The benefits of tumeric in skin care

If you are a “foodie” or just someone interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle, I am sure you have heard of the benefits of turmeric.  A great deal of research has gone into this Asian spice and it’s primary beneficial constituent, curcumin.

Curcumin has been shown clinically to lower the levels of two enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.  Curcumin is a phenol, and a phenol is any of a large number and variety of chemical products similar in structure to alcohol.

We are careful when choosing ingredients to incorporate in our soaps.  Some wonderful ingredients are boosted online beyond reasonable expectation and consumers go wild in the hope that it will be the cure-all they seek.  Turmeric is a spice with a large Ayurveda medicine following and Amazon is replete with bottles of turmeric supplements with cure-all promises abounding.

From a skin-care perspective, research is showing turmeric has value in reducing inflammation, with several reports showing success in treating the skin condition called lichen planus, eczema and psoriasis lesions, ring-worm and irritated skin from radiation treatments.

Turmeric spice can be irritating to the skin, so we create a spice infusion in oil, leaving the granules behind.  This provides a very dark colored turmeric root oil for use in the soap. Turmeric can stain the skin when used full strength, so once a batch is made, we test the soap for color fastness.  The soap will appear on the website after curing which will be the end of August, 2017.

Turmeric legitimately has wonderful benefits and many, many people are staunch believers given the results they experienced.  However, as with anything, moderation is key.  Turmeric does have some documented drawbacks when it comes to ingesting it.  None of these apply to skin care, but we like our blog  to be complete when discussing herbs, tinctures and spices.

  • Ingestion of Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Curcumin affects bile production. It should not be used if you have gallstones or a duct obstruction.
  • Ingestion of Turmeric can impede blood clotting, similar to blood thinning medications
  • The curcumin present in Turmeric has been found to lower blood sugar in some people, so diabetics should be careful with use or consumption.
  • Iron deficient people should use caution when using Turmeric. It can amplify the deficiency

 

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse,One AMS Circle, Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

Phan TT, See P, Lee ST, Chan SY. Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing. J Trauma 2001;51:927-931.

Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol.2007;27:19-35.

Shehzad A, Rehman G, Lee YS. Curcumin in inflammatory diseases. Biofactors. 2013; 39:69-77.

White B, Judkins DZ. Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions? J Fam Pract. 2011;60:155-6. Review.