Turmeric essential oil has been getting a lot of attention due to its numerous benefits. Some even claim that is the most beneficial of all the essential oils. Research has proven these benefits as well. To know more about the benefits this essential oil provides, it is first essential to learn where it comes from and how it is produced.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is scientifically named Curcuma longa and is family with the more common spice — Ginger. This is noticeable with their similar tuberous appearance and segmented skin. But it is also noticeable that Turmeric appears more pigmented and orange.
Turmeric is native to the regions of South Asia. This is because the plant only grows and thrives in the region’s environment and temperature. In the region of China, Turmeric has many medicinal uses. However, in the regions of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Bangladesh, Turmeric is most famous as the main curry spice.
Turmeric gives off a distinctly bitter taste and a strong smell. The plant was actually first used as a dye before a spice. Until now, Turmeric is still used to color and flavor mustard, cheese, and butter.
The plant consists of Curcumin. This is said to be the most useful and beneficial of its components. Several studies have proven the effectiveness of the said component. Other than Curcumin, other compounds found in Turmeric is assumed to be of medicinal use as well.
Brief History of Turmeric used in Medicine
Turmeric alone has been used in a lot of traditional medicine spanning from different parts of Asia. The practice of Ayurveda in India, for instance, relies most of its traditional medicine in Turmeric. These treatments range from anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and digestive disorders. Other than that, women also use the plant for skin care and cosmetics.
The Chinese also has a lot of use for Turmeric. Mostly for abdominal pain and digestive problems. Meanwhile, those who practice Unani believe Turmeric has effects on blood circulation. Another traditional medicinal practice by the Indians is Siddha. They too made use of the medicinal benefits of Turmeric.
Benefits of Turmeric Oil
Turmeric oil is produced by distillation and extraction of the oil from the Turmeric root. Those who use this method usually do this for commercial purposes. On the other hand, many have been successful in performing a do it yourself Turmeric oil extraction. A lot of instructions can easily be found and followed online.
Turmeric essential oil is known to fight existing diseases. All these has its roots from traditional medicine of some regions in Asia. Eventually, research has been able to prove some of these as well. Here is a list of diseases Turmeric oil has known positive effects on.
1. Colon Cancer
One fundamental component of Turmeric extracted in its essential oil, as mentioned, is Curcumin. This certain component has been found to effective in fighting colon cancer in animal models. This research was conducted in 2013 by the Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture at Kyoto University, Japan.
The results showed that the Curcumin combined with another component found in Turmeric, turmerone, were successful in eliminating any kind of tumor formation in the colons of the animal models.This is also proven in a test done to humans who have shown positive results towards the certain component as their tumors shrunk and became stable.
These studies conducted may be few and some may only focus on animal models as of now but this is a promising outcome for those who are going through the disease. More importantly, this discovery might lead to further and faster research of its development.
Aside from its possible anti-cancer effects, studies have also been very keen in the possibility that Turmeric has anti-seizure effects on human. The same component is responsible for this discovery, Curcumin. Curcumin is said to have neuroprotective and antioxidant properties in it. Its unique chemical composition also allows it to be absorbed by the blood and brain easily.
With these characteristics, it is highly likely that it can cure epilepsy and other similar diseases. In fact, this has already been tested on animal models as well. The results were seen to be positive and very promising. Animals were induced with seizures both chemically and electrically and they showed positively responsive to the chemical.
Using Turmeric as a cure for Arthritis actually has its roots in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Doctors have actually been recommending the plant not only for treating Arthritis but as well as other joint problems.
In a published study by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine back in 2009, Turmeric was able to improve the situation and ease the pain of patients as much as Ibuprofen does to them. The plant and its fundamental chemical component are seen safe to be taken daily so this does not pose any future risks. However, of course, it still needs to be of moderate dose.
4. Breast Cancer
Another type of cancer that is responsive to Turmeric’s Curcumin is breast cancer. It is has been showed that the component helps in decreasing RANKL tumor cells. This is exactly the type of cell that is responsible for breast cancer.
What happens with breast cancer is it spreads throughout the body through what commonly is known as Metastasis. A breast cancer that is active and aggressive in doing this has shown high amounts of RANKL tumor cells. This is what Curcumin targets and gets rid of.
It might be a long way to target the tumor exactly and a lot more research has to be done in order to achieve this. However, this is definitely a step forward in finding a cure for breast cancer.
Leukemia is another disease which Curcumin is seen to be very effective. Specifically, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. There were already clinical trials conducted, some even spanning for 2.5 years. So far, improvements are exhibited and no side effects are seen.
