Turmeric has been used for centuries as a spice, coloring agent and as a medicinal remedy for numerous health conditions. A bioactive compound known as Curcumin in turmeric gives the spice its golden yellow color and is responsible for many of its therapeutic properties. Brimming with numerous nutrients and phytochemicals, turmeric is a super food that can improve your overall health and protect you from diseases.
Just like the spice, turmeric essential oil, which is extracted from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant is also packed with numerous health benefitting and medicinal properties. Turmeric oil exhibits anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-microbial effects, which makes it a great remedy for various ailments. More concentrated than turmeric powder, the oil offers a wide range of uses and health benefits.
What is Turmeric Essential Oil?
As the name suggests, turmeric essential oil is obtained from the turmeric plant. It is extracted from the root or rhizome of the plant via the steam distillation or hydro distillation process. Depending on the quality of turmeric and the method used, the constitution, color and the quality of turmeric oil extracted may vary.
With a spicy, earthy and woody aroma, the oil comes loaded with curcumin and tons of different phytochemicals, including zingiberene, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-phellandrene, cineol,eucalyptol, borneol, curcumenol and valeric acid. Analysis shows that turmeric oil may contain 400-500 different kinds of molecules. The medicinal and healing effects of these phytochemicals maketurmeric oil an excellent remedy for boosting general health and well-being.
Turmeric essential oil can be made at home but since it is easily available at inexpensive rates, experts usually recommend buying processed turmeric oil from stores.
Homemade Turmeric Essential Oil
Turmeric oil can be prepared easily at home. All you need is a coarse stone, one or two turmeric roots and a carrier oil like coconut oil. By adjusting the amount of turmeric paste and carrier oil used, you can either increase or decrease the concentration of the oil.
Here’s how you make turmeric oil at home:
- Clean the turmeric root and rub it on the coarse stone with a few drops of water to make a smooth paste. Make sure that you get at least two tablespoons of the paste.
- Take 2 cups of coconut oil in a pan and heat it on a low flame. Once the oil becomes hot, add the turmeric paste to the oil and keep on stirring. Continuously stirring will help prevent the turmeric from settling at the bottom and getting burnt.
- When bubbles start forming in the oil, switch off the heat and allow the oil to cool.
- Once the oil attains room temperature, pour it into an airtight container. Make sure that the oil doesn’t come in to contact with moisture.
Benefits of Turmeric Oil
The health benefits of turmeric oil are truly incredible. Its healing powers can be utilized in improving your overall health as well as in treating and preventing a wide range of health problems. The oil can be applied topically, inhaled or taken orally.
Let’s dive into the numerous health benefits of this magical oil!
- Turmeric Oil for Arthritis and Joint Problems
Feeling stiffness and pain in your joints? It could be due to arthritis, a very common condition characterized by pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced range of movement. It can affect people of all ages, races and gender. There are different types of arthritis, such as degenerative arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis and metabolic arthritis.
When it comes to treating arthritis, the all-natural turmeric oil is found to be very useful. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant properties of the compound curcumin in the oil helps reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation associated with the condition. The active components in turmeric oil provides immense relief from arthritis by blocking the enzymes and cytokines responsible for triggering inflammation.
To get relieve from inflammation, apply a mixture of 4-5 drops of turmeric essential oil and a carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil to the affected area. For best results, repeat two times a day. Adding a few drops of frankincense essential oil to the mixture will enhance the effects of turmeric oil and help reduce the pain associated with arthritis.
- Turmeric Oil for the Skin
In India, turmeric is an age-old remedy for treating various skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, blemishes and more. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of turmeric oil makes it one of the best and most effective skin care ingredients available.
Turmeric oil is an excellent anti-aging solution because it is a rich source of powerful antioxidants that can scavenge the skin-damaging free radicals. Applying the oil on the skin daily not only prevents the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and other aging signs, but also keeps your skin looking soft, smooth, supple and young.
