How often do you sift through your spice cabinet for turmeric? Are you wondering, right now, why you would even keep it on hand? There are more reasons than just using it for cooking. Turmeric is jam packed with incredibly healthy nutrients and can be used in many different ways. Whether it’s used homeopathically to help certain ailments or as a natural beauty remedy – that’s right beauty remedy – we could all benefit from having a jar handy.
Turmeric is ancient – and not in the way B or L might say so-and-so is ancient. Asian cultures have been reaping its benefits for thousands of years. Consider their track record for healthy and youthful looks!
It’s pretty similar to ginger in that it comes from a root and is usually found as a very fine powder. Turmeric gives most curries and mustards that radiant yellow glow, but more importantly, it is an extremely powerful nutritional supplement. There are countless compounds of turmeric, but the superstar one in terms of health benefits is called curcumin, which heavily impacts the busy little growth receptors hard at work in your cells.
There are many practical ways that the characteristics of turmeric can impact our daily lives. For starters, turmeric is amazing for helping with inflammation. As we grow a bit older, ailments like arthritis, osteoporosis (pretty much any issue ending in –itis or –osis) become a genuine concern. Just about all of these medical issues involve some kind of inflammation, and nobody likes living with creaky joints.
Turmeric has been proven by TONS of scientific studies to help with inflammation when taken regularly. Many of our aches and pains are associated with inflamed nodes or muscles, so having a natural pain reliever is highly preferable to taking painkillers. It can also help reduce cholesterol, which is super important in living a healthy and fit lifestyle.
A couple of weeks back I posted about natural flu remedies, and after learning more about turmeric, I realize I could have added this wonder spice to that list. When you’re sick, there’s really nothing more soothing than drinking warm liquids, so consider mixing turmeric with some steamed milk and adding cinnamon for a very quick and easy home remedy for flu season. The peppery taste may not necessarily be considered a benefit by some people, but you can simply start by sprinkling a minimal amount and gradually increase it to taste.
Curcumin, the predominant compound in turmeric, can even make you happier as it has been shown to ease depression. Helpful in these deep winter months, right? This spice truly is amazing when it comes to quick and easy homeopathic remedies.
Let’s be honest, we all like to look good, regardless of how busy we may be with playdates, work, laundry, carpooling, and so on and so forth. You can feel good about using turmeric on your skin because it’s not packed with processed who knows what. And instead of (always) shelling out money on pricey cosmetics and skin care routines, you can use turmeric and other ingredients you already have at home to get beautified.
To begin, let’s make it! Simply blend a teaspoon of turmeric, two teaspoons of rice flour (or finely ground oats if you don’t have rice flour), and two tablespoons of fatty greek yogurt in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth in consistency. I made mine an hour or so in advance and let everything get nice and chilled in the fridge. Then, I simply slathered it on my face. As with most masks, leave it on for around 15-20 minutes while you check other tasks off your list and scare your children. When you rinse, scrub your face gently. It may seem like your face is now orange but it does come off, I promise. Be sure to be careful not to splash the tumeric on any clothing and clean up the counter/sink right after.
The results? It gives your face an incredible glow that can be difficult to achieve with many over-the-counter masks. You’re also left with beautifully smooth and soft skin, I didn’t even need moisturizer. And because turmeric helps with inflammation, the mask will also reduce puffiness and can help to banish those pesky wrinkles and fine lines. Fountain of Youth, anyone?
This next beauty benefit will make you smile, literally! Give pricey teeth whitening strips a break and try using turmeric to get those shiny pearly whites we all seek. As with the mask, the spice may dye your toothbrush yellow, but the cost of a new toothbrush pales in comparison to that of a box of whitening strips. And let’s be honest, you probably have a toothbrush or two in reserve for the family anyway.
To get the best results, sprinkle turmeric powder on top of your toothpaste and brush like you normally would. Instead of rinsing right away, leave the mixture in your mouth for up to five minutes so it can work its magic. Rinse your mouth out and be sure to clean off any powder that may have ended up in the corners of your mouth or on the sink. As with any whitening remedy, you probably won’t see drastic results right away, but keep doing it for a week or so and you will definitely see improvements. It can also help ease gum inflammation, which is a major detriment to a healthy and, of course, a pretty smile.
Friends, I’m really excited to start using turmeric more as a natural remedy for health and beauty. It’s now on my official pantry stock list. Thousands of studies back up turmeric’s reputation as a superstar spice and I’m totally buying it. Let’s explore it together – I’d so love to hear about your own experience with it! And hey, stay tuned for an incredible tumeric recipe coming to ALFS next month!