Turmeric for Skin Whitening ?

In this beauty-conscious world we live in, many people, young women especially, try to do everything they can to improve their looks. A lot want whiter skin, and many people prefer using natural ways and means in achieving that. Luckily, using turmeric for skin whitening is a very effective method.

All of us are born with different skin tones. That’s a fact. This is because of the melanin presence in the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin. If there’s more melanin in the skin, the darker the skin tone will be.

However, even if you are naturally light-skinned, outside factors can trigger an increase in melanin production. Some of these factors include too much sun exposure, pollution, an unhealthy diet, stress, hectic lifestyles, and many others.

To counter the darkening of the skin, there are many companies out there that offer many products that guarantee whiter skin in weeks. Unfortunately, most of these products use harmful chemicals that do more harm than good. For example, in the long run, these chemicals might lead to cancer and other debilitating diseases. That’s why using natural products, like turmeric for skin whitening, is safer and can work as effectively.

How It Works: Turmeric for Skin Whitening

So how does turmeric work its magic in making the skin look more youthful and beautiful? Read on to find out.

Reduces Melanin Production

Turmeric has a powerful compound called curcumin. This is responsible for most, if not all, of the wonderful benefits turmeric can provide the entire human body. With regard to skin whitening, curcumin effectively resolves hyperpigmentation as well as melanin production.

When outside factors cause an increase in melanin production, the ACTH hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. This hormone supports MC1R, and this is one of the proteins that stimulate melanin production.

What curcumin in  turmeric does is it restricts the ACTH hormone. This then reduces hyperpigmentation and thus lightens the skin.

Fights Against Aging

Turmeric possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help counteract skin aging. According to several studies, face products that make use of turmeric  show significant results in minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, crow’s feet, laugh lines, and changes in skin pigment.

Protects Against Sun Damage

Another way to use turmeric for skin whitening is it can help with damage from the sun. Too much exposure to UVB causes wrinkles, skin thickening, larger blood vessels, changes in skin pigmentation, and loss of elasticity. Luckily, turmeric effectively protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet B radiation.

Sun radiation increases the production of matrix metalloproteinase-2. This is an enzyme that lessens the collagen content between the outer and middle layer of the skin. Turmeric inhibits the increase of MMP-2, which then prevents damage to skin from the sun.

Remedies Oily Skin

Turmeric contains phytosterols and fatty acids, which reduces oil production in the skin. One study shows that after just four weeks of treatment with turmeric, which was applied topically twice a day, there was a significant decrease in skin oils. And in over a period of three months, this turmeric cream reduced facial oil by nearly 25 percent.

Treats Many Skin Conditions

The curcumin in turmeric has antibacterial properties, which deals with the bacteria that causes acne. Curcumin is also effective in reducing the symptoms of many chronic skin diseases. These include rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and many more.

Turmeric for Skin Whitening Recipes

There are numerous ways you can use turmeric to improve your skin. You can make homemade pastes, masks, etc. When you do, keep in mind that turmeric stains easily. As much as possible, try not to get it on your clothes or anywhere else. And when you apply the mixture to your face, make sure to wear old clothes. Also, use an old towel to dry your face after doing the treatment.

Turmeric and Milk

 

Milk has cleansing abilities that remove dead skin cells, dirt, and many other impurities from the skin. Turmeric joined with milk is great in treating acne, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

Procedure:

  1. Combine ½ teaspoon of turmeric with 1 teaspoon of milk.
  2. With your fingers or a facial brush, apply an even layer all over the skin.
  3. Let the mixture rest for about 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, rinse well with lukewarm water.
  5. If there are areas that are still yellow, dip a clean cotton ball in pure milk  and gently rub over the affected areas. Do this for a few minutes, then rinse off.
  6. It’s best to do this treatment 3 times a week to get the results you want.

Turmeric and Lemon

This is a great treatment of turmeric for skin whitening. Lemon has skin-bleaching properties that will naturally lighten your skin. In addition, it also helps make the skin look more youthful and treats oily skin.

Procedure:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice with 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  2. Apply an even layer on the skin and leave the mix on for about 20 minutes.
  3. Afterward, rinse the paste off with water, making sure to use gentle circular motions.
  4. Do this process twice a week, ideally before going to bed.

Turmeric and Honey

Honey locks in moisture in the skin cells, as well as treats acne and relieves sunburns. This treatment of both honey and turmeric is great for people with normal and combination skin.

