Turmeric has a long history.It has been used for many years both as a medicine,and as a spice Turmeric essential oil is a natural beneficial agent and its effects are extremely impressive.It is not surprising if we consider that turmeric contains at least 20 antibiotic molecules, 14 molecules known for their preventive action on cancer, 12 anti-tumor molecules, 12 anti-inflammatory and that has at least 10 different types of antioxidants together with vitamins, phenols and other alkaloids.
Just like turmeric powder, the essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-allergic and anti-worm properties. It is also a powerful relaxing and rebalancing agent. In Ayurvedic medicine, for example, this energizing herb is used to compensate for the imbalances of Kapha type individuals.
Let’s find out below how these beneficial components positively affect health.
9 reasons to use turmeric essential oil
The benefits of turmeric are truly amazing and extend from being an anti-tumor food to treating depression.Let’s see what are the most effective ways in which turmeric essential oil can improve our health or that of someone we care about.
- Support for arthritis and joint pain
Turmeric is traditionally used in Indian and Chinese Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis since the active components of turmeric block cytokines and inflammatory enzymes. For this reason turmeric essential oil is considered one of the best essential oils for arthritis treatment worldwide.
Studies show turmeric’s ability to help reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One of them evaluates the anti-arthritic effects of turmeric essential oil and shows that administered orally with a dosage corresponding to 5000mg daily in humans, it has a positive and modest anti-inflammatory effect on the joints of the tested animals. ( 1 )
- Improves liver health
Turmeric is well known in the world of solo medicine for its ability to help improve liver functions. The liver is the vital organ that most detoxifies our body and therefore its health conditions that of the rest of the body. Studies have shown that turmeric is hepatoprotective, partly due to its anti-inflammatory activity. Some specific research on methotrexate (an antimetabolite widely used in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases) and on the toxicity caused to the liver by it, demonstrate how turmeric acts as a protector of the liver, working to detoxify and purify it beforehand. The fact that turmeric can protect the liver from such a powerful chemical shows how incredible it is as a natural support for this essential organ. (2 )
Furthermore, animal studies have shown that the antioxidant enzymes present in the blood and serum of treated subjects are increased in number following the administration of turmeric oil. Turmeric essential oil has also proved effective on antioxidant enzymes in the liver tissues of rats for 30 days. ( 3 ) The combination of these results explains the reason why turmeric oil is considered useful in the treatment and prevention of liver diseases.
- Prevention of neurological disorders
Studies have shown that turmerone, one of the major bioactive components of turmeric oil, inhibits the activation of microglia. Microglia are a type of cells distributed in the brain and spinal cord that take care of the immune defense in the central nervous system. The activation of these cells is a sign of a brain disease, so the fact that turmeric essential oil contains a component capable of stopping the dangerous activation of these cells is of great help in the prevention and treatment of brain pathologies. ( 4 )
Another animal study showed that the aromatic turmerone both in vitro and in vivo causes a rapid increase in the number of neural stem cells. It is therefore believed that it is a promising and effective natural method to support the regeneration necessary for improving the neurological function of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injury and stroke patients.
- Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety
Turmeric essential oil is considered a strong relaxing and rebalancing and studies show that it can effectively combat two more than common mood disorders: depression and anxiety. Promotes mood and positive feelings.
A double-blind study of 56 patients with depressive disorders shows that the integration of BCM-95 (turmeric extract) not only reduces the symptoms of depression but also works as an anxiolytic agent when administered for a period of at least eight weeks. The BCM-95 is the result of the synergistic combination of curcumin and turmeric essential oil, with the absence of synthetic additives. (5)
- Ally against breast cancer
Research shows that the aromatic turmerone found in turmeric essential oil inhibits the undesired enzyme activity of MMP-9 (a class of enzymes involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrix) and COX-2 (an enzyme present in the body only during inflammatory processes) in breast cancer cancer cells. Furthermore, Turmerone significantly inhibits the formation, invasion and migration of TPAs in cancer cells. TPAs are tumor markers, proteins synthesized by different types of tumors such as breast cancer that could indicate cell proliferation. ( 6 )
- Improves flu symptoms
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric prove useful even in the simplest cases of nasal congestion that generally accompany the common cold. Add a few drops of turmeric essential oil to a diffuser or a bowl of warm water and breathe in the vapors. It will quickly relieve the feeling of a stuffy nose and fight the germs that are the primary cause of your illness.
