Turmeric: The Holy Grail of… Everything?
What’s so Special About Turmeric?
From turmeric lattes or “golden milk” to turmeric infused makeup products, it's evident that turmeric has carved its place in the western market. Every market. You can find turmeric products in your food, health, beauty, even pet products, but what’s the rave over this bright yellow coloured powder? The answer to this question begins with another question.
What even is turmeric?
This yellow powder is derived from the intensely pigmented root of the flowering plant, turmeric. It’s native to Southeast Asia, hence, why you see so much turmeric in indian cuisine. The naturally-occurring compound, curcumin, is what makes this botanical so special.
Most of turmeric’s countless benefits are because of this compound.
One of the well known benefits of turmeric and curcumin is its anti-inflammatory properties. The arthritis foundation has performed multiple studies in which turmeric has reduced inflammation. These anti inflammatory properties can extend to skincare, reducing redness and soothing irritated skin.
With its power to kill bacteria, turmeric can aid in the healing of infections and support strong immunity. It’s antibacterial properties can help reduce acne and clear skin.
Turmeric is high in antioxidants. Extended sun exposure without protection causes premature wrinkles, and in severe cases, skin cancer.
Antioxidants are perfect for reversing UV damage, pretty much making turmeric a fountain of youth for your skin.
The benefits of turmeric can even extend to not only your physical, but mental health. A study done in 2017 found that curcumin reduced depression symptoms. While a multitude of studies have been conducted, research on this compound and its effect on depression has started recently, and more time is needed to come to a certain conclusion. However, depression is linked to decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Why do Indians use Turmeric Cream as Part of Wedding Rituals?
It’s benefits have been known for so long that turmeric has been an integral part of religious indian culture, based off of the knowledge of it’s benefits. If you’ve ever attended an indian wedding, part of the countless rituals is one where a yellow paste is applied to the face and arms of the soon-to-be bride and groom. Originating from turmeric’s numerous beneficial properties that promotes good health and radiant beauty, turmeric paste is applied to signify purification and cleansing. It’s applied to the bride and groom as a way to symbolize a clean slate, and the fresh start of a unification.
To tap into turmerics hidden benefits, you can add this spice to your cooking, take supplements, or apply an infused cream.