Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis is a skin condition in which the upper layers of skin (epidermis) undergo inflammation. It is characterized by itching and is difficult to treat.
Eczema is very common in children but the disease can occur at any age. Eczema affects approximately 20% children and 1-3% adults in developed countries.
Eczema occurs in two phases:
- Early/ Acute Phase– marked by red and oozing rashes on face that spread to neck, hands and legs. It longs for 1-2 months.
- Chronic/ Later Phase– marked by a rash that occurs in few spots on hands, front of the elbows or behind the knees.1
Eczema can be complicated if scratched or rubbed which may expose the skin to bacteria that may cause infections.
Eczema can be diagnosed by physically examining the rashes and may sometimes need a skin or blood test.
The underlying cause of development of eczema is a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. If either or both of the parents have eczema, the child is likely to develop the disease.
Some environmental factors that trigger the symptoms of eczema are dry skin, irritants (soap, shampoo, detergent etc.) Hot/cold temperature, sweating, microbial infections and allergens (pollen, dust mites, dandruff etc.) are also known to trigger the development of eczema.
It may take months and years to control the symptoms of eczema. Some treatments used to treat eczema are:
- Creams that help in inflammation and itching.
- Creams that repair the skin.
- Antibiotics that treat infections.
- Wet dressings
It is necessary to take care of your skin to avoid complication in eczema.
How Turmeric Benefits in Eczema
Turmeric holds multiple benefits in eczema:
- Turmeric reduces skin inflammation.
- Turmeric reduces dyspigmentation.
- Turmeric protects skin from pollutants and chemicals.
- Turmeric has anti-allergic activity.
- Turmeric has anti-microbial properties.
- Turmeric has anti-allergen activity.
Best ways to take turmeric in Eczema
Disclaimer: There is no specific dose of turmeric outlined for eczema. Based on experience of users and from the results of studies we have summarized various ways in which turmeric can be used for eczema.
The dosage depends on the formulation of the turmeric supplement and severity of the health condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet but one cannot expect therapeutic effects in eczema with limited consumption.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually. You can also make Golden paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day
Start with small doses and increase gradually. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. You can also make Turmeric capsules at home.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric.
It is highly recommended to take this paste after/with meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications. (Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day.
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. However the ideal dose differs with every individual; some do fine on small amounts some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Turmeric tincture is great for pain relief but there is not much evidence available on its effectiveness in eczema.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
This is just perfect when it comes to combating pain naturally. You can find the recipe for Turmeric Milk here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking supplements on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking medicines. Consult a health practitioner prior to taking turmeric supplements.
How to apply turmeric topically in eczema?
Take sufficient amount of organic turmeric powder (For help with Organic Turmeric brands please click here) and mix with olive/coconut oil to form a paste and apply over the affected area. Let the application be for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Cover with gauze if needed. Wash with cool water. You could also consider using natural aloe vera gel mixed with turmeric as topical application for eczema. Conduct a patch test prior.
Follow this regime 2-3 times a day and benefits should be visible in 1-2 weeks.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
If harrowed by turmeric stains here is how you can take care of them.
Eczema is one of the most common skin condition which is marked by red, inflamed itchy skin.
Research and traditional medicine have proven the therapeutic efficiency of turmeric in treatment of eczema.
Turmeric has a number of benefits in controlling the symptoms of eczema and is a good alternative treatment for eczema.