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Turmeric for Skin

One of the most commonly used spices in many Asian cuisines, turmeric comes from a shrub that grows throughout Asia and Africa. The herb has also been used in folk remedies since ancient times and is most commonly employed in traditional Chinese medicine and in the Indian healing practice of Ayurveda. In these and other healing practices, turmeric is used for many purposes. These include improving the health and beauty of the skin. It has been named as a folk remedy for eczema, skin cancer, poorly healing wounds and other conditions that affect the skin. Scientists have determined that a natural chemical in turmeric called "curcumin" does have some characteristics that could make the herb beneficial for the body. Namely, curcumin shows some ability to fight bacteria, and it helps to reduce inflammation or swelling. Its anti-inflammatory properties have led some researchers to speculate that the herb could be beneficial for many inflammatory conditions. These include those that affect the skin. However, more research is needed to determine if turmeric has any benefits for skin conditions, wounds or skin cancer.

Turmeric Products for Your Skin

If you choose to use turmeric as a natural remedy for your skin, you'll need to find the best product to suit your needs. One option is to choose a cleanser or body lotion that contains the herbal extract and use it as a part of your everyday skin care routine. Another option is to purchase a turmeric essential oil and apply it to your skin diluted in water or mixed with moisturizer. Some women also form a paste using turmeric powder and flour with yogurt or milk. The paste can be left on the face for several minutes and then rinsed off. Before using turmeric topically (on your skin), you should talk to your doctor about the natural remedy. Your doctor can advise you as to whether or not it is safe to use turmeric on your skin to address your concern. Some people take turmeric extract orally (by mouth) in capsules, tablets, gel caps or liquids. When taken orally, turmeric can cause mild stomach side effects and headaches. As an oral supplement, it can interact with medications and herbs that thin the blood or that reduce clotting. Do not use turmeric orally if you are pregnant, nursing, have gallbladder disease or acid reflux disease.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.