Bright in color, rich in flavor, and teeming with wellness benefits, the golden spice known as turmeric is truly a powerhouse ingredient. Native to India and Southeast Asia, turmeric has been long used in Ayurveda—an ancient system of healing medicine—to bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit. Some beauty enthusiasts even use the vivid yellow-orange powder in their DIY face masks to give their skin a natural-looking glow! Whether you sprinkle some of the powdered herb into your curry dishes, turmeric latte (“golden milk”) recipes, or homemade beauty treatments, you’re certain to reap its numerous benefits. 

Ahead, discover how turmeric can improve your health, boost hair growth, and more.

The Health and Beauty Benefits of Turmeric 

Pop quiz — which popular kitchen spice is known for reducing the symptoms of arthritis and anxiety, rejuvenating your complexion, and reducing hair loss? Yep, it’s turmeric! Often lauded by medical professionals and holistic practitioners alike, turmeric has been shown to have a beneficial impact on our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. This potent herb has also been shown to prevent diabetes, alleviate mood issues, reduce inflammation, fight toxins, and reduce cravings. Easily accessible, turmeric can be found in its raw or powdered form at most large grocery stores, or in pill and oil form at major vitamin retailers or etailers. 

If you’re feeling stressed out or bored at home, consider whipping up a turmeric face mask. For a simple, yet soothing formula, combine turmeric powder with coconut milk and honey, apply to freshly cleansed skin, and leave on for 10 minutes; rinse with warm water and voilà! Soft, smooth skin and a healthy, glowing complexion. Of course, you should always consult a dermatologist first if you have very sensitive skin. Additionally, given its yellow hue, a turmeric mask may stain clothing or even paler skin tones temporarily, so it is not advised to use before any important meetings or dates. Once you’re done masking, treat yourself to an antioxidant boost by adding a teaspoon of turmeric to your favorite smoothie or green juice. 

What Is Curcumin?

How does turmeric deliver such positive results? One of the reasons is due to its active compound known as curcumin. 

If you’ve found yourself scouring the net looking up natural remedies, or if you’re someone who just enjoys reading about wellness, then chances are you’re pretty familiar with curcumin . Hailed as a major component of turmeric (and also gives it its golden yellow color), curcumin is widely praised for its ability to lower inflammation, protect beta cells, reduce insulin resistance, and boost your immunity. And if you suffer from acne, curcumin also includes antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can help clarify your complexion.

To make curcumin (not to be confused with cumin, which is technically a member of the parsley family) a part of your diet, try adding turmeric into stewed vegetables and marinades, just to name a few. When incorporating this healthy spice into your meals, be sure to combine it with black pepper and a healthy fat like coconut oil or ghee to increase its bioavailability and for maximum absorption. 

By now, you’re pretty excited to add more curcumin into your diet for its wondrous health benefits, but did you know it can also be beneficial for combatting hair loss?

The Science Behind Curcumin and Hair Growth

Curcumin not only lessens inflammation in the body, but also at the scalp, thus improving its health and targeting the bacteria that leads to folliculitis. This powerful active is also shown to decrease high levels of DHT —the hormone associated with hair loss in men and restricts hair follicles in women. Other studies reveal its ability to suppress abnormal androgen receptor (AR) expression, which is important since AR contributes to the control of hair growth and is also overexpressed in follicles of those experiencing androgenetic alopecia. 

In a clinical study, highly concentrated proteins secreted from the stem cells of the turmeric root have been shown to increase the delivery of 1GF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) and miRNA (small molecules that help regulate genes) to the dermal papilla, which helps lengthen the hair’s growth (anagen) phase. Plenty of reviews, health blogs, and even research reports have shown the positive hair growth results from taking curcumin in supplement and topical hair serum form

Related: How to Get Thicker Hair

How to Use Curcumin in Your Hair Wellness Routine 

Spice up your hair wellness regimen with our curcumin-infused vegaLASH serum for fuller-looking lashes. Our best-selling formula combines this ingredient with powerful phyto-actives like mung bean and red clover to stimulate hair follicles and boost overall growth. And when used properly and consistently, you can achieve optimal results in as soon as 90 days!

So what’s the conclusion? When it comes to turmeric, you simply can’t go wrong. Whether you have it on hand to give your meals a kick, or include it as part of your hair growth routine, this versatile, health-boosting spice is one you’ll definitely want to stock up on.