Turmeric has been used to treat inflammatory skin conditions like Eczema, but the question is turmeric good for our skin? It contains the compound curcumin, which has shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What is turmeric?
Commonly used in Asian food, turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is mainly used as the main spice in curry. It has a bitter taste and can be used to flavour many things such as butters and cheeses. The root of turmeric is known to be used to make medicine. The compound curcumin is yellow coloured, which can be used to colour foods and cosmetics.
What can turmeric do?
Turmeric can be used for a number of conditions, most notably for pain and inflammation. It can be used for other conditions such as;
- hay fever
- high cholesterol
- liver disease
Turmeric has been used for other conditions with no good scientific evidence to support the use, such as heartburn, inflammatory bowel disease and stress.
Turmeric and Eczema Studies
There are many studies to determine whether turmeric is able to treat Eczema. Despite the spice been used as a natural treatment for skin conditions, there is very little research on the relationship between the two.
A 2016 review of 18 studies that involved curcumin for treating Eczema both topically and orally found early evidence to support the matter. There is the need for more studies, as researchers could not determine the dosage, efficacy, and mechanism of action.
A study of 150 Eczema sufferers used a turmeric containing cream for 4 weeks. It resulted in nearly 30% decrease in skin scaling and a 32% decrease in itchiness. Despite the positive results, the cream also contained other anti-inflammatory herbs, meaning that it cannot be concluded that the turmeric alone relieved the Eczema symptoms.
Can we use Turmeric?
Should we use turmeric for Eczema? The research is still far too limited to give an answer. A study needs to show significant improves in Eczema symptoms using turmeric alone. Most studies used a topical cream containing turmeric but many other herbs and spices.
Turmeric in Products
Many companies use turmeric as an ingredient in their cosmetic products. Applying turmeric-containing products allows for adequate absorption of curcumin. Despite the benefits of these products with turmeric, the formulas have specifically formulated for enhanced absorption. This does not mean applying pure turmeric will have the effects.
Should I use Turmeric for Eczema?
Turmeric has a lot of potential health benefits but it does not have clear links with Eczema. It has been used for centuries in Asian culture for herbal medicine. Products containing turmeric are formulated to be used safely. Not that excessive turmeric intake can include skin rashes and other conditions.
To get the best possible advice, consult a dermatologist or doctor and ask for their guidance.