Injury to the skin is termed as wound. The wound can be an open wound with a cut in the skin or closed wound. Open and bleeding wounds are at high risk of infection and should be treated immediately to prevent loss of blood and infection. Small open wounds like incision, abrasion and punctures can be treated at home using simple home remedies. Use of turmeric for wounds heals the cut, prevents infection and also reduces the pain.
Turmeric is used very often over wounds in India. This is especially true when there is no other medication available. I can vaguely remember the first instance of using turmeric over a wound, I was around 7-8 years old and fell while learning to ride a bicycle, I got a cut in my knee. My mom applied turmeric paste and then tied it up with a clean cotton cloth. I did visit a doc. next day but turmric paste was of help. We still use turmeric in case of minor cuts and bruises rather than using ointments.
Why is turmeric so useful in such cases? Curcumin, the therapeutic component of turmeric shows anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Hence, it treats a wide range of diseases and associated symptoms. Use of turmeric for wounds fastens the healing process and also reduces the risk of formation of scar.
How turmeric aids in wound healing?
A bit on how turmeric actually helps in healing wounds:
- The antibiotic action prevents bacterial infection of the wounds by bacteria such as E.coli, staphylococcus and bacillus.
- Anti-inflammatory action relieves inflammation.
- The analgesic action relives pain.
- Helps in formation of new skin cells and closes the wound.
Using turmeric for wounds
There are multiple ways of using turmeric over wounds. Turmeric powder can be applied directly at the wounded portion. For more benefits it can be used with other ingredients.
- Poulitice made of green flour, turmeric powder and mustard oil improves blood circulation when applied to the injured portion.
- Turmeric bandage made of ghee, salt and water along with turmeric powder soothes the skin of the bruised area.
- Make a paste using turmeric, olive oil, tea tree oil, vitamin E, aloe, beeswax, arnica, red clover, slippery elm and thyme oil. Apply this formula over the wound for quick relief.
- Turmeric and linseed oil paste applied on the wound reduces pain and prevents infection.
- Turmeric and ginger paste applied over the affected area reduces pain.
These remedies using turmeric for wounds should not be used as a replacement for medical advice especially for huge wounds and deep punctures with sharp objects.
How much turmeric is safe for daily intake?
The amount of turmeric to be taken daily depends on the condition for which it is being used and the form of turmeric being taken. Recommended daily dosage limit for turmeric is generally 400 to 600 mg and can be taken three times a day. Dosage for various forms of turmeric being taken includes:
- 1.5 to 3 g of cut root.
- 1 g to 3 g of powdered root.
- 30 to 90 drops of fluid extract.
- 15 to 30 drops of tincture.
However, the amount can be high while treating chronic conditions. Hence, consult the physician to know the right dosage of turmeric essential to treat the existing medical condition.
How to choose the right quality of turmeric?
Similar to other herbs it is important to choose right turmeric for wounds treatment. For example, my we get our turmeric powder directly from source we know very well. This is important because adultration in turmeric is very common. Using an adultrated one can actually cause more harm then benefit. Here are few things to be considered while purchasing turmeric.
- Check for adulteration of the product. Turmeric adulterated with toxic materials is not safe to use.
- Know about the manufacturing process. Avoid turmeric manufactured using stearates.
- Know about the bio-availability of the turmeric. Turmeric mixed with adjuvants such as bromelain aids in easy absorption. It should also remain in the circulation for a long time.
- Pick up only clinically tested turmeric supplements that are safe to use.
- Choose organically cultivated turmeric to reduce the risk of pesticides.
- Turmeric should be free of solvents like EDC.
- Choose genuine products containing medicinal value. Avoid fake turmeric products that are sold as equivalent to natural turmeric.
My take on turmeric is – use it in case of minor cuts etc. without any issues. But in case of severe cases visit a doc. Another factor, which I have already highlighted is, use of good quality turmeric is very important for best results.