The essential oil of turmeric has several therapeutic benefits. Its use has been widespread in traditional medicine. Although it is extensively used in skincare and hair care, it has properties that are useful for holistic wellbeing as well.
What Is Turmeric Essential Oil?
The warm, woody and spicy fragrance of turmeric essential oil has several medicinal abilities including cleansing (not just the body, but the soul as well), energizing, strengthening, uplifting and clarifying. Turmeric powder has long been used in Indian culinary practices. It is also ingested to treat internal and external wounds and ailments.
However, the ingestion of turmeric essential oils is not recommended. Consult a doctor before using turmeric oil internally. A study performed on January 2009 did evaluate the properties of turmeric. It was published in the American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (1)
It is believed that the use of turmeric plant began almost 4000 years ago. It was used for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Nowadays the turmeric essential oil extracted from the rhizomes of the plant (root stalks) is used for emotional, physical and spiritual benefits.
Turmeric is often thought of as a bright yellow powdered spice that is used as an ingredient in making several dishes. Both the powder and the oil are obtained from the flowering plant Curcuma longa, which belongs to the ginger family of plants. It is a perennial herbaceous plant found in Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Turmeric and its oil have several therapeutic benefits including digestive, anti-cancer, circulatory and anti-inflammatory.
The oil is used as an ingredient in several cosmetic products. It is still used in the Indian traditional medicines of Siddha and Ayurveda. Turmeric powder, called haldi in India, is used in marriage ceremonies. A study evaluated the compounds and the chemical composition of the compounds from the leaves, stems, roots, rhizomes of the turmeric or Curcuma longa plant using Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) methods. The oil contains compounds with benefits for skin and hair
|Name||Turmeric Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Curcuma longa|
|Native to||Southeast Asia and Indian Subcontinent|
|Properties||Anti-inflammatory, immunoprotective, stomachic, cardiopropective, antiseptic, antimicrobial, tonic|
|Main ingredients||Zingiberene, borneol, bisabolene, elemene, valeric acid, sesquiterpenes, curcumin, curzerenone, ar- turmerone, curlone, eucalyptol, caryophyllene|
|Aroma||Warm and spicy|
|Blends well with||Ylang ylang, neroli, lavender, cistus, ginger, Clary sage, frankincense, peitgrain, sandalwood, cardamom, bergamot and Helichrysum essential oils|
|Substitute||Ginger, coriander, fennel or cumin essential oils|
15 Health Benefits of Turmeric Essential Oil
The essential oil of turmeric has several therapeutic benefits that are used for a healthy lifestyle. It can be used as a preventative oil.
1. It has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Research has proven that the presence of the compound alpha-curcumene gives the oil its anti-inflammatory properties. This compound is present in large quantities and is derived from curcumin which is one of the main active ingredients in turmeric and is also responsible for giving the oil its properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of the compounds and the oil soothe the inflammation in the joints caused by arthritis.
It also soothes ailments including gout, muscle pain and soreness, inflammation of skin and scalp, and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The Indian Journal of Pharmacology published a study in 2011 that evaluated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive activities of the turmeric essential oil.
The study concluded that the oil from Curcuma longa takes care of free radicals and produces good anti-inflammatory activities in the body (2)
Another study done in 2017 also showed that essential oil of turmeric improved the anti-inflammatory properties (3)
Several studies have shown that turmeric essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Two such studies have been published in 2011 and 2017. The anti-inflammatory qualities coupled with antifungal and antioxidant properties are useful in treating and controlling several ailments.
2. The Oil May Have Anticancer Properties
Before you read any further it needs to be understood that essential oils as a part of cancer treatment needs more human trials. Although researches are ongoing in this field, nothing has been conclusively proven. The anti-mutagenic properties of several essential oils including turmeric and turmeric oil have shown potential.
Doctors have said that the compounds in turmeric oil can inhibit the propagation of cancer cells within the body. The oil can also damage the energy medium in these cancerous cells. This oil can hence be used as a complementary treatment for cancer.
