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27 January 2022 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Turmeric Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Turmeric is a famously relaxing, balancing oil often used to soothe swelling.

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Orange turmeric powder in a china bowl.

Turmeric has been used for many years as a spice, a colourant, and a valuable medicine.

Bright orange in colour with a warm, earthy aroma, it is likely you have heard of turmeric in relation to its culinary associations – particularly of its use in curries or even in those little “wellness shot” bottles.

Turmeric can do so much more than add vibrancy to your favourite dish, however. Turmeric oil is incredibly effective at soothing swelling throughout the body and can also be beneficial for the skin.

It is important to remember, however, that turmeric is a staining oil and should always be used sparingly.

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What is Turmeric Essential Oil?

Also known as Curcuma, and sometimes called by the botanical name Curcuma Longa, turmeric oil is actually a close relative of the  family.

Extracted via steam distillation from the dried rhizomes (or roots) of the turmeric plant, native to tropical South Asia, turmeric oil contains the same bright yellow-orange colour as its powder counterpart.

This is due to the active component curcumin, which is responsible for giving the plant its colour as well as its calming properties.

What are the benefits of Turmeric Essential Oil?

You may have seen turmeric present in a lot of capsules and other related supplements due to its exceptionally powerful health benefits.

Turmeric essential oil certainly contributes to these attributes and can be used across a number of areas to help facilitate wellness and keep a sound mind.

Some of the most prominent turmeric oil benefits include:

  • Soothing inflamed joints and muscles
  • Cleansing skin
  • Improving mental health
  • Protecting the liver
  • Promoting hair growth

Yellow turmeric powder spilling out a glass bottle.

Can turmeric essential oil soothe inflamed joints and muscles?

Turmeric has long been known to reduce inflammation and contain analgesic properties.

Its soothing components are said to help block inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, reducing swelling and relieving accompanying pain.

Turmeric is even considered to be a valuable natural cure for arthritis and was used extensively in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine for this purpose.

A tested this ancient remedy and found that turmeric did indeed have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints, relieving symptoms of arthritis and allowing for a better quality of life.

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Is turmeric oil good for the skin?

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory abilities also make it a great agent for calming inflammatory conditions in the skin - such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

It is also an antiseptic and antibacterial oil, meaning it is able to deeply cleanse the skin and get to the root of the issues causing inflammation to begin with.

On top of this, turmeric is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as hyperpigmentation and other signifiers of aging on the skin. It has also been rumoured to protect from sun damage.

When using turmeric oil on the skin, it is important to be cautious. Turmeric is a staining oil and can leave skin yellow if too much is used.

Make sure to only use a tiny amount of turmeric in a large amount of carrier oil when applying topically.

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Does turmeric essential oil help your mental health?

Turmeric is considered an uplifting oil and can have a positive balancing effect on mood and relaxation when diffused and inhaled. Some sources have even demonstrated turmeric oil’s ability to improve symptoms of extremely low mood.

A tested the effects of a supplemental treatment using turmeric on patients with major depressive disorder. They found that the treatment was able to reduce symptoms associated with low mood as well as clear the mind.

Turmeric essential oil may also work as an anti-anxiety agent, helping to treat not only the depressive disorder but the secondary symptom of anxiety that accompanies it.

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Turmeric essential oil can be great for the liver

The health of our liver can impact the whole body, so it is important to protect it whenever and however we can.

A found that turmeric oil was able to play a big role in protecting the liver when it assessed the effects of turmeric against damage caused by a strong chemical called methotrexate.

The fact that turmeric was able to protect the liver from methotrexate shows that it would likely be even more effective against everyday toxins.

You can feel these effects by massaging a little diluted turmeric oil onto the stomach area.

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Can I use turmeric oil for hair?

Traditionally used by Indian women to remove superfluous hair, turmeric has long been associated with hair health and growth.

In fact, the soothing, anti-inflammatory properties that allow the oil to be beneficial for the skin also can lend themselves to the scalp – preventing and reducing dandruff and inflammation as well as providing a healthier environment for thick, luscious locks.

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How to use Turmeric Essential Oil


While the earthy tones of turmeric may be unusual for a spicy essential oil, its benefits when inhaled are certainly worth keeping to hand.

Diffusing turmeric oil around your home can not only improve your mood and uplift your spirit but also reduce any anxiety you may have for the day ahead.


Massaging a small amount of turmeric into your skin with a carrier oil can be great for speeding up the healing of sore muscles and inflamed joints.

Applying this mixture to the body can also help to facilitate liver health and wellness over time.


Combine a few drops of turmeric with a moisturising carrier oil like jojoba and apply sparingly to the skin as a way to spot treat abrasions on the skin, as well as eliminate and prevent signs of aging.

Remember to only use a little bit of turmeric oil on the skin to avoid staining.


Add some turmeric oil to your everyday shampoo or conditioner and shake well to give your hair and scalp a little boost of wellness.

Alternatively, you can create a hair mask using turmeric and a carrier oil – but be careful not to stain any furnishings!

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History of Turmeric Essential Oil

Used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine for around four thousand years, turmeric oil spread throughout Asia and Africa and was most famous for its impressive anti-inflammatory effects – which it is still revered for today.

Turmeric was later discovered by Marco Polo in 1280 and brought to Europe where it was prized for its medicinal abilities.

Turmeric Illustration

    Soothing, balancing turmeric has an incredibly extensive history of use, and its applications haven’t changed much over the years.

    It is still valued for its ability to reduce pain and discomfort in the body and restore balance and harmony to the mind.

    Product Name

    100% Pure Tumeric Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Curcuma Longa
    Scent Type Earthy
    Benefits & Uses Anti-Inflammatory, Mood Boosting, Skin
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this tumeric essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this tumeric essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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