Herb Spotlight: Turmeric

Turmeric — known scientifically as Curcuma longa and as haridrā (हरिद्रा) in Sanskrit — is an ancient and widely used cooking spice and Ayurvedic herb which has a multitude of beneficial herbal properties and medicinal uses.

The rhizomes of the plant are either used fresh or dried. When dried, it is typically then ground into Turmeric powder, which is its most common form in all applications. Turmeric has an earthy, pungent aroma and flavor and is very popular in Indian and other South Asian cooking traditions. It is somewhat similar to Ginger (though not as sharp) which is not surprising considering they are close relatives.

Turmeric is also used as a natural dye, imparting a beautiful golden yellow color to fabrics.

Scientific research has identified curcumin to be one of the most potent and active ingredients in Turmeric, with a number of beneficial health properties. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant.

Ayurvedic Properties of Turmeric

  • Turmeric is classified in Ayurveda as having bitter and pungent tastes
  • It has a warming potency — uṣṇa-vīrya (उष्ण-वीर्य)
  • Turmeric is one of the rare herbs which are balancing to all three doshas (vāta-pitta-kapha) of the body.
  • It has natural anti-inflammatory properties — śothajit (शोथजित्) — and is traditionally used to treat arthritis and pain and swelling in the joints.
  • Containing antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage, it is considered to be an anti-aging herb — vayas-sthāpana (वयस्-स्थापन)
  • It is also used traditionally to boost the immune system and to help in the treatment of diabetes and certain liver conditions.

Turmeric in Ayurvedic Skin Care

Due to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric has a long, distinguished tradition in Ayurvedic skin care. It is soothing to damaged and inflamed skin, and thus helps in problem skin conditions like acne or sunburn. Turmeric also evens out skin tone and improves the skin’s complexion — deha-varṇa (देहवर्ण). In Indian home beauty care routines, Turmeric powder is often combined with Sandalwood powder and other ingredients like honey, lemon juice or rose water and made into a paste or mask for improving the complexion of the face.

Auromère Body Care Products with Turmeric

Considering its long tradition and many beneficial properties in Ayurvedic skin care, Turmeric is included in many of Auromère’s skin care formulations, often combining synergistically with Sandalwood. Enjoy the following Auromère body care and beauty products and get the most out of the wonderful healing properties of Turmeric: