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Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal immunomodulatory, wound healing1,2

Important Chemical Components:

Curcuminoids (curcumin, the key constituent of which is diferuloylmethane, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, cyclocurcumin); volatile oils (tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberone); heptanoids; turmerin, sugars, proteins, and resins3–8

Origin Classification:

This ingredient is natural. Organic forms exist. Curcumin can be isolated from Curcuma longa or synthesized in the laboratory.9

Personal Care Category:

Anti-inflammatory, anticancer

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:



Native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, is best known as a spice and coloring agent used primarily in Asian cuisine, particularly curry, and in prepared mustard, margarine, as well as carbonated and other beverages.10 Turmeric is one of the best researched spices for pharmacologic application.11 It is used as a preservative, aromatic, cosmetic ingredient, and in some traditional Indian communities as a topical burn treatment.12 In fact, turmeric has long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent in various traditional medical systems (Table 69-1). Specifically, turmeric has been deployed in Ayurvedic medicine to treat sprains and edema due to injury.11,13–15 It has also been used topically, orally, and by inhalation for anti-inflammatory action.16 The rhizome of the curcuma plant is the portion used for medicinal purposes.14

TABLE 69-1Pros and Cons of Turmeric

In Samoa, the powdered rhizome of C. longa is sprinkled on newborn infants to mend the belly button after severing the umbilical cord; to prevent diaper rash; to maintain skin softness and resilience; and to treat, as a paste or poultice, skin ulcers and eruptions.14 The wide array of modern dermatologic uses of turmeric and its principal active ingredient curcumin also includes prevention or treatment of psoriasis, acne, wounds, burns, eczema, photodamage, and photoaging.17 The turmeric rhizome is used topically in Thailand to treat wounds, insect bites, ringworm, and bleeding.11,18 It is also a popular medicinal plant in Nepal, and one of the top two medicinal plants for use in skin ailments and cosmetics in the northeastern Indian state of Assam.19,20 Notably, curcumin is incorporated into cosmetics, particularly for those used ...

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