The traditional use of turmeric was in India as an antiseptic. It has been in very wide use by women for skin care, particularly to discourage facial hair and acne. Turmeric is also well known as a domestic spice around the world. It is found in abundant in southern parts of India.
Description of Turmeric leaf essential oil:
Turmeric is a perennial plant with roots or tubers about 1 metre in height. Rhizome thick much-branched, large leaves, golden yellow. It is a deep orange on the inside and has roots about 2 feet long. Inflorescene cylindrical arising, from the leaves on a scape of yellow flowers and greenish or whitish brats with pink tips. Turmeric is also called ’Indian saffron’ because of its brilliant yellow color and Indian turmeric is considered the best in the world.
Spicy, Earthy, Warm-woody
Yellow to slightly yellow green
Turmeric leaf oil has various chemical compounds that include phellandrene, limonene, zingiberene, curcumene, turmerone, turmerone, turmerone and cineole.
: Turmeric oil is extracted by the steam distillation of roots and rhizome.
The properties are aphrodisiac, analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumoral, bactericidal, diuretic, hypotensive, insecticidal, laxative, rubefacient and digestive stimulant. Turmeric is seen as an excellent natural antibiotic, while at the same time it strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora. It is a good anti-bacterial for chronically weak or ill. It not only purifies the blood, but also warms it and stimulates formation of new blood tissue. Turmeric gives the energy of the divine mother and grants prosperity. It is effective for cleansing the chakras (nadi-shodhana), purifying the channels of the subtle body. It helps stretch the ligaments and is, therefore, good for the practice of hatha yoga. Turmeric promotes proper metabolism in the body, correcting both excesses and deficiencies. It is bitter, slightly pungent and a good blood purifier, and works as a tonic to aid digestion and relieve congestion. It has a soothing action on respiratory ailments such as cough and asthma. It also is antiarthritic and acts as a natural anti-bacterial. Turmeric may be added to high-protein food to assist digestion and prevent the formation of gas.
Turmeric leaf essential oil is viewed as a strong relaxant and balancer. It also has historical applications as an antiseptic and for skin care use against acne and facial hair in women. It provides aid to the nervous fatigue, relieves physical and mental depression. It removes liver obstruction, dropsy, jaundice, externally used for ulcers and inflammation. Turmeric is used in number of important uses as it contains a variety of bioactive substances called curcuminoids
. The most active component is curcumin, an orange-yellow volatile oil that includes three curcuminoids, Ã¢â‚â€turmerone, atlantone and zingiberone. Research shows that turmeric and its curcuminoids have a number of beneficial properties:
- It act as a good antioxidant , comparing well with vitamin C, vitamin E and superoxide dismutase.
- It is good anti-inflammatory that is comparable to steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs.
- It has anticancerous properties affecting all the steps of cancer formation: initiation, promotion and progression.
- It protects the cardiovascular system by lowering serum cholesterol and inhibiting platelet aggregation.
- It protects the liver by several mechanisms thereby curing jaundice and other liver disorders.
- It is helpful in vitro and in vivo studies which shows that curcuminoids can help with HIV in a number of ways, including acting as biological response modifiers, resulting in significant increases in CD-4 and CD-8 counts.
Curcuminoids have considerable anti-inflammatory activity due to their ability to inhibit prostglandin inhibition. Curcuminoids have also been shown to inhibit nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that converts L-arginine to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is implicated in inflammation and cancer, the therapeutic properties of curcumin make it an invaluable preventive constituent. Turmeric is a potent antioxidant against the superoxide radical as well as other free-radicals. Turmeric paste mixed with a little lime and saltpetre and applied hot is a popular application to sprains, bruises, wounds, and inflammatory troubles of the joints. In small-pox and chickenpox a coating of turmeric powder or thin paste is applied to facilitate the process of scabbing and decoction of turmeric is used in combating germs.
Turmeric has a great role in flavorings for food additives. It is used to give golden color to foods such as curries, mustards, mayonnaise, pickles and sauces. It is sometimes substituted for Saffron. Its chief use is in the manufacture of curry powders. It is also used as an adulterant of mustard and a substitute for it and forms one of the major ingredients for spices and condiments. Tincture of Turmeric is used as a colouring agent in food flavors. Turmeric is used in number of products for enhancing the taste and aroma especially in making different chutneys. Chutney retains a strong fruit flavor, enhanced with honey or molasses, balanced with lime juice or vinegar, as well as with such seasonings containing turmeric. Seasonal chutneys include cranberry, eggplant, figs, gooseberries, peach and tomato. Turmeric Chutney’s has lot of versatility that adds to its appeal among professional culinaries. Chutneys are good with fish and grilled/roasted meats.
Dried rhizomes are largely used as spices and it is also used as a composition of Indian pickles and curry powders. The oleoresin of turmeric leaf oil is used for oil-containing products.
The curcumin solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used for water containing products. Turmeric has found application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurts, yellow cakes, biscuits, popcorn-color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatines, direct compression tablets etc. It has been used to colour cheeses, dry mixes, salad dressings, winter butter and margarine.
It is one of the most important colouring materials of India. The leaf oil yield the orange-red dye. It is much used to impart a yellow colour to cloth. In Himalayan region dried roots are used in many religious practices and its powder is used as pithiya (for tilaka).
Turmeric colour also serves as a chemical indicator since it changes its colour on adding acids or alkalies.
Curcuma oil (obtained from turmeric) is an effective mosquito repellant and compares favorably with dimethyl phthalate in its repellant action against mosquitoes. Natural dyes derived from plant extracts are being used in hair colorant products, curcumin from turmeric also used in natural dye produces a range of color from yellow to deep orange. The oleoresin obtained by extraction of tubers of Curcuma longa with volatile solvents and chiefly contains resin and yellow colouring matter known as curcuminoids which is used extensively in fragrance creation in perfumery industry.
Cosmetic and Toiletries :
Turmeric is currently used in the formulation of some sun screens. Turmeric paste is used by some Indian women to keep them free of superfluous hair. Turmeric paste is applied to bride and groom before marriage in some places of India where it is believed turmeric gives glow to skin and keeps some harmful bacteria away from the body. Curcumin is recommended for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Curcumin, as natural phenolics has antioxidant property, an ability to counteract free radical damage by scavenging or neutralizing free radicals built in the human body to prevent the process of aging. Turmeric is a very popular cosmetic ingredient used by women and ranges from many uses especially in skin care and hair care. Traditionally women rub turmeric on their cheeks to produce a natural golden glow, extract of turmeric has been added to creams for use as a colouring agent.
Turmeric improves skin complexion and also reduces hair growth on body.
There are lots of herbal products in the market in which main herb used is turmeric as natural ingredient. These constitute home remedies for skin and hair problems.
Natural cleansers like milk with turmeric oil are effective natural cosmetics in themselves; it brings a healthy glow to the skin and makes them beautiful. They also help to restore or maintain youth by controlling wrinkle and crease formation on the surface of the skin. Turmeric can also benefit skin conditions including: eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Effectual healing properties of turmeric oil have made it accepted ingredient in cosmetics and drugs, as the leaf oil of turmeric and extract can also be used as bio-pesticides and sunscreens.