Turmeric commonly known as haldi in most Asian households is generally used for adding that intense yellow colour to foods and curry’s. An ingredient, widely used and its recipes passed down from generations particularly in the Indian household.
But it has more benefits than it looks to eye and many more uses other than simple cooking. And its rich antioxidants and inflammatory properties makes it the perfect beautifying ingredient.
There’s a reason why women (and some men) apply a turmeric paste just before they get married during the “haldi/ubtan rasam” or ceremony. It really does give that dashing glow to the skin.
There’s also Indian-ayurvedic remedies out there which use a turmeric based paste to help heal injuries, reduce inflammation, swelling and the effects of arthritis.
My lovely Gran has much knowledge of these recipes and Ayurvedic remedies and I’m going to share just a few that are my favourites with you all.
Firstly turmeric can be brought in the form of shop brought powders and less commonly as the fresh root.
The active ingredient present in turmeric is Curcumin which gives it that deep yellow-orange color. It is a great source of Manganese, Iron and Vitamin A,C, E and B6.
Its been found to help fight cancer by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels and supply in tumors.
Its also said to help reduce cholesterol levels and inhibit fat oxidations in the blood supply reducing the risk of coronary artery diseases, stenosis, risk of heart attacks and strokes.
As it’s a rich source of iron it helps promote the supply of red blood cells and oxygen supply.
Its anti inflammatory properties make it great for treating arthritis and maintain bone density. When added into the diet the antioxidant properties help destroy free radicals in the body which cause damage to body cells. The same way it helps prevent cancer by reducing these radicals in the body. Preventing harmful cells to grow.
Its also used to help reduce the swelling, pain of common sports injuries, joint pain and inflammation. Its anti-spasmodic so helps relax the muscles and tissues.
On injuries make a warm paste with two tablespoons of turmeric powder, one tablespoon of salt and lightly simmer in some mustard oil or ghee (clarified butter). Apply the paste on the sprain or injury and wrap it in a bandage. This works great if left overnight. Do this for a few days until the swelling and pain subsides.
Its anti-septic properties also help heal wounds.
You can make a quick cold paste with just water and turmeric and apply with a cotton bud to the wound. This also prevents infection as it acts as a disinfectant to kill many bacterium.
Its particularly soothing on burns also.
Simply add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to one teaspoon of fresh Aloe Vera gel and apply it to the burnt area. Really cooling.
If it is quite a large burn I like to place a wet muslin cloth just loosely around the injury to keep the paste contained.
It can be used as a treatment paste to help treat many skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and even common acne. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties helps kill bacteria and regulate a healthy balanced Ph and promote new regeneration of new healthy skin cells.
Add some turmeric powder to a little bit of yoghurt and apply liberally over the affected area. Wash off after 10-15 minutes.
Its rich in antioxidants help slow down the process of skin cell damage, keeping you healthy. It helps even out skin tone and removes any blemishes.
Here’s a quick and easy face mask to do at home.
Mix two tablespoons of chick pea flour with one tablespoon of turmeric powder and some yoghurt.
You can also add a few drops of almond, coconut or olive oil if you have dry skin.
Also try adding sandalwood powder or honey if you wish. Which is also beneficial for the skin read…
To help get rid of pigmentation and blemishes mix some turmeric with lemon juice and use as an astringent on the face, this also helps lighten skin. Rinse off with cold water.
Its texture is great for using it as an exfoliant or body scrub.
To really lift all those impurities out from your skin cells try this home-made scrub.
Us the same recipe for the face mask and simply add some grounded oats.
It contains a liposaccharides which have been known to help fight against infections and to boost the immune system. It has anti fungal and antiviral agents which help strengthen the immune system further.
Mentioned in one of my previous posts is a easy home remedy to treat colds is to simply add a pinch of turmeric and a spoon of honey and into some warm milk and boil. You can also spice it up by adding cardamom seeds and saffron. