As I keep reading and discovering about turmeric more I get amazed. While we in India boast of using turmeric on a regular basis, there are so many amazing benefits of turmeric which most of us would never know. Thus, I decided to go deep into more specialized benefits of turmeric, one such benefit of turmeric is for Hirsutism.
What is Hirsutism?
Sometimes women can develop male-pattern hair growth and this condition is called hirsutism. The hair is excessive and unwanted, pigmented and coarse and appears usually on the face, back and chest. The amount and thickness of growth depends on genetic makeup. Some causes include excessive production of testosterone – the male hormone called androgen – family genes or ethnicity. Other signs of hirsutism could include deepening voice, acne, balding, enlarged breasts and muscle mass – all signs of virilization.
When such symptoms – especially rapid and unwanted hair growth – are observed, individuals must seek medical advice. Doctors will be able to diagnose the difference between unwanted hair growth on the chin or face which are also signs of menopause and hirsutism. High androgen levels also cause other medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, tumors etc. which can also be accompanied by severe hirsutism. Common treatment regimes include hair removal therapies, medications like anti-androgens or oral contraceptives and topical creams.
Turmeric Benefits for Hirsutism
Turmeric is used to treat hirsutism especially as a topical application. It is believed to work by softening and dissolving hair in areas where it is applied. There are different ingredients with which turmeric can be combined to benefit those with hirsutism.
When I researched how turmeric benefits for Hirsutism, I did not find much in terms of scientific research papers. But there were lot of info available from users who tried turmeric in various ways and it worked for them. At first I was thinking not to write on this topic as there was no ‘scientific’ data available. But then I thought – how many of us actually use cosmetics which have such harmful chemicals and find they are of no use.
Turmeric is anyways good for skin health. So even if the hair are not reduced (which should be as based on experience of users) you will still get a glowing skin. After all turmeric has been proved to be great for skin. Thus I decided I will write this and wait for readers to provide their feedback on it.
So here are some tips I gathered from various places:
Make a paste using one pinch turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons gram flour and little milk. Apply this on places where there is hair growth due to hirsutism. Leave for 15 minutes and then scrub it dipping your fingers in water. Now rinse with lukewarm water until all the paste is washed off. This treatment must be done daily for 2-3 months to see a lessening of unwanted hair growth.
You can also combine whole wheat flour and turmeric powder in equal amounts, add sesame oil to this, make a thick paste and apply to areas that are affected. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash with lukewarm water. Another combination to treat hirsutism is to combine warm coconut oil and turmeric powder.
Try a combination of curd, gram flour and turmeric, apply on affected areas for a few minutes and wash off.
Here are some other combinations of turmeric powder with other ingredients that can be used to remove excessive hair growth:
- Pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon black gram flour and 1 teaspoon plain, fresh yoghurt combined into a paste. When the paste is dry, peel it off and the excess hair will come off.
- ½ tsp turmeric, 2 tablespoons gram flour and ½ tsp almond oil can be combined together with a little water to form a paste and then applied.
Some people who used above masks said their skin felt a bit dry. That may be the case. Adding some aloe vera gel may help here as it is one of the best natural moisturizing agents.
Turmeric has a bright yellow color and using it on the skin can stain it. Rubbing the stained areas with a milk-soaked cotton ball can remove the stains. Sometimes turmeric pastes applied on the skin can cause a condition called contact dermatitis characterized by itching, rash, blisters, dry skin and pain.
As a spice included in food, turmeric does not cause any side effects. Excess usage of turmeric supplements can cause stomach upsets, dizziness or nausea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, those with gall bladder problems, those taking anti-coagulation medications, drugs to reduce stomach acid or diabetic medications and those undergoing surgery must avoid turmeric supplements.