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.
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- Skin Therapy Letter: Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Skin Disease
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ayurvedic Medicine: An Introduction
- Earth Clinic: Turmeric Cures
- Boston.com: Why does turmeric create such stubborn stains, and how can they be removed?
- Natural Alternative Remedy: Using Turmeric For Acne
- National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus: Turmeric
Noreen Kassem is a hospital doctor and a medical writer. Her articles have been featured in "Women's Health," "Nutrition News," "Check Up" and "Alive Magazine." Kassem also covers travel, books, fitness, nutrition, cooking and green living.