To lighten your skin tone or to get rid of acne and blemishes, mix 2 or 3 drops of turmeric oil with a carrier oil such as argan oil or tamanu oil and apply on the affected area. The oil not only facilitates the drying out of acne, but it also prevents further breakouts.
According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2011, turmeric oil has photoprotective property and is therefore effective in protecting the skin against the harmful effects of the sun. The oil helps increase moisturization of the skin and control the amount of sebum produced. To get relief from redness and irritation caused by sunburn, just apply a mixture of turmeric oil and jojoba oil on the affected area.
- Turmeric Oil for Beautiful Hair
The nutrients in turmeric oil is extremely beneficial for your hair, as it increases blood circulation, stimulates the production of new cells, promotes the healthy growth of hair and prevents hair loss. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial nature of the oil prevents scalp related problems such as dandruff and dryness of the scalp.
Add a few drops of turmeric oil to a carrier oil like coconut oil or neem oil and then massage it onto your scalp. Wash it off after 20 to 25 minutes with a mild shampoo. You can also mix turmeric oil with your regular hair oil and then use it
- Turmeric Oil is a Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent
Many studies have been conducted on the anti-cancer effects of turmeric and the results show that the spice is a promising ingredient in the treatment and prevention of cancer. A great thing about this spice is that it can differentiate between cancer cells and normal healthy cells. So, while it destroys the cancer cells, the healthy cells are left unharmed.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has been found to help prevent several types of cancers, including colon, liver, breast, stomach and lung cancers. This compound works in different ways to fight off cancer, such as inhibiting enzymes that cause unwanted inflammation, inducing tumor suppressing genes, stopping the spreading of cancer from one part of the body to another and starving the cancer cells to death.
- Turmeric Oil Improves Brain and Cognitive Functions
Many of the brain-related disorders such as, dementia, anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s diseases are linked to the deficiency of a hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor or in short BDNF.
According to studies, curcumin has the power to increase the levels of this hormone, making it effective for preventing brain disorders, inhibiting brain cell degeneration and in improving cognitive functions. It has the potential to treat or prevent various age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Inhaling turmeric oil is a great way to improve your memory, concentration and cognitive functions. Studies have shown that a bioactive compound in the oil, called ar-tumerone helps prevent brain diseases and promote the regeneration of healthy nerve cells.
- Turmeric Oil Boosts Your Immunity
Another magical effect of turmeric oil is that it strengthens the natural defenses of the body and helps ward off many diseases. Curcumin in the oil is found to boost the immune response by stimulating the release of bilirubin. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects of the oil helps keep inflammation and various microbial infections under control.
The powerful therapeutic properties of turmeric essential oil are effective in fighting off the symptoms of common cold and flu. Inhaling the vapors of the oil can help relieve cough, nasal congestion and respiratory infections.
You can also add a few drops of turmeric oil to a pot of hot water and then inhale the steam to get relief from phlegm blocked respiratory passages.
- Turmeric Oil for Good Oral Health
When it comes to dental and oral health, turmeric oil plays a major role. The potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects of the oil is helpful in reducing inflammation as well as in curing various teeth and gum related problems such as plaque, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The anti-cancer properties of the oil beneficial in preventing oral cancer.
To improve your dental health, add a few drops of turmeric oil to your toothpaste and brush for 2 minutes. You can also prepare a mouthwash by adding 6 drops of the oil to 2 cups of water. Pour this mouthwash in a bottle and use twice a day.
The amazing benefits of turmeric can be reaped in many ways and using turmeric oil is unquestionably one of them. The above-mentioned benefits are just a few of the many reasons why turmeric oil is a must-have product in your medicine cabinet. The oil is easily available and affordable too. With such a large range of health benefitting properties, turmeric oil is indeed a boon to human health.
Have you tried using turmeric oil? Has it benefitted you? Do share your experience with us in the comments section below!