- Possible reduction of leukemic cells
There is a study that evaluates the effects of aromatic turmerone isolated from turmeric on the DNA of human cells affected by leukemia. Research shows that turmerone induces a selective programmed death of specific leukemic cell lines. Unfortunately, we do not have the same positive effects on human cancer cells in stomach tumors, so the use of turmerone remains promising for the moment only in the search for a natural method to defeat leukemia. ( 7
8.Potential treatment for epilepsy
The anticonvulsant properties of turmeric oil and its sesquiterpenes (aromatic turmerone, alpha and beta turmerone and alpha-atlantone) can be observed both in zebra fish and in mice that have been chemically induced seizures. Even more recent research has shown the same anticonvulsant properties in mice with acute seizures. Turmerone is also able to regulate the pattern of expression of two genes related to epilepsy in zebrafish.
Origins, history and chemical composition
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Zingiberacee family that reaches a maximum height of about one meter. Its flowers are yellow and the roots, the part of greatest commercial interest, are deep yellow or orange with a strong aromatic component.
A native of southern India and Indonesia, turmeric is grown on the mainland and on the other islands of the Indian Ocean. The essential oil of turmeric derives from the tuberous rhizomes of the plant and its buried roots. Typically it is obtained from the distillation of the roots using Co2 or steam using a solvent called Hexane. The result is an essential oil of yellow color and with an interesting fragrance that is described as sweet and woody with spicy notes.
The predominant components of turmeric essential oil are aromatic turmerone (25.3%), alpha-turmerone (18.3%) and curlone (12.5%). However, there are secondary components such as caryophyllene (2.26%), eucalyptol (1.60%) and alpha-fellandrene (0.42%). As you have learned each of these components is of help in the battle against a whole series of more or less serious diseases.
To date, turmeric is widely cultivated in the tropics where it stands out by name in different cultures and countries. The name by which we know it instead comes from the Latin “terra merita” and refers to the color of the powder that resembles a mineral pigment.
Uses of turmeric essential oil
Turmeric essential oil is available in specialized shops or online at an absolutely permissive cost. On the market you find rather small bottles, but don’t let the size fool you as the oil is very powerful and only one drop, lasts a long time and is effective.
- If you produce aromatherapy products at home, know that turmeric blends well with other essential oils such as ginger, cinnamon, red orange, grapefruit, ylang ylang, vanilla and cardamom.
- To relieve stress (and as an aromatherapy): 2-3 drops of essential turmeric oil in a diffuser.
- To relieve inflammation or pain: create a massage oil with jojoba or coconut oil and 5 drops of essential turmeric oil and apply topically where necessary.
- For internal use: use only the highest quality essential oil and dilute 1 drop to a glass of water, a spoonful of honey or a smoothie.
- Be sure to keep the essential oil in a place away from light and heat.
Contraindications and warnings
Like all other essential oils, turmeric oil should never be used undiluted, on hypersensitive areas such as the eyes and mucous membranes. Do not assimilate turmeric oil internally without the supervision of a doctor or an experienced professional. Before applying any essential oil on your skin it would be advisable to test it on a small flap to check its reaction and then use a dilution in carrier oil (jojoba or coconut ) anyway .
For those who are pregnant, nursing or under medical care we recommend a medical consultation before taking any essential oil.
Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
Turmeric stains skin and clothes, both in the form of powder and oil. Its color is yellow and could ruin clothing and make your skin appear yellow. It may be necessary to wash the stained skin area several times before the color fades. Rub the area with coconut oil or lemon juice . It could help you get rid of the color faster.Also remember that all essential oils could make the skin more sensitive to UV rays, so we recommend caution.