Turmeric is a bright orange spice that is often used for flavor and color in food, specifically Asian cuisine. It is part of the ginger family, which gives it a strong, earthy smell. It can be described as somewhat bitter, peppery and potent.
Turmeric can be found in spice aisles, supplement stores, herbal teas and skincare products. It has often been coined by the media as an ingredient that could potentially change lives — but is the hype real?
Allure, one of the nation’s leading beauty hubs for tips, reviews and product recommendations, released a piece listing 19 skincare products that contain turmeric as a spotlight ingredient.
“Studies have shown that curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, can decrease UV damage (it’s a natural antioxidant) and clear up acne (it’s also antibacterial) when applied to skin,” according to Allure.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, turmeric was historically used in traditional Indian and Eastern Asian medical systems. In India, it had been used for “disorders of the skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system.”
It is clear that there seems to be an extensive amount of benefits when it comes to turmeric, and there is a long list of ways in which it can improve the quality of one’s life.
University of Utah’s Health registered dietician nutritionist Anne Pesek Taylor said that researchers have found that curcumin, which is a phytochemical, may be a safe, natural and effective way to help reduce inflammation and prevent or treat disease.
Because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory qualities, it is often sold in various forms to help naturally treat inflammation in areas such as the skin, digestive system and joints. However, turmeric has another huge benefit: it adds that extra pop of flavor to any recipe.
Vanessa Blackburn, a sophomore majoring in health science, cooks a meal containing turmeric almost weekly.
“It adds so much flavor, and it tastes so good that I crave it literally all of the time,” Blackburn said. “My mom learned the recipe from my grandma, and naturally, it got passed down to me. Every time I make it for my friends, they love it, and it’s great because it’s so healthy for you.”
The recipe consists of chicken, rice, celery, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice and, of course, lots of turmeric. Blackburn said she cooks the chicken, then adds in all of the vegetables while cooking the rice in a separate pot.
After mixing all of the chicken, vegetables, and other spices together, such as garlic and salt, she takes turmeric water and pours it over all of it. This creates a nice yellow color and adds that extra burst of flavor.
So, whether taking a daily supplement, drinking hot tea, adding a new spice to your favorite recipe or buying a skincare product, there are plenty of ways to incorporate this star ingredient into a daily routine. With turmeric, the possibilities are endless.