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Turmeric & Rosacea

By Lynn DeVries

Turmeric is a spice used in many Indian foods, but the turmeric plant, which is closely related to ginger, is also widely used as a medicinal herb. The roots of the plant are dried, then ground into a powder for use in cooking or herbal medicine, according to Medicinal Herb Info. Before you begin to use turmeric to treat your rosacea, seek the advice of your health care provider.

Rosacea Explained

Rosacea is a chronic condition causing inflammation, redness and pus-filled bumps on the face. The condition can get worse if left untreated, but for most people, the condition will come and go. According to MayoClinic.com, rosacea will most likely flare up for a period of time, then get much better for a while before flaring up again. Have your condition evaluated by a health care provider to be sure it is not another condition with similar symptoms, such as a skin allergy or eczema.

Turmeric Uses

According to the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, turmeric is most commonly used to treat cancer, as a blood thinner, for upset stomach relief, gall stone prevention, to lower high cholesterol, as an inflammation remedy, for liver protection, therapy for irritable bowel syndrome, to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as stomach ulcer therapy, viral infection remedy, treatment for inflammation of the eye and scabies. The National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine website adds that turmeric is also applied directly to the skin to treat skin conditions. This would be the way to use turmeric to treat rosacea.

Research

The NCCAM site reports that animal studies have shown that a compound found in turmeric called curcumin seems to have anti-inflammatory antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. The NCCAM is funding further research to study the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric as well as its potential for use in treating osteoporosis, liver cancer and upper respiratory conditions. An article on the PubMed.gov website reports on the most effective herbal ingredients for use in treating skin conditions, based on research. Turmeric was among the herbs they found most useful and effective for treating various skin problems, including rosacea.

Possible Side Effects

According to the NCCAM site, turmeric is considered safe for most people for use in cooking and when used medicinally. The site warns people with gallbladder disease to avoid ingesting turmeric because of the risk of it making the condition worse. High doses of ingested turmeric can also cause liver damage. One potential side effect from using turmeric topically is the chance of allergic reaction. If you notice allergy symptoms when using turmeric, stop using it and talk to your health care provider.

Forms Used

Turmeric is available in several forms, all derived from the root of the plant, according to the NCCAM. It’s available as ground powder for use in cooking, capsules, teas or liquid extracts. The powder can also be made into a paste and applied to the skin affected by rosacea.

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