A study published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design in 2013 analyzed the chemotherapeutic effect of turmeric derived curcumin. It concluded that the curcumin had significant biological and structural importance in anti-breast cancer effect (4).
The oil of turmeric plant has the ability to inhibit the spread of cancer cells. Although it is too early to categorically say that turmeric can be used to stop cancer, it is not too late to start using the organic oil. The curcumin found in turmeric essential oil can help along with other treatments for cancer prevention.
3. Boosts Blood Circulation
Turmeric and its oil obtained from steam distillation are known for its stimulant properties. It boosts the metabolic rate of the body as well as promotes heart health. By boosting heart health it lowers the aggregation of platelets in the blood vessels, which ensures smooth blood circulation in the arteries. The pharmacological profile of turmeric essential oil was analyzed and published in 2015 by Dr. Suruchi Verma and Dr. Vikas Kumar (5)
4. It is Used For Detoxification
Turmeric oil has ar-turmerone as one of its ingredients. This compound is known to promote liver health and has diuretic properties, which increases the urge for urination. It is hence used for detoxification. Physical application of the oil causes increased urge for urination which removes toxins and salts from the body. This upkeeps the body’s health and promotes the immune system of the body.
5. Body Responds to Allergies Better
By improving the immune system of the body, turmeric oil, which is slightly yellow in color, improves the allergic response time of the body. Hence, turmeric oil can lower the allergic reactions in the body. A December 2013 study looked into the antifungal nature of the oil of turmeric and how it fights allergies (6).
The antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil are useful in tackling different allergies affecting the body.
6. Turmeric is a Stomachic
Turmeric has always been added to food not just to improve the flavor and fragrance, but also to boost the digestive process and heal the body. Turmeric oil is also applied on the abdomen to promote the digestive health. There is a compound called Zingiberene in turmeric that makes up 30% of the oil. This compound has been proven to promote gastrointestinal health.
It has multiple benefits. It improves the digestion of food and increases the absorption of nutrients; it keeps flatulence in check and it reduces cramping. In April 2014 a study was published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology which evaluated the gastropropective properties of turmeric oil. It was found that the use of the oil lowered the gastric ulcer in rat stomach (7)
A study has proven the turmeric oil gas gastropropective properties. It can be applied on the stomach to remove toxins and acids from the stomach.
7. Turmeric For Hair
In Ayurvedic uses or traditional medicine, turmeric oil or turmeric paste has been used in treating hair loss. Turmeric essential oil is derived from the turmeric plant which is considered a healthy plant. The oil has antioxidant properties that fights the free radicals and prevents hair loss and stimulates hair regrowth. The oil also ensures that the scalp is infection and inflammation free. One or two drops of turmeric essential oil can help maintain hair and scalp health.
8. Used in Skincare
In the Indian subcontinent, turmeric which is known as haldi is used in marriage rituals. In the ceremony named haldi ceremony the bride and groom are smeared with haldi paste. It gives a good glow to their skin. Turmeric oil is diluted with carrier oils and applied on the skin to slow down its premature ageing.
The antioxidant properties of the oil, thanks to the curcumene and zingiberene, fight the free radicals and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The oil also has antibacterial properties that clear the skin and prevent acne breakouts. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a report in the year 1999 that highlights the antibacterial properties of the oil. (8)
Study has shown that turmeric has antibacterial properties. Hence, the oil can be applied on the skin and face to remove bacteria and stop acne and other infections.
9. Good For Cognitive Functioning
Turmeric oil is a potent antioxidant which prevents neurodegenerative conditions including dementia. It does so by inhibiting the formation of plaque deposits in the neural pathways. It thus boosts the functioning of the brain including cognition and memory.