Procedure:

  1. Blend 2 teaspoons of honey with ¼ teaspoon turmeric.
  2. Next, spread an even layer all over your skin.
  3. Leave the mixture on for about 30 minutes.
  4. Afterward, rinse everything off with lukewarm water.
  5. Make sure to do this treatment three times a week.

Turmeric and Cucumber

Cucumber possesses astringent qualities, which help slow down the aging process. Using turmeric and cucumber juice together is perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Procedure:

  1. Combine 2 teaspoons of cucumber juice and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric in a small bowl.
  2. Spread an even coat all over the skin and gently massage for about 5 minutes.
  3. Leave the mask on for about 1 hour.
  4. When the time is up, rinse off completely with lukewarm water.
  5. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a week to get naturally radiant and glowing skin.

Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss and Arthritis

Turmeric tea is quite a popular brew that not only soothes, but also improves a person’s life. Turmeric is a superfood that contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Its most powerful compound is curcumin and is probably the main reason how turmeric tea is able to do so much for the human body.

Because of its bright shade of orange-yellow, many people refer to turmeric tea as liquid gold. It contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibactarial, and anti-viral properties.

Turmeric Tea Nutrition Content

So what exactly is in turmeric tea that can help with a lot of issues in the human body? First, it has a high content of dietary fiber. It also provides the body with healthy carbohydrates, healthy fat, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, energy, and protein. However, it does not contain any amount of cholesterol.

For its vitamin content, it has vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, as well as folates, niacin, and riboflavin. It has electrolytes potassium and sodium. It also has minerals iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium.

Out of all these nutrients, the most potent one is curcumin, which is a polyphenolic compound. This superfood drink also contains beneficial essential oils, like cineole, p-cymene, turmerone, and curcumene.

The use of this amazing superfood has been around for a very long time. Ancient traditional Chinese medicine as well as Ayurvedic medicine avail of turmeric tea’s benefits. It’s been known to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-flatulent, and carminative properties.

Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss

We all don’t want to be overweight or obese, right? Gaining too much weight can lead to many other deadly complications. These include hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and many more.

That’s why there are plenty of ways and means to make sure to prevent these. And one of the most effective ways to fight against overweight and obesity is turmeric tea.

Prevents Fat Accumulation

There are plenty of ways turmeric can help win making sure you don’t gain too much fat. For one, it’s very effective in preventing fat accumulation. The major fat accumulation area in the body is the white adipose tissue. When new blood cells form in the white adipose tissues, this can lead to weight gain. The curcumin in turmeric prevents these unwanted fats from staying. Studies also show that curcumin decreases the size of adipose tissue, thus lowering fat accumulation.

Helps Diets Achieve Weight Loss

Having the right kind of diet can indeed help a person lose weight. Paired with the right diet plan, regularly taking in turmeric tea assists diet-induced weight loss.

The dietary fibers in turmeric play a part here. Also, the carbohydrates found in turmeric are not absorbed by the body.

According to a study, a number of overweight individuals were put on diets. Some were given turmeric tea while some were not.  Those who took in turmeric showed a significant increase in fat reduction. Their body mass index (BMI) also declined.

Possesses Thermogenic Properties

Thermogenesis is a metabolic process that burns off calories in the body and transforms it to energy. This particular process promotes healthy weight loss.

Turmeric contains compounds that increase the body’s metabolic rate. The more fat you burn, the more unwanted weight will be gone.

Turmeric Tea for Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions that exist. It is described as having swollen and painful joints. The usual symptoms of this disease are muscle aches and pains, fatigue, loss of flexibility, stiffness of joints, and inability to use certain limbs.

The most common forms of arthritis are gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and infectious arthritis. This condition can affect children as well, not just adults.

Incorporating turmeric tea into your daily diet can help ease, soothe, and get rid of arthritis. Check below for the numerous ways it can help you deal with this disease.

Helps with Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the primary symptoms of arthritis. This will then cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. Fortunately, the curcumin in turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits the action of pro-inflammatory enzymes. It helps control inflammation in arthritis and prevents it from spreading. Also, it protects joints and synovial fluid from inflammation.

Helps Protect Bones

In osteoarthritis, the degradation of bone tissues is observed. Curcumin protects certain bone cells from inflammation. It protects bones and joints from erosion in arthritis and also prevents the thickening of synovial fluid, which lubricates joints.

