CHLOÉ SS 16.
From left to right: ORCHARD STREET Turmeric Kefir juice; SANTA MARIA NOVELLA Turmeric cream from Net-A-Porter; OMVEDA Turmeric Cellulite cream; KIEHL'S Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance masque; INSTANTLY GOLDEN Vegan Turmeric Latte powder; MAULI RITUALS Grow Strong Hair oil from Net-A-Porter.Shop
Often it can feel as though we live our lives in constant pursuit of the new: the latest innovations, technological advancements, coolest trends, or whatever is heralded as the next 'answer'. Yet, a growing shift back to ancient remedies is changing the way we think about health and beauty. With an expanding number of beauty brands incorporating turmeric into their products for both inner and outer beauty, it's time to find out just how this ingredient can be worked into our personal regime.
Here, RUSSH chats to Zoe Lind van't Hof, founder of Wunder Workshop, on the health benefits of turmeric for the body, skin, and how best to use this wonder root.
What is turmeric? Where is it sourced?
Turmeric is a funny looking rhizome that belongs to the ginger family. There are many different types, and they all have beautiful flowers and green leaves. However, only the root is used for cooking and for its medicinal properties. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is the compound which carries both the many medicinal properties and the vibrant golden orange colour.
We source our turmeric directly from a small farm in the heart of Sri Lanka. The farm is organically certified and treats all its employees fairly.
What are the health benefits of turmeric to the body?
The list is endless ... Traditionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was used for indigestion, infections, common colds, liver diseases as well as for wounds and skin problems. However, more recently there have been numerous findings on its positive effects on more serious inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, in the treatment and prevention of certain types of cancer, depression and Alzheimer's disease. All in all there isn’t another herb or supplement out there that impacts our body in so many diverse and positive ways.
However, one important thing that many people don’t realise is that our bodies can hardly absorb the curcumin by itself. It is very important to combine turmeric with black pepper and a fat such as coconut in order to increase the amount absorbed into our blood stream (our Instantly Golden and Golden Mylk have these ingredients for that reason).
How is turmeric beneficial to the skin?
Due to turmeric's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities it is used for wounds, eczema and skin problems caused by bacteria or fungi. Its anti-inflammatory properties help for redness and inflamed skin issues. We met many young women in Sri Lanka who make a turmeric face mask every day to brighten their skin.
Can turmeric be applied topically?
Yes absolutely, in India and Sri Lanka the women traditionally prepare the turmeric powder into a paste to apply as a face mask. It is also used during what is called the haldi ceremony – 'yellow on the body' ceremony during Hindu wedding ceremonies. The turmeric is applied a day before the wedding to the couples' body. It helps to soften the skin and brighten it.
WORDS Ellen Presbury