Turmeric is famous in the preparation of food colors and flavorings and also as an herb that can treat a variety of ailments. The plant has an active chemical known as curcumin that has potent medicinal properties and has been tested in numerous scientific studies. The use of the plant in food and topical applications has many health benefits for your skin and your body.
- Health Benefits of Turmeric in Skin Care -
Treatment of Eczema
Turmeric helps cure many variants of eczema more so, atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis causes skin dryness and itching, which can lead to cuts on the skin. The condition, also called dermatitis, is not contagious and can be caused by stress, irritants, genetic makeup, irritants, and other diseases and is common among children. Turmeric provides relief from rashes, skin irritation, swelling, redness, and itching that is common with most forms of eczema. Use of turmeric on the affected skin in the form of masks, oils, and creams hydrates the skin to help reduce scaling and inflammation.
Protection Against Sun Damage
Application of turmeric on the skin in the form of skin creams provides the skin with protection against UV rays, wrinkling, retention of elasticity, and fades dark spots. Use of turmeric creams and lotions also helps improve the skin’s ability to retain water which helps stay rejuvenated, glowing and radiant. Curcumin blocks COX-2 enzyme from being formed in human skin that is under the exposure of UV radiation. The protein contributes to photo inflammation and can cause cancer.
Turmeric helps regulate the production of melanin. Too high concentrations of melasma, a substance responsible for pigmentation on the chin, cheeks, and forehead makes your skin show age spots. The use of turmeric in topical applications helps block protein activation by inhibiting tyrosinase enzyme, which regulates the amount of melanin produced. Curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric also protects against skin pigmentation resulting from UV radiation. Turmeric creams are also used in skin lightening and have no adverse effects on human health.
Healing of Wounds
Topical turmeric applications such as lotions, ointments, masks, and creams have anti-bacterial properties that are useful in the treatment of wounds by speeding up the healing process, thus reducing the chances of infection from spreading to other parts of the body. Turmeric can be blended with aloe vera to make ointments and creams which are used to soothe skin after sunburns. Turmeric is also useful in treating bruised skin and reducing scars from wounds.
- Health Benefits of Turmeric in Food -
Helps Prevent Psoriasis
The consumption of turmeric in tea, curries, stews, vegetables, and eggs among others helps to control psoriasis. The disease causes the immune system to dysfunction, where the inner skin cells protrude on the surface of the skin producing white colored-patched lesions on the skin especially around the knees, elbows, neck, and scalp. Curcumin inhibits the overproduction of T-lymphocyte autoimmune which causes an increase in PhK protein that causes the disease.
Prevention Against Chronic Inflammation
Rapid short-term inflammation is vital in helping your body stave off foreign invaders and repair damaged cells. However, chronic inflammation can pose serious health risks to your body’s tissues. Curcumin reduces inflammation in two ways. First, the compound can suppress the COX enzyme thus, cutting the transmission of inflammation signals and secondly, inhibiting the body from releasing pro-inflammatory molecules. The mixture provides superior antioxidant properties to those from vitamins C and E since it is not degraded by heat during cooking, thus reducing the damage caused by free radicals which trigger inflammation. Inflammation has been associated with the development of many health conditions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cancer, cardiac arrests, and metabolic syndrome.
Relief From Joint Pain
Cartilage degeneration is among the major causes of joint pain. Turmeric’s curcumin helps retain the bone matrix by inhibiting the enzymes that wear down the cartilage, thus reversing the adverse effect. Chondrocytes are among the cells that form the cartilage. Curcumin helps strengthen chondrocyte activity in the body thus promoting healthy joints. The chemical also provides relief against joint pains due to arthritis and may assist in its reversal.
Curcumin has been found to aid in cancer prevention and treatment. The chemical reduces the spread of the disease into areas yet to be affected, metastasis, the growth of blood vessels into tumors, angiogenesis, and kills cancerous cells. Use of turmeric in foods has been found to help prevent various types of cancers such as colorectal, esophagus, and throat cancers. Daily consumption of turmeric has been show to slow down the development of cancer lesions.
Promoting a Healthy Heart
Consumption of turmeric protects the heart by improving endothelial function, reducing damage caused by free radicals, and inflammation. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant which helps in the prevention of clot formation by reducing the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Curcumin works by relaxing the blood vessels which helps prevent heart attacks. Furthermore, it helps prevent the joining of platelets, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.
Turmeric is also vital in lowering harmful cholesterol levels in the blood vessels. Curcumin enhances the functioning of the liver by triggering an increased production of mRNA which further leads to an increased level of LDL receptors.
Promoting the Alimentary Canal's Health
The consumption of turmeric enhances digestion through the relaxing of the muscles of the digestive tract and pushing food through the alimentary canal. Curcumin helps relieve gas and bloating. The chemical regulates the release of microbiota in the colon to prevent an overreaction from the immune system. It also promotes the regeneration and healing of the colonic crypts (glands found in the colon) following an overgrowth of a hostile organism. Curcumin helps avoid the reuse of worn out cells by the body through the suppression of EGR-1 enzymes.
Turmeric helps protect the stomach lining by inhibiting the production of hostile enzymes and boosting mucous secretion to lubricate the stomach against irritants and gastric acid.
Prevention Against Neurodegenerative Diseases
Consumption of turmeric may help in the maintenance of brain function and preventing conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-protein aggregate, and anti-inflammatory properties which help protect brain cells from oxidant damage. Curcumin inhibits the production of acetylase (HAT) thus limiting the production of mRNA which helps prevent inflammation.
Improvement of Long-Term Cognitive Function
Curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric helps boost brain health by increasing and supporting healthy levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor thus enhancing long-term cognitive function. Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor have been linked to depression Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Curcumin also helps reverse hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance thus lowering the risk of dementia.