Curcumin also slows down the progression of osteoarthritis by preventing the loss of bone tissue. It also reduces the activity of the bone cells that absorb bone tissue. Also, it maintains the function of cells that lay down bone tissue.

Prevents the Progression of Arthritis

No matter what type of arthritis you have, drinking turmeric tea regularly will eventually help halt its progress. There are certain cells in the body that are immune to cell death. They go by the name of fibroblasts. They are on the lining of joints, and they ensure smooth movements and flexibility.

However, due to inflammation, these cells start to grow and resist cell death. This contributes to inflammation and the destruction of joints.

Fortunately, the curcumin in turmeric targets these cells specifically. Curcumin prevents them from producing inflammatory agents. Eventually, curcumin is able to destroy these so-called indestructible fibroblasts, thus preventing the advancement of arthritis.

Soothes Pain Brought On by Arthritis

The daily intake of turmeric tea can help in reducing the tenderness and swelling of joints. Curcumin also inhibits the activity of certain enzymes that bring about inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.

There are many studies that show  turmeric, specifically its compound curcumin, work as better painkillers and are more effective than certain drugs in treating arthritis. And unlike prescription drugs, they do not have any side effects.

Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.

Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time… it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1).

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high… it’s around 3%, by weight (2).

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you need to take an extractthat contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (3).

I personally prefer to swallow a few whole peppercorns along with my curcumin supplement, in order to enhance absorption.

Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

Bottom Line: Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Turmeric in Wooden Bowl

Inflammation is incredibly important.

It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.

Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us.

Although acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it is chronic (long-term) and inappropriately deployed against the body’s own tissues.

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (456).

Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (7).

Curcumin actually targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level.

Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (89).

Without getting into the gory details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway here is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammationat the molecular level (101112).

In several studies, its potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs… except without the side effects (1314).

Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body

Turmeric in Bowl and Spoon

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.

It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.

Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.

The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.

Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (1516).

But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (171819).

In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Bottom Line: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases

Young Indian Woman Holding a Plate With Turmeric

Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren’t able to divide and multiply after early childhood.

However, it is now known that this does happen.

The neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain, they can also multiply and increase in number.

One of the main drivers of this process is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain (20).

Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone. This includes depression and Alzheimer’s disease (2122).

Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF (2324).

By doing this, it may be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function (25).

There is also the possibility that it could help improve memory and make you smarter. Makes sense given its effects on BDNF levels, but this definitely needs to be tested in human controlled trials (26).

Bottom Line: Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.

5. Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Large Wooden Spoon Filled With Turmeric Powder

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world (27).

It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens.

It turns out that heart disease is incredibly complicated and there are various things that contribute to it.

Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28).

Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.

It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29).

Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study shows that is as effective as exercise, another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (3031).

But curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which are also important in heart disease.

In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.

The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32).

Bottom Line: Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.

Turmeric Roots and a Jar of Turmeric Powder

There are many different forms of cancer, but they do have several commonalities, some of which appear to be affected by curcumin supplementation (33).

Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34).

Studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells (35).

Multiple studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals (3637).

Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like pepper) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be tested properly.

However, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system (like colorectal cancer).

In one study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40% (38).

Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and this is being intensively studied as we speak.

Bottom Line: Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7. Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

A Pile of Fresh Turmeric Roots

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia.

Unfortunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet.

Therefore, preventing it from showing up in the first place is of utmost importance.

There may be good news on the horizon, because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (39).

It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. As we know, curcumin has beneficial effects on both (40).

But one key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques (41).

Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be studied properly.

Bottom Line: Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation

A Plate Full of Turmeric Powder

Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries.

There are several different types, but most involve some sort of inflammation in the joints.

Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, it makes sense that it could help with arthritis. Several studies show this to be true.

In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug (42).

Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms (4344).

Bottom Line: Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression

Turmeric Roots and Powder

Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression.

In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups (45).

One group took prozac, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both prozac and curcumin.

After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to prozac. The group that took both prozac and curcumin fared best.

According to this (small) study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.

Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory.

Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes (46).

There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (4748).

Bottom Line: A study in 60 depressed patients showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression.

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases

If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s… then this would have obvious benefits for longevity.

For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement (49).

But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in aging, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just prevention of disease (50).

11. Anything Else?

If you want to buy a turmeric/curcumin supplement, then you can get it online or from various health food and supplement stores.

I recommend that you find one with bioperine (another name for piperine), which is the substance that enhances absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

Without this substance, most of the curcumin just passes through your digestive tract.