb benefits. No doubt about that. It not only makes your life better but also adds flavor to your dishes. Make it a part of your daily diet.

Tell us how this post has helped you. Leave your comments in the box below.

References:

Oxford Academic Journals – (1)

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – (2),(6),(7),(8),(9),(12),(13),(14),(15),(18),(19),(21), (22),(23),(24),(27),(30),(31),(32),(33),(34),(36),(37),(38),(41),(42),(43),(44),(45),(46),(47),(48),(49),(52),(53),(54),(55),(56),(57),(60),(61),(62),(65),(67),(69), and (70).

Michigan State University – (25)

US Department of Health and Human Services – (11)

University of Maryland Medical Center – (10)

Daily Mail – (17) and (51)

Dr. Mercola – (3),(5), and (16)

Arthritis Foundation – (4)

SEUFire Scholars – (20)

UF Health Podcasts – (26)

Cancer Research UK – (28)

MayoClinic – (29)

WebMD – (40),(71), and (73)

University of California, Los Angeles – (35)

ScienceDaily – (39)

Oregan State University – (50)

TIME – (59)

The Evergreen State College – (58)

Aga Khan University Hospitals – (63)

Express – (64)

Tufts University – (66)

ScienceDirect – (68)

Drugs.com – (72)

Recommended Articles

  • Ishani

    Well Laveena, your article is quite informative.. Dint really know that haldi can help reduce cramps during periods!!
    Thanks for sharing such important information with us!!!

  • Trishna

    Well written article!! quite informative.. thnks for sharing..

  • Ira

    Laveena nice article.. Its truly a wonderful healing ingredient.. one of those ingredients that heals in and out!! without any risk of infections!!!

  • Keertana

    Hi Laveena. Well your article really updates about haldi.. good to read and apply to use.. :)

  • Kusum Singh

    its really very helpful i knew it today, thanks

  • Bod

    Laveena, please can you explain why the article states:

    • Stimulates hair growth by stopping the progression of ageing hair follicles.
    • It also reduced the thinning of the hair.

    Then lower down it states:

    • Hair growth can be reduced by applying turmeric and olive oil to your body or face.

    This is contradictory, how can it do both? Which is right?

  • Charlene Flanders

    I liked the article but am left wanting more. Many of the examples don’t have specific amounts and ingredients but eludes to them. Would love more detailed recipes for the mentioned remedies! Looking forward to hearing more. :)

  • Holly

    Good Post! Thoroughly researched and well written. The article is really helpful and the preparation methods and the ways to use are quite simple and easy. I would try turmeric for dandruff. Helpful post!

  • bharat

    Very informative, thanks

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Heiress, thank you for sharing your experience with us :)

  • frances

    Hi Dee. I had the same problem but Mohammad Abdoo explains that there are 2 different type of turmeric. One for food use that stains and the other for body use that does not stain.
    Regards Frances from sunny South Africa