Turmeric: The Spice of the Beauty & Supplement World
Turmeric is a fine, bright-yellow spice that been used in Indian culture for thousands of years for both its healing properties and cosmetic benefits. It is available as a spice, has been included as a potent ingredient in numerous dietary supplements, and is now one of the trendiest, new ingredients in beauty products.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has been used in numerous clinical trials, showing its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant. Because of this, many companies – both dietary and cosmetic – include Turmeric (or curcumin) in their formulas.
Turmeric for Skin
Here are two face mask ideas using turmeric, from Glamour Magazine.
Turmeric works wonders to turn dull-looking complexions healthy and glowy. There are many variations of the face mask online, but they usually contain the same base: 2 tbsps of flour (regular or rice), 1 tsp turmeric, 3 tbsps milk and a few drops of lemon juice or honey. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add more milk if you prefer a smoother application and exfoliation. (Use skimmed or no-fat milk if you have oily skin).
If you suffer from acne or occasional breakouts, turmeric might be able to help. While its antioxidants slow down cell damage, its anti-inflammatory properties can calm inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Use the same recipe as above, but change the milk for natural yogurt. You can also add 2 tsps of sandalwood –its oil is commonly used to fight acne as well.
Turmeric (Curcumin) in Dietary Supplements
Inflammation helps the body fight off foreign invaders and helps to repair damage. Curcumin, or turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant that can effectively scavenge oxygen and nitrogen-free radicals that would otherwise destroy our cells and accelerate the aging process.†
Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, numerous studies have shown its benefit on arthritis and other joint issues. Yet, the active ingredients in Turmeric, collectively known as Curcuminoids, are notoriously difficult for us to absorb, meaning we need to swallow large amounts to achieve less than stellar results. This has all changed with the introduction of Bio-Curcumin®; Curcumin is the ingredient in the plant. Bio-Curcumin® is a technological breakthrough improving the absorption of Curcumin significantly, with studies showing 7 to 8 time’s greater bioavailability. Human clinical trials also show that Bio-Curcumin® lasts much longer in our body.†
Curcumin has been found to increase brain levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, BDNF. Neurons are capable of forming new connections, even after early childhood. BDNF is one of the main drivers of this process. Without new neurons and BDNF, our bodies would most likely develop degenerative processes in the brain.†
According to a study published in the the Journal of Clinical Immunology, turmeric’s curcumin can boost your immune system by combating bacteria, virus and microbes; combating the body’s histamine responses (the cause of allergic reactions); improving hormonal balance and block the inflammation that can result in itchy eyes and clogged sinuses.†
Turmeric’s antioxidant effect on blood vessels can help prevent blood clots, improve blood circulation and reduce cholesterol – all extremely beneficial to the body’s overall cardiac function.†
The orange root can also be highly beneficial for managing the symptoms of diabetes, as regular intake can prevent spikes in insulin levels and its anti-inflammatory properties can help suppress glucose levels in your blood.†