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What is Turmeric and what are the benefits

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Have you ever wondered what gives curry the yellow color it has? And most importantly the staining factor that many of us have discovered the hard?


Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a bright yellow spice commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine. It is native to South Asia and is a staple ingredient in many Indian, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisines. Turmeric has a warm, slightly bitter flavor and a distinct earthy aroma. Here's what you can do with turmeric:

  1. Curries: Turmeric is a primary ingredient in curry powder and gives many Indian and Thai curries their characteristic yellow color and flavor. It's used to season a wide range of dishes, from vegetable curries to meat and seafood dishes.

  2. Rice and Grains: Turmeric can be added to rice, quinoa, couscous, or other grains to infuse them with flavor and color. It's often used in dishes like turmeric rice or biryani.

  3. Soups and Stews: Turmeric adds depth and color to soups and stews. It pairs well with ingredients like ginger and garlic in broths, such as in chicken soup or lentil soup.

  4. Smoothies: A pinch of turmeric can be added to smoothies for both flavor and potential health benefits. It pairs well with fruits like mango, pineapple, and banana.

  5. Marinades: Turmeric can be included in marinades for meats, poultry, or tofu. Combining it with other spices like cumin and paprika can create flavorful marinades.

  6. Roasted Vegetables: Toss vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or carrots with a sprinkle of turmeric before roasting to add color and flavor.

  7. Eggs: Scrambled eggs or omelets can be seasoned with a pinch of turmeric for added flavor and a vibrant color.

  8. Tea: Turmeric tea, often referred to as "golden milk" or "turmeric latte," is made by combining turmeric with milk (or milk alternatives) and spices like cinnamon and black pepper. It's known for its potential health benefits.

  9. Salad Dressings: You can create homemade salad dressings by mixing turmeric with olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and other desired seasonings.

  10. Baked Goods: Turmeric can be added to baked goods like bread, muffins, and cookies, providing both flavor and color. It pairs well with spices like cinnamon and ginger.

  11. Pickle and Fermented Foods: Turmeric is used to flavor and color pickles, relishes, and fermented foods like kimchi.

  12. Face Masks: In traditional and natural skincare, turmeric is sometimes used as an ingredient in face masks and treatments for its potential skin-brightening and anti-inflammatory properties.

It's important to note that turmeric has a strong yellow pigment that can stain clothing and surfaces, so handle it with care. Additionally, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is believed to have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, for therapeutic purposes, curcumin supplements are sometimes used to ensure a more concentrated dose. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements for health reasons.


Turmeric masks, often made by mixing turmeric powder with other natural ingredients like honey, yogurt, or milk, are popular in skincare routines due to their potential benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits of using a turmeric mask:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a turmeric mask can help reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling, making it beneficial for individuals with acne, eczema, or rosacea.

  2. Antioxidant Effects: Curcumin is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the skin from free radical damage, which can accelerate the aging process and lead to various skin issues. Regular use of turmeric masks can promote youthful-looking skin.

  3. Acne Treatment: Turmeric's antibacterial properties can help in the treatment of acne. It can inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria, unclog pores, and reduce the appearance of acne scars.

  4. Hyperpigmentation Reduction: Turmeric has been used traditionally to lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Regular application of turmeric masks may help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

  5. Glowing Skin: Turmeric masks are believed to impart a natural glow to the skin. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can improve skin texture and make it appear more radiant and healthy.

  6. Exfoliation: Some turmeric mask recipes include natural exfoliants like oatmeal or chickpea flour. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, promoting a smoother and brighter complexion.

  7. Eczema Relief: For individuals with eczema, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help alleviate symptoms such as itching and redness, providing relief to the affected skin.

  8. Sunburn Soothing: Turmeric has cooling properties that can help soothe sunburned skin. It reduces redness and provides relief from the discomfort associated with sunburn.

  9. Reduction of Fine Lines and Wrinkles: The antioxidant properties of turmeric can help combat the damage caused by free radicals, which contribute to the aging process. Regular use of turmeric masks may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  10. Natural Skin Brightener: Turmeric is known for its skin-brightening properties. Regular application of turmeric masks can help in achieving a naturally brighter complexion.

Important Note: While turmeric masks offer potential benefits, it's crucial to do a patch test before applying any new skincare product to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction. Additionally, turmeric can stain clothing and skin, so be cautious during application and wash off thoroughly. If you have specific skin concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist before using turmeric masks or any new skincare products.

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