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Turmeric Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
By Dr. Josh Axe
October 31, 2020
Turmeric essential oil has been an important part of traditional herbalism for thousands of years. The perennial herbaceous plant has been used for over 4,000 years because of its amazing health-promoting properties for the skin and whole body.
Turmeric oil is considered to be a strong balancer to the body. In the Ayurvedic tradition, this incredible herbal is meant to support the imbalance of Kapha body type. Traditionally, it was used to help purify the body and promote a thriving system.
Adding turmeric essential oil to your health cabinet provides a warming and soothing oil that can be used in several ways for skin, cooking and more.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The turmeric plant grows to a height of about three feet and has yellow flowers. The root is bright orange with a thin brownish skin. Native to southern India and Indonesia, turmeric is cultivated on the mainland and in the islands of the Indian Ocean.
Turmeric essential oil is derived from the plant's tuberous rhizomes, or underground roots. The essential oil is typically obtained from the turmeric root through CO2 or steam distillation using the solvent hexane. The herb’s oil is yellow or orange in color and has an interesting scent that can be described as sweet and woody with notes of spice.
The most abundant components of turmeric essential oil are approximately: aromatic turmerone (25.3 percent), a-tumerone (18.3 percent) and curlone (12.5 percent). Other constituents include caryophyllene (2.26 percent), eucalyptol (1.60 percent) and a-phellandrene (0.42 percent).
The well-known pigment of turmeric is called curcumin, and it’s considered a primary driver of the herb’s benefits. It also contains turmerones, which are bioactive molecules that contribute to the plant’s benefits and uses. It’s believed that curcumin and tumerones actually work in tandem to promote absorption and overall benefits.
Turmeric essential oil has warming properties and can be used to boost overall comfort. Compounds in turmeric essential oil benefit your health by supporting overall body health, and generally speaking, these benefits.:
Turmeric’s ability to generally support a healthy response to oxidative stress is exactly why it’s been used for thousands of years.
Turmeric is often and generally used for its ability to support a healthy response to inflammation. This is due to turmeric’s active compounds. Turmeric essential oil is often used topically (per directions) for these effects.
Turmeric essential oil can be used aromatically or topically. When using turmeric internally, it’s important to use a high-quality oil that’s USDA-certified organic, and Non-GMO.
Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle routine. Additionally, you should read and follow label directions for use.
Here are some easy ways to use turmeric oil at home:
1. Comfort Muscles and Joints
Create a muscle and joint rub by adding 1-2 drops of turmeric oil to a carrier oil (like coconut oil or jojoba oil) and massage the mixture into areas of pain or tension.
2. Skin Care
Add 1-2 drops of turmeric oils to your natural face wash, serum or face mask.
3. Diffuse At Home
Adding a few drops of turmeric oil to your diffuser can add a warming, earthy and soothing aroma to your home.
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4,000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used in cooking as well as religious ceremonies.
In 1280, Marco Polo described turmeric and was impressed that it exhibited qualities very similar to that of saffron. The plant was called Indian saffron during the Middle Ages because of its orange-yellow color.
Traditionally, turmeric essential oil was used in natural skin care approaches.
Today, turmeric is widely cultivated in the tropics and goes by many different names in various cultures and countries.
Always read label directions. Generally speaking, turmeric essential oil may cause skin sensitivity. If you notice any irritation after using it, discontinue use.
Consult your physician before use, especially if pregnant, nursing, taking medication or if you have a medical condition. Avoid using it close to your eyes, mucous membranes and sensitive skin. You should also keep it out of reach of children.
Want to create your own warming, soothing essential oil blend? Try mixing 1-2 drops of turmeric with equal amounts of these oils:
Clary sage: Clary sage oil has relaxing and soothing properties that work well with the aroma and benefits of turmeric essential oil.
Ginger: Ginger oil can be blended with turmeric oil and applied topically, according to directions.
Ylang ylang: Ylang Ylang oil has a sweet smell that pairs well with turmeric and it has soothing properties.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and the upcoming Ancient Remedies.