10. Heart Healthy Essential Oil
Turmeric oil when used over a period of time can prevent several heart related ailments including heart attack, anemia, atherosclerosis and weak blood vessels. It is able to do so because it promotes better blood circulation in the body and the growth of red blood cells. One to two drops of turmeric oil can help regulate heart health. likewise, Using such essential oils that lower blood pressure can be a natural and effective way to manage hypertension.
11. It May Combat Diabetes
One of the bioactive compounds in turmeric, Curcumin, may be effective in delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. It inhibits cytokines, which are inflammatory in nature and keeps the blood glucose levels in check.
12. Good For Bone Health
It has been noticed that massaging the joints with the oil from turmeric roots improved the functioning of the joints. The compound Curcumin is known to prevent bone loss and safeguard the bone tissues. Turmeric essential oil can help with joint pain.
13. Turmeric Oil For the Eye
Glaucoma and cataract are two common ailments that affect the eyes. The antioxidant properties of turmeric essential oil can improve eye health by curbing the growth of glaucoma. It also maintains good vision.
14. Turmeric Essential Oil for the Skin
1. To Eliminate Pus and Pimples
Basically turmeric essential oil is used for drying acne. It has antifungal and antiseptic properties that dry the pimples. It has anti-microbial properties that eliminate bacteria from the face or skin, thus preventing acne breakouts.
2. Removes Blemishes and Scars
Turmeric paste has the potential of gradually fading out the blemishes. Turmeric essential oil also has the ability to diminish the scars. The oil when applied regularly results in a blemish-free skin.
3. Revitalizes Skin
Turmeric oil is known for giving the skin a glow. Adding 3 drops of turmeric oil to 2 tablespoons of almond oil and massaging the skin thrice a week will even the skin tone and give the skin a glow. A mixture of the oils can be stored near the bedside for regular use.
4. Anti-ageing Oil
Turmeric oil is an antioxidant, which fights the free radicals in the body and prevents premature ageing. Mixing a few drops of this oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil can prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Apply the mixture at night and let it stay overnight. Wash it off with a natural face wash in the morning.
5. Treats Skin Inflammation
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent because of the compound Curcumin. Applying diluted essential oil will give immediate relief from skin inflammation. Mixing the oil with coconut oil will dilute turmeric oil which can then be applied on the joints to lower inflammation due to arthritis and rheumatism.
6. Oil For Allergies
This essential oil is good of treating and reducing the symptoms and discomfort of skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. Mix the oil with regular vegetable oil and massage on the skin gently.
7. Treat Sunburns With Oil of Turmeric
The photoprotective properties of turmeric oil have been shown in numerous studies. One such study has been published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Mix turmeric oil with aloe vera gel and apply on the affected region to soothe the skin and speed up the healing process.
15. Turmeric Essential Oil for Hair
1. Oil For Dandruff Control
Mixing turmeric essential oil with regular hair oil and massaging the scalp regularly will take care of dandruff causes. The antimicrobial properties of the oil will remove microbes from the scalp, cleanse it and gradually decrease dandruff. Even a drop or two of the oil moisturizes the scalp and removes the dryness.
2. Hair Loss Prevention Oil
If the cause of hair loss is microbial or fungal, then turmeric essential oil is of great help. The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of the oil will prevent and reduce infection of the scalp and curb hair loss.
Mix 5 drops of turmeric oil with coconut oil and massage on the scalp every night to witness less hair clinging to the comb. Of course, the effectiveness of turmeric oil depends on the extent of the infection. It has constituents with astringent properties that holds the hair tightly.
3. Treatment For Different Scalp Issues
Itchy scalp and psoriasis of the scalp are two of the issues that may bother the scalp. Infections due to bacteria or fungus are also a common scalp condition. The antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory nature of the essential oil treats the condition and soothes the scalp.
4. Used in Hair Masks
The effect of your regular hair mask is increased manifolds by adding and mixing a few drops of the concentrated plant oil. It gives the hair antimicrobial and antifungal protection.
