Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, which is a popular herb used in South Asian cooking, is a primary ingredient of curry powder and prepared mustard. This distinct yellow spice is also an herbal remedy. The Skin Therapy Letter reports that its oil contains soothing and healing properties and curcumin, the yellow pigment in tumeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory. Turmeric has both external and internal uses and there are many ways to reap the benefits of this herbal remedy at home.
Make a turmeric paste to heal mild skin inflammation, scrapes and lesions. Add ground turmeric powder to water and mix to form a uniform paste. Apply the paste onto the skin with a clean cotton swab or tongue depressor to cover the affected area. Cover the paste with a cotton bandage or strips to protect the area and prevent the turmeric paste from being removed. Leave on and repeat as necessary.
Treat fungal infections on the skin or toenails with an anti-fungal turmeric poultice. Soak strips of cotton with a paste made with turmeric and water and apply to the infected area. Leave on and cover with clean cotton to help the poultice remain in place. Also add turmeric powder to a warm foot bath and soak feet to cleanse and treat fungus growth.
Dissolve turmeric powder in a glass of water or milk to make a herbal remedy drink to soothe stomach inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Use warm water or milk for a more even texture of the turmeric tonic. Drink as needed for internal treatment.
Make a cleansing facial scrub for acne, blocked pores and other minor skin ailments by mixing a small amount of turmeric powder with your daily skin cleanser. Apply to the face with gentle, circular scrubbing motions to exfoliate and deep cleanse. Rinse immediately with warm water to avoid staining the skin yellow.
Try the turmeric paste on a small area of skin before using it as a remedy, as recommended by Natural Alternative Remedy.com. Leave the paste on for at least 30 minutes and wait 24 hours to ensure there are no adverse reactions. However, note the turmeric will temporarily stain the skin a yellow color. Apply the test patch in a discreet spot.
Add turmeric to stews, soups and sauces for added immune boosting health effects. Also try adding a pinch of turmeric to fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Do not consume turmeric if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the National Institutes of Health reports that it may stimulate the uterus. Avoid turmeric if you have gallbladder issues or gastro-esophageal reflux disease, as it could exacerbate these conditions. Turmeric also thins the blood so do not take if you are on blood thinners or planning to have surgery within two weeks.