Turmeric seems to be in everything that’s considered “healthy” nowadays – protein bars, good ol’ supplements, yoghurt, latte’s, golden milk beverage, salads, curry – added to just any food you can imagine for that zesty + earthy flavor. The list just keeps growing!
Well, the health benefits aren’t too shabby that go along with it!
Did I mention it helps with acne?
So, what’s all the magical hype in the health community about this bright orange, almost ginger like tasting root?
In this post, I’m going to dive into what turmeric can do for you…especially if you’re suffering from breakouts.
I’m also going to share my fave turmeric latte recipe at the end of post! Perfect for those chilly winter nights.
Turmeric (rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant – a mouthful there!) is a bright orange root (usually ground to be a spice; but fresh turmeric looks a lot like ginger) that’s part of the ginger family – that’s why they’re both somewhat similar in taste, but turmeric is a bit more exotic/complex tasting versus ginger that’s just spicy.
It is native to India and Southeast Asia, where its predominantly used in cooking and Ayurveda (ancient, holistic healing of the body).
Many people get confused on the differences between turmeric and curcumin – both are highly prized for health benefits and go hand in hand, so how do these two differentiate?
Curcumin is a substance in turmeric – all turmeric contains curcumin but it only makes up about 3% of its weight.
For an added punch per health benefits, curcumin is taken from the root because it is more potent than turmeric spice or root itself. Its usually then integrated into a supplement form for the higher dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to Dr. Weil’s research:
- Laboratory studies suggest that curcumin acts as a weak phytoestrogen and seems to have cancer-protective effects.
- Lab studies have also shown that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancer.
Health Benefits & Acne
As mentioned previously, turmeric is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory, making it perfect to take in a supplement form (or tea; latte recipe below!) for acne sufferers. Any spice or nutrient rich food/herbal ingredient that has the 2 above mentioned points (antioxidant; anti-inflammatory) will help in alleviating breakouts.
**ground turmeric can be used as a facial mask or spot treat active pimples. My fave way to use this is mix 1 teaspoon ground turmeric with a dollop of raw honey. Spot treat or apply to cleansed skin – wait 15 minutes and rinse for a tighter and cleared complexion.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that this will be “The Be All, End All” remedy – it may be to some, but unfortunately probably not to most.
So, how does it work?
3 major points I’m going to cover…
Balances Blood Sugar Levels
Turmeric treats inflammation internally to help support healthy blood sugar levels and ensure they’re in normal, balanced range.
Eating foods that are higher in glycemic index (GI), which include simple carbs: potatoes, white breads, sweetened + processed cereal, sodas and other drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, corn products, white rice, and sweetened “junk foods” of all kinds — break down rapidly, causing a rush of glucose into the blood stream.
This in turn becomes a problem to those who are acne prone because this creates insulin resistance, which leads to more breakouts because liver has a difficult time processing all those foods that are higher in GI.
Turmeric on the other hand, helps to control GI within the body; however, a balanced diet must still be maintained with eating foods that are lower in glycemic index: sweet potatoes, organic protein, leafy greens, certain legumes (chickpeas, lentils), bananas, apples, nuts, seeds and oats.
Higher Antioxidant Content Keeps Cells Functioning Better
Antioxidants helps in preventing and treating acne by overcoming free radical damage that harms the immune system, warding off inflammation and breakouts.
Antioxidants in turmeric protects the skin by inhibiting external toxins from penetrating the living dermal layer, as they are most intensive in outermost layer of skin where thriving bacteria takes place and creates acne. Read more here on different types of breakouts and how they are formed.
According to Turmeric for Health:
The potent antioxidant content in turmeric is so strong that studies have shown that it provides protection against tumors, cell mutation and even cancer.
Supports Proper Liver Function
This is probably the most important aspect to point out, since liver is responsible for processing + filtering all waste and junk that effects the external part of our being – our skin! This also includes filtering xenoestrogens and excess hormones (high estrogen)– more clarity on this here.
As a side note – Turmeric regulates hormonal imbalances especially in women that can lead to estrogen dominance, irregular periods, and non-other but acne.
Turmeric has the potential to treat various liver problems ranging from fatty liver to liver cirrhosis. That’s pretty powerful stuff!
Once liver is functioning at its optimum rate, acne doesn’t stand a chance to form.
Again, problem is that we’re all exposed to environmental factors and processed foods filled with pesticides + gmo’s on a regular basis; therefore, cleaning up the liver is a must and one of the ways to do so is regular turmeric consumption via supplement form, tea, or adding the spice to your meals. Read up more on the detox side of powerful turmeric here + supplements.
This does not equate to taking or consuming turmeric forever! Just long enough to heal up and detox from inflammation.
Turmeric Vanilla Latte Recipe (aka Golden Milk)
One of my all-time favorite hot beverages for cold winter months! I’ve originally tried a turmeric latte at one of my favorite vegan restaurants a few years ago and since, been perfecting a recipe that just screams “perfection.”
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 oz unsweetened nut milk (almond, coconut)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey; maple syrup; or a few drops of stevia
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan
- Bring to a boil and stir with a whisk or a handheld milk frother
- Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle a few dashes of cinnamon and or cardamom
- Enjoy the taste and health benefits!
Please understand, adult acne will only change due to a lifestyle shift – it’s usually never just one product, one cleanser/cream, one magic pill, etc. However, turmeric is a great start to your health regime because it contains all the health benefits of helping to alleviate acne, but not necessarily curing it. Again, for some individuals it may be all that they need.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried just one thing – hoping and praying that it will be the final thing that would cure my skin.
Turmeric is a great start to incorporating extra dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to one’s diet but must be taken consistently to notice results – with an addition to other lifestyle adjustments that I’ve spoken on this site. Go here, in case you may feel confused on where to start.
Have you tried turmeric? If so, in what form? Share in the comments below!
Sources + References (click link below)