5. Turmeric oil for Cracked Heels
The analgesic properties of turmeric oil make it an excellent essential oil for cracked heels. In traditional medicine, turmeric is not only applied on wounds but also consumed for its healing properties. Turmeric oil should not be consumed but it can be diluted and applied on the feet to treat cracked feet and reduce their symptoms.
Coconut oil or castor oil can be used as carrier oils for getting soft feet. If applied at night, the oil has two benefits – it treats the heels and ensures good sleep.
6. Oil For Good Stomach health
Turmeric essential oil is of great importance in maintaining stomach health. Mixing 4 to 6 drops of turmeric essential oil with coconut oil and applying on the abdomen will boost digestion. It also removes excess gas buildup in the stomach and prevents it in the future.
7. Massage Oil For Detoxification
Turmeric oil is a diuretic oil with gastropropective properties. Applying this oil on the body will increase the frequency of urination, which removes toxins and excess salts and acids from the body. Turmeric oil as a massage oil works best when it is blended with other oils including black pepper essential oil and/or cumin essential oil.
Add a few drops of the oils and infuse it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and leave it on the body for a few hours. These oils have anti-parasitic qualities and the antioxidants found in it will reduce the load on the immune system thus making its stronger to fight other issues.
8. Turmeric oil For Aromatherapy
The aromatic essential oil from the plant of turmeric when inhaled increases cognition. It also removes negative emotions including fear, hopelessness, oppression and betrayal. Diffuse the oil with an aroma diffuser and inhale the aroma for more than 15 minutes to see its effects on the mind.
9. Oil for Arthritic Pain
Blend turmeric essential oil with coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage on the joints to eliminate the pain and swelling due to inflammation and arthritis.
10. Improve Immunity
Diffuse turmeric essential oil (if possible with thyme oil) and inhale the aroma for 15 minutes followed by 5 minute break; then resume inhaling the aroma. The turmeric oil releases of bilirubin, which is important for fortifying the immune system.
11. Used For Treating Cold
In olden days, drinking tea with turmeric used to cure cold and throat problems. Nowadays, turmeric oil with a carrier oil is applied on the nose and throat to eliminate colds and coughs.
12. Used for Weight Loss
While turmeric oil is not typically used alone for weight loss, it can be a beneficial addition to your routine when combined with other essential oils to lose weight. Turmeric oil aids in reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and boosting metabolism, while essential oils like grapefruit or lemon can support appetite control and increase energy levels. Incorporating these oils synergistically may enhance your weight loss efforts.
Turmeric Essential Oil Recipes And DIY
- Follow the recipes exactly as told.
- Do not overuse essential oils as it may cause side effects.
- Conduct a patch test before using oil concoction
Anti-dandruff Homemade Serum
- 3 drops of turmeric essential oil
- 2 drops of lemon essential oil
- 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
- Quarter cup of Argan oil
Oils Blend for Healthy Skin
- 5 drops of turmeric essential oil
- 5 drops of ginger essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- Half a cup of Almond oil or olive oil
Diffuser Blend with turmeric Oil
- 5 drops of turmeric essential oil
- 5 drops of lemon essential oil
- 4 drops of Clary sage essential oil
- 2 drops of patchouli essential oil
Safety and Precautions While Using Turmeric Essential Oil
Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any adverse effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
- Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
- While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
- The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These maybe made from substandard sources.
- Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
- Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application. Never topically apply undiluted oil on skin.
- Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
- Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
- Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
- Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
- Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
- Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
- Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
- This oil may not be suitable for pregnant women or for women who are breastfeeding.
- The oil may cause embryotoxicity; consult a doctor before use.
- Always use the oil on a small patch of skin before topical application.
- If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
- The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
- If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
- Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used by those with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
- Ingestion of essential oils has resulted in gastrointestinal distress for many people. It is advised to restrain from internal consumption of essential oils. Always consult a doctor before consuming essential oils.