Green tea is also seen as a cure for leukemia with its component extract epigallocatechin 3 gallate. When this is combined with Curcumin, it is assumed that results will be much significant and more effective. However, each can be taken on its own as well. Further studies are recommended between the two as it is seen to be highly effective.
Turmeric and its Curcumin component are not only helpful in fighting existing diseases but also in preventing ones that you might be prone to. There are a lot of factors responsible for being prone to a disease, however if you think you need supplements for prevention of certain diseases, you might want to consider using turmeric oil.
1. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
It is a known fact that cultures who use Turmeric spice in their food often have older populations than those who do not. This is also combined with their great and healthy cognitive skills even with their old age. This outstanding difference is credited through their love for curry whose main spice is Turmeric.
The British Journal of Nutrition conducted a trial and published a study showing that Curcumin was effective in blocking “rogue proteins”, specifically beta amyloid. This protein is the one responsible for destroying your neurons by clumping them together.
A conducted trial lasted for a period of 12 months over 90 participants. Half took a placebo pill while the other half took one that contains Curcumin. The results showed that the half that took the placebo pill showed a decline in cognitive skills than those who took the one with Curcumin. This just goes to show that Turmeric does prevent neurological conditions and eventual failure.
2. Liver Problems
The liver helps in detoxifying our body and if it’s compromised a huge part of your body system will be affected. To be able to maintain its healthy state and prevent it from future failures, it is said that Turmeric has exactly the right component for this. Curcumin is said to be hepatoprotective. Simply put, it protects the liver.
Together with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Curcumin helps in reversing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is when the liver eventually fails in functioning because of the loss of liver cells. Other liver injuries and failures are also found to be reversed by the component including one that is induced by alcohol intake.
As of the moment, these studies are still rare and needs further research and more establishment. Many researchers are pushing for further development of Curcumin.
Diabetes is also affected by Cucurmin. The component was tested for trial both for those who have the disease and for those who are described as “pre-diabetic.” Results showed and faired positively for both. But most positively for those who are still in prevention of the disease.
In a period of 9 months, human trial participants who have pre-diabetes were given Curcumin. It turned out that their chances of developing the disease lessened. It also showed that it was able to improve insulin production in the pancreas. But, taking the component does not only benefit those with pre-diabetes but as well those who have none but want to avoid it completely.
This is also because people who develop diabetes first develop liver failure. And as mentioned, Turmeric is very effective in fighting liver problems. This then means that it is as effective in fighting Diabetes.
4. Immune System
All these diseases would not be prevented or treated if Turmeric does not affect your immune system. Fact is, the immune system is the first of your bodily functions that Curcumin benefits.
This is because Curcumin is found to have antibody responses. It fires up your immune system in other words.
This is the reason why Turmeric is great for a handful of diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. More than those mentioned and often overlooked is Turmeric’s great ability to prevent the common cold. The plant’s anti-inflammatory property helps a lot when you suffer from nasal congestion due to a common cold.
Hair and Skin
The benefits of Turmeric and its crucial component, Curcumin, does not end with preventing and treating illnesses. Turmeric also has benefits for beauty as it always has from its roots of traditional medicine. Here are just some of the few benefits of Turmeric that are used and practice up until now. Now with research backed behind them.
1. Hair Loss
Turmeric is said to cure alopecia or commonly known as hair loss. Specifically, hair loss that comes from a deficiency in vitamin B. This type of hair loss is due to the body having an autoimmune condition. And as mentioned, the immune system is where Turmeric is most beneficial and effective.
In a study done by doctors in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, aromatherapy was conducted to human trials who are suffering from alopecia. The research turned out positively for two participants. One was able to achieve growth in facial hair and one was able to completely grow locks of hair.
The process behind this is due to the component “tricking” the immune system that the hair follicles are destroyed. This then signals them to allow hair growth. It is seen that the effect does not only work on scalp hair but as well as other parts of the skin, even bare ones.
2. Skin Irritation
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Turmeric also works great for treating various kinds of skin irritations. These include acne, eczema, scabies, psoriasis and other forms of skin allergies. This has also been proven to be effective when taken either orally or topically.
A study involving humans were conducted to be able to prove this and majority of the participants who suffer from these skin diseases were able to show positive results. There are significant improvements seen in their certain irritations that were brought upon by taking Curcumin.
Turmeric does not only heal certain skin irritations, it also promises to reverse the signs of aging more specifically the prominent facial wrinkles and age spots. Although of course, aging is not preventable, Turmeric is able to help in reducing its prominence and maintain your healthy and youthful glow.
