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Is Turmeric backed by Clinical Research?

Turmeric, often found in your favorite curry recipes, can also be used as a supplement and even included in skincare to provide health and wellness benefits.

Turmeric is a root in the ginger family popular in South Asian dishes, recognizable by its distinct golden yellow color and mild earthy flavor. The root has been used as a traditional remedy in Asian countries for centuries, lauded for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Current Clinical Research

Research has demonstrated the antibacterial and antifungal properties of turmeric, in addition to its abilities to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The effective ingredient in turmeric seems to be curcumin -- a major phenolic compound found in the “golden spice.” Curcumin is particularly effective at reducing the risk for cancers of the skin, colon, and mouth. The compound provides turmeric with most of its anti-inflammatory properties and is effective at reducing the presence of peroxyl and free radicals in the body.


Turmeric has been recommended as a natural treatment for acne, usually in combination with milk or coconut oil to create a topical paste. The solution is then applied to inflammatory lesions on the skin and may decrease redness, swelling, and overall skin irritation.

Turmeric is also used to reduce scarring and reduce the appearance of pores in the skin, due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Note that turmeric may temporarily stain the skin a yellow color, but that this should be remedied easily with an oil-based cleanser or micellar water.


Turmeric is hailed for its ability to provide Gastroprotection when taken as a supplement (usually in capsules, mixed into food, or as a tea.) This may be due to the anti-inflammatory nature of curcumin, a beneficial property to aggravated or diseased gastrointestinal tracts.

Further, there is some evidence that turmeric as a supplement may actually reduce one’s risk for liver disease -- or, provide an effective treatment to those already afflicted. Turmeric is high in fiber and carbohydrates, with few proteins, fats, and no cholesterol. This, and its abundant supply of vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium, make it incredibly useful as a detoxifying agent.

The Verdict

Most experts seem to agree that adding turmeric into your diet or skincare routine will likely provide some benefit, and is unlikely to do any harm in moderation. Turmeric is safe for most people to use-- just be sure to check that you get the herb in its unadulterated form before working it into your cooking, taking it as a supplement, or applying it to your skin. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and may even reduce your risk for certain cancers. So, why not give the “golden spice” a try with something like this turmeric Sunshine latte?

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