Tumeric: Food or Beauty Product?

6 Oct

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Tumeric. I know what you are thinking: curry, curry, curry. And I will say, yes, tumeric is a common and delicious component of curry powder. It gives it the bright, yellowy-orange colour, but is not responsible for curry’s well known flavour and smell– that my dear friends is from cumin, fenugreek, and coriander.

“Tumeric’s almost magical anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and antioxidant properties make it a great ingredient for beauty rituals.”

This tuber looking spice is a relative of the ginger family and is native to India. A few years ago, it started getting popular within health circles as an oral remedy for gastrointestinal inflammation and pulmonory conditions, as well as for cancer prevention (read more about this here). As with most popular health trends, there is always a part of the world that has been using it long before the age of Dr. Oz and the internet. In this case, tumeric has been a cure-all medicine in India for thousands of years.

Tumeric’s almost magical anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and antioxidant properties make it a great ingredient for beauty rituals and many Indian women will attest to this. Tumeric facial masks have been a staple in Indian beauty arsenals for generations; used to fight acne and hyper pigmentation. Tumeric has also been popularly used as an Indian pre-wedding head to-toe body scrub.

Naturally then,  I knew I had to give it a try.

Tumeric Body Scrub

1/2 chickpea flour (a.k.a gram flour commonly found most bulk stores)

11/2 Tbs ground tumeric

5 drops of oil (almond or jojoba work well)

1-2 tsp of water

Mix all ingredients into a paste and gently rub over body using circular motion. Rinse with water – but be warned it makes a bit of a mess in the shower.

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The tumeric face mask uses the simple ingredients of chickpea flour, tumeric, and yogurt

Tumeric Face Mask

1Tbs ground tumeric

1Tbs ground chickpea flour

1Tbs thick yogurt

1-2tsp(s) of water

Mix into a paste, spread on face, let dry for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off, gently using the mask as an exfoliant. Follow up with a moisturizer or face oil.

Now, I must share my experience, because I will not publish anything that I have not tried and do not trust. After reading rave reviews and learning about tumeric’s ancient past, I was excited for the results. As I have shared before, my skin is quite sensitive and prone to reddness. After I spread the paste on my face and rinsed it off after 10-15 minutes, I was quite surprised to see that my skin had turned red and blotchy. Thankfully the redness subsided over night, but I definitely was skeptical after that. What happened??

As I shared before, there are many, many, many people who use tumeric face masks and get glowing results – my husband included (yes, I coerced him into trying the concoction, and he continues to use it!)

This is just a little lesson for myself, and for all of you natural beauties. Just because something may be natural and handmade does not mean it is meant for you. Our skin reacts in different ways, and an ingredient that may be a godsend to one person, my be god’s wrath to another. Always spot test when trying new products and do not believe everything you find on youtube or blogs (yes, I realize I am saying this ON MY BLOG).

I will leave you with that and I want to know, what is your experience with tumeric? Have you had fabulous results? Do you use it orally as a medicinal remedy? In your food? Let me know!

– Seanna

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