This is due to the Curcumins antioxidant properties. This property has an activity that is similar to that of Vitamin C and E. Two vitamins that are most linked to maintaining a healthy and youthful look. This process involves the participation of cellular responses which then affects the skin’s repair elements.
However, aside from the external benefits Curcumin does against aging, it is also a fact given that Curcumin has anti aging effects on your internal processes. This is proven by the number of medicinal and health benefits the component provides.
Using Turmeric Oil and Recipes
Turmeric oil can easily be bought in essential oil boutiques, health stores, and drugstores. A little bottle is very inexpensive and can be used for all of the mentioned benefits. However, if you prefer making the oil by yourself, it is also very easy to do so. There are a handful of recipes that can be followed on the internet.
Doing your own Turmeric essential oil varies for how you will use it. If it’s for aromatherapy, you can directly inhale the product out of the bottle or diffuse a few drops of it. For topical ointments and other external use, it can be used in a way you would typically use a massage oil.
A common recipe for a turmeric massage oil is a few drops of the essential oil combined with an equal amount of carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. This can then be directly applied to external areas of the skin.
Using Turmeric oil for internal use is very critical and safety should be prioritized. First, purchase your essential oil from legitimate and high quality brands. A drop of the essential oil is most likely enough to be mixed with a cup of water, a teaspoon of honey, shakes, smoothies, or other liquid food you prefer to take.
Other options for using the essential oil is in the form of a face mask, muscle rub, or herbal tea.
Precautions with using Turmeric Oil
Turmeric oil has seen to have a handful of benefits due to the strong and concentrated chemical properties found in its composition. Due to this, too much of its can also provide various side effects. Using this, just as using any health products, comes with a great precaution.
In general, Turmeric oil and its other forms are found safe. After all, it’s been used in culinary and medicine for a long time now. There are, however, a number of cases in which turmeric oil has caused some side effects. All this come with causes and each of these will be understood and explained to you.
1. Pregnant and Breastfeeding
Taking any form of medications and health supplements are not recommended if you are pregnant and breastfeeding. The same goes for taking turmeric essential oil. Even if the product is natural and organic.
It is only safe to take when it is in the food. This is because the concentration and amount of its chemical component is not extracted yet and is only mild and low in amount. However, medicinally, it is not advised to do so. Doing so might cause uterus stimulation and even menstruation that poses great risks for your pregnancy.
2. Allergic Reactions
Turmeric might be able to help with skin allergies but at the same time, it can promote and trigger allergies of its own as well. Some people are found to be allergic to Curcumin and develop skin allergies both from internal and external use of the product.
If allergies occur while you are using the essential oil, immediately consult your doctor as you might be allergic to the plant and the product itself. If you are allergic to yellow food coloring, it is best to avoid using the product completely as you are most likely allergic to it as well.
This is one of the common problems people encounter when using the product. Most especially in the form of supplements. It is believed that the higher the dose of Curcumin taken the risk for diarrhea also increases.
This is because the component Curcumin is not easily absorbed by those who are fairly new to using it. As it passes through the intestines, it might cause reactions and disturbance to your organs.
If you have encountered this certain side effect when using Turmeric. Follow the usual steps in treating diarrhea and take turmeric in small doses as your body eases into it and gets used to its foreign components.
4. Kidney Stones
A more serious effect and risk of too much intake of Turmeric and Curcumin is the potential development of kidney stones. A component found in Turmeric is oxalates and it causes kidney stones in the body.
What these oxalates do is bind to the calcium in your body and together they form calcium oxalate. This certain component is insoluble and eventually leads to kidney stones. A study was able to prove this when urine of human trials showed higher amounts of oxalates excreted compared to cinnamon.
If you suffer from kidney disease, have any medical history of it, or have someone in your blood family suffering through it, it is best advised to completely avoid any internal use of Turmeric.
Turmeric is dubbed as the most beneficial essential oil there is and there is no wonder why it deserves to be so. Turmeric essential oil proves to be beneficial in many aspects of your health, both internal and external. Even in beauty, turmeric is seen to have its own spotlight. Most of all, the plant provides great and tasty meals.
Traditional medicine of the Indians and the Chinese have been firm in the effectiveness of the said plant and in today’s time, it is really a breakthrough that research has been able to prove and back these claims as well.
However, as with most medicinal supplements and medicines, Turmeric should be taken with precaution as well. With its strong compound and components, there is no doubt that complications may come in the way with neglect on its use.