- When essential oils come in contact with sensitive body parts including eyes, nose, ears and genitals side effects including burning sensation, itching and discomfort have been reported. Even though these oils are healthy, avoid sensitive areas.
- Most essential oils lower elevated blood pressure levels and protect the heart. But, this property may prove detrimental if a person is already taking medication to lower blood pressure levels. Taking essential oils in conjunction with blood pressure medications can cause irregular heartbeat, dizziness and fainting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main benefits of turmeric?
There are many benefits of turmeric and turmeric essential oil. Some of these benefits are as follows: –
Benefits for skincare – Turmeric oil has anti-ageing properties. It evens the skin tone and gives the skin a glow. It has healing properties and can give a blemish free skin.
Benefits for hair care – When applied regularly it removes dandruff from the scalp. It lowers inflammation of the scalp. It moisturizes the hair and scalp.
Benefits for the stomach – Turmeric boost digestion. It removes flatulence and prevents gas accumulation. · Its cancer fighting properties have been researched. · It is good detoxification oil. · Turmeric boosts brain function · It lowers arthritic pain and inflammation.
Is it good to take turmeric everyday?
Turmeric powder is used every day in culinary practices. However, the essential oil of turmeric should be used only twice or thrice a week. Also remember not to ingest turmeric oil.
Can turmeric burn belly fat?
Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that inhibits the growth of fat tissue. Furthermore, turmeric causes good urination and aids in digestion. It also maintains the sugar levels in the body. Hence it is turmeric and its oil can support in burning belly fat. However, other healthy and smart eating and lifestyle habits must be followed in conjunction to see positive results.
- Mohammed Rahmatullah University of Development Alternative. (2009). A Survey of Medicinal Plants in Two Areas of Dinajpur District, Bangladesh Including Plants which can be Used as Functional Foods. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234806913_A_Survey_of_Medicinal_Plants_in_Two_Areas_of_Dinajpur_District_Bangladesh_Including_Plants_which_can_be_Used_as_Functional_Foods.
- Vijayastelter B Liju, Kottarapat Jeena, Ramadasan Kuttan. (2011). An evaluation of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from Curcuma longa. L. https://www.ijp-online.com/article.asp?issn=0253-7613;year=2011;volume=43;issue=5;spage=526;epage=531;aulast=Liju.
- Shusuke Toden, Arianne L. Theiss, Xuan Wang, and Ajay Goel. (2017). Essential turmeric oils enhance anti-inflammatory efficacy of curcumin in dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429743/.
- E. Wright, Laura; B. Frye, Jen; Gorti, Bhavana; N. Timmermann, Barbara; L. Funk, Janet. (2013). Bioactivity of Turmeric-derived Curcuminoids and Related Metabolites in Breast Cancer. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cpd/2013/00000019/00000034/art00013.
- Suruchi Verma, Vikas Kumar. (2015). PHARMACOLOGICAL PROFILE OF TURMERIC OIL: A REVIEW. http://www.lekovitesirovine.rs/ojs/index.php/lekovite/article/view/7.
- Flávio Dias Ferreira ,Simone Aparecida Galerani Mossini,1Francine Maery Dias Ferreira,Carla Cristina Arrotéia,Christiane Luciana da Costa, Celso Vataru Nakamura,and Miguel Machinski Junior. (2013). The Inhibitory Effects of Curcuma longa L. Essential Oil and Curcumin on Aspergillus flavus Link Growth and Morphology. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/343804/.
- Vijayasteltar B. Liju , Kottarapat Jeena und Ramadasan Kuttan. (2014). Gastroprotective activity of essential oils from turmeric and ginger. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/jbcpp-2013-0165/html?lang=de.
- P. S. Negi, G. K. Jayaprakasha, L. Jagan Mohan Rao, and K. K. Sakariah. (1999). Antibacterial Activity of Turmeric Oil: A Byproduct from Curcumin Manufacture. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf990308d.