Life-changing uses for turmeric

turmeric

BY CAITLIN
CORSETTI AND CARRIE MADORMO, RN, MPH


If you can only use one spice
for the rest of your life, make it turmeric. Its golden, gritty appearance
looks intimidating, but it is a gentle, gentle substance. Turmeric hails from
India and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since 500 BCE. It contains an
insane amount of antioxidants and also contains anti-inflammatory,
antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Some even say it works better than
most over-the-counter medications. Now, we’re not saying that turmeric can
solve every ailment, but early research shows it may be a promising solution to
help with a lot of problems with very few (if any) side effects.
We all know turmeric is a
great spice for cooking, with its warm, fragrant flavor profiles. But it it can
also hold an important place in your beauty routine. With its anti-inflammatory
benefits showing impressive results through both consumption and topical use,
turmeric might become the new health product your can’t live without. Here are
all the uses for the seemingly-magical spice that you need to know about.
Fight inflammation with golden
milk


turmeric golden milk

One of the best ways to
integrate turmeric in your health and beauty routine is to ingest it, which is
why golden milk is one of our favorite beverages. Mix turmeric and honey into
heated coconut or almond milk and enjoy! Not only does it taste yummy, but
studies show that it helps fight inflammation from the inside out. We swear, it
helps us sleep better, too.
It makes a great face mask

turmeric face mask

There are endless face masks
you can make with turmeric, but some of our favorites are simple: turmeric and
honey, or turmeric and plain yogurt. Mix into a paste, apply for 15-20 minutes,
and rinse. Turmeric is among the list of herbs that have shown to have topical
healing properties. Making a facial mask using turmeric can reduce redness and
inflammation, ease blemishes, and prevent wrinkles. Pro tip: don’t leave it on
for too long because it can temporarily tint your skin yellow!
Heal burns with a turmeric
paste


turmeric paste

If you’ve sustained a mild
burn, turmeric can save the day. This study demonstrated significant healing
when curcumin (a compound found in turmeric) was applied to wounds. Make a
paste with turmeric powder and aloe vera gel (without alcohol). Apply to the
burn, let sit, and gently rinse. Repeat as needed.
Use it as a dandruff remedy

turmeric powder

Since turmeric has amazing
anti-inflammatory properties, it’s no surprise that it could ease an irritated
scalp. Whether you’re dealing with dandruff or buildup, a mixture of turmeric
and coconut oil can sooth your scalp issues. Mix up a batch, slather it all
over your head, and leave it on for 1-3 hours. Rinse with warm water and live a
dandruff-free life.
It helps with hair removal

turmeric face mask

If you’re sick of your peach
fuzz or have any unwanted facial hair, turmeric can help you get rid of it.
Indian women swear by combining turmeric, gram flour, and water into a hair
removal paste. When you wash it off, use small circular motions to help remove
the hair.
Turmeric acne spot treatment

acne spot treatment

There is a ton of anecdotal
evidence online that turmeric can work as an acne-fighter, even though there
are studies whose results demonstrate it has no effect. There is even a patent
specifically called “turmeric for treating skin disorders.” 
While we can’t definitively
say whether or not this will work, it seems to be a harmless option to try. If
you spy a nasty zit popping up or if you picked at a blemish, mix a pinch of
turmeric powder with a little water and apply as a spot treatment. Go to bed,
rinse in the morning, and (hopefully) be amazed!
It might help your hangover

turmeric lemon water

A bit of turmeric, mixed with
a few other ingredients, becomes a hangover remedy. One morning after drinking
the night before, a friend bestowed us a turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, and
cayenne pepper shot. And guess what? It helped us bounce back and cured our
nausea. There’s no science to back this up, so all we’ve got is anecdotal evidence
from our experience, but it’s worth noting that it’s become a lucrative
business in Japan. Go ahead and give it a… shot. 
Turmeric’s curcumin for
arthritis pain


arthritis pain

Turmeric is not just for face
masks and dandruff shampoo. It is a powerful superfood that could help prevent
and even treat chronic diseases.
Turmeric contains the compound
curcumin, which is responsible for its bright yellow color. This magical little
compound makes up only five percent of turmeric, but may be responsible for all
of its benefits. Studies have found that curcumin is a powerful anti
inflammatory, and that means it can treat a wide variety of diseases.
Because arthritis symptoms
come from inflamed joints, curcumin could help. By helping to control the
inflammation in arthritis, curcumin could relieve some of the pain and prevent
further damage. If you have been suffering from worsening arthritis symptoms,
talk with your doctor about incorporating a turmeric extract into your regimen.

Regular turmeric to improve your
memory


memory

You know that moment when you
walk into the store and suddenly forget everything you need? You didn’t write
it down, because you only needed a couple things, but what were they again?
Turmeric could help prevent moments like this.
Recent studies have found that
taking a regular dose of turmeric can improve memory. On an even more exciting
note, it may even protect brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease! More research
is needed, but scientists believe that taking turmeric can help to prevent
inflammation of the nerve cells, keeping them healthy. Turmeric is also an
antioxidant, which prevents our cells from mutating into diseases like
Alzheimer’s or cancer. In fact in India, where eating turmeric is common, there
is a lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. So whip up some curry tonight for
a better memory tomorrow!
Prevent ulcerative colitis
relapses


turmeric powder

Ulcerative colitis is a
chronic condition with no known cure. It causes inflammation of the colon,
which leads to a whole host of issues for patients. Fortunately,
anti-inflammatory turmeric is coming to the rescue. Studies have found that
patients with ulcerative colitis who took turmeric everyday were significantly
less likely to relapse. Other treatments for ulcerative colitis include
powerful medications and surgery, so throwing a little yellow powder into your
cooking sounds like a good plan.
An immune system boost

cold and flu

When everyone in your office
starts coughing this winter, don’t worry. Just reach for the turmeric. The
curcumin in turmeric has been shown to help stimulate our immune cells, helping
us fend off disease. Start swapping out your morning coffee for some steaming
turmeric milk.
Curcumin has also been shown
to prevent the other cells in our body from changing or mutating. This could be
helpful for those with allergies, because allergies are simply our immune
systems reacting to something in our environment.
Protect your eye health

eye drops

Taking turmeric everyday may
protect our eyes as well. The eye disease uveitis describes a condition where
the iris of your eye is inflamed. Ouch! Because the curcumin in turmeric
prevents inflammation, it has shown promising results in treating this
condition. Taking turmeric may even be as effective as steroids, the typical
treatment for uveitis. Because medications like steroids come with a long list
of possible side effects, well-tolerated turmeric may be just what the doctor
ordered.
Prevent heartburn

heartburn

Heartburn is a bummer. It’s
incredibly uncomfortable and seems to be caused or at least exacerbated by some
of our favorite treats like coffee and spicy nachos. Fortunately, turmeric
could help relieve some of those heartburn symptoms.
“The potent compounds in
turmeric also relieve the underlying issues of acid and bile overproduction,
thereby promoting benefits to the body instead of painful conditions and
helping to produce good bacteria, minimize bad bacteria, and improve the
colon’s ability to absorb beneficial nutrients,” Author of Turmeric for
Health Britt Brandon told Reader’s Digest.
Chronically taking medication
for heartburn has been linked to some serious side effects like developing
osteoporosis, so turmeric sounds like a more appealing alternative.
Protect your heart

heart health

It seems turmeric can do just
about anything — it can even protect you from a dangerous heart attack! A study
in the American Journal of Cardiology looked at the effects of turmeric on
heart disease. Study participants who were in the hospital for a bypass
procedure were given either a curcumin supplement or placebo pill. These
patients were already at risk for a heart attack, and researchers found that 30
percent of the patients in the placebo group suffered a heart attack in the
hospital. Of the curcumin group, only 13 percent had a heart attack. Turmeric
cut their risk for heart attack in half!
You can brew up some turmeric
milk or even take a super-concentrated turmeric extract. Talk with your doctor
about incorporating turmeric into your everyday routine.
Lower your diabetes risk

diabetes check

A recent study found that
taking curcumin in turmeric everyday may help patients with prediabetes from
actually being diagnosed with diabetes later on. Patients with prediabetes have
some abnormal lab findings and are basically on their way to coming down with
diabetes unless they make some major changes. In addition to diet and lifestyle
changes, adding a daily turmeric supplement may be helpful.
“Because of its benefits
and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention
therapy for the prediabetes population,” researcher Somlak Chuengsamarn
told Reuters.
More research is needed, so
it’s always important to talk with your doctor before starting a new daily
regimen. “This looks promising, but there are still a lot of
questions,” Certified Diabetes Educator Constance Brown-Riggs told
Reuters. “If I was talking to a patient about this, I’d say concentrate on
eating healthy and overall lifestyle.”





SOURCE: THE LIST
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.