Turmeric, commonly known as ‘haldi’ in India, is a spice derived from the roots of the curcuma longa plant. Being native to South Asia, this spice has been used in Indian cuisines from centuries. The turmeric plant is a rhizomatous, perennial plant belonging to the ginger family. The rhizomes are boiled, dried and ground to make turmeric powder. This powder is deep orange-yellow in colour and has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter and slightly peppery taste and a mustardy smell due to the presence of a substance called curcumin. It is most commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian cuisines. Apart from consumption, it is used for dyeing and imparting colour to mustard condiments.
This spice has formed a part of the Indian culture and tradition since times immemorial and is considered as an herbal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties. It is often used in the rituals, particularly the ‘haldi’ ceremony of Indian weddings, where a paste of turmeric is applied to the bride and groom’s body as part of the marriage preparations. Being a natural cosmetic, it is used to beautify their skin. Curcumin, on the other hand, can treat an array of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses. Being the most widely used spice, it is often referred to as the ‘Indian saffron’.
Benefits Of Turmeric For Skin:
Turmeric has been used as a beauty product for centuries. It is an inexpensive and natural way of treating several skin problems and getting a flawless skin. It comes with a range of benefits for the skin.
Turmeric is effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties that fight pimples and breakouts to provide a youthful glow to your skin. Turmeric face mask not only helps to clear acne scars and inflammation, but also reduces the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands. You can prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and sandalwood powder and adding lemon juice to the mixture. Apply it on your face for 10 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. For acne scars, apply a mixture of turmeric and plain water on the marks for 15 minutes.
Turmeric is beneficial for oily skin as it regulates the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Sandalwood acts as an astringent and orange juice, being a source of vitamin C, helps clear the blemishes. For oily skin, make a paste by mixing 1 ½ tablespoons of sandalwood powder and a pinch of ground turmeric with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and apply it on your face. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
If you have dry skin, you can make a face mask by combining 1 egg white, 2 drops of olive oil, fresh lemon juice and rose water and a pinch of turmeric. This can be applied to all dry areas such as the face, neck, elbows and knees. Allow it to dry completely and then wash off with warm water.
Turmeric, in combination with other ingredients, is effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. You can prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and rice powder with raw milk and tomato juice and apply it on your face and neck for 30 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. This will reduce wrinkles as well as brighten your skin. If you have dark circles, you can add a pinch of turmeric to 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and apply it around your eyes for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. This is effective in eliminating wrinkles as well as dark circles.
Being an excellent exfoliating agent, turmeric can help eliminate the signs of aging. You can make a paste by mixing besan (gram flour) and turmeric powder in equal proportions with water. This paste can also be prepared in raw milk or even yoghurt. Apply it evenly on your body and allow it to dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water and scrub your face gently in a circular motion.
Turmeric can help lighten stretch marks. For this purpose, apply a mixture of besan (gram flour) and turmeric with yoghurt/raw milk/ water on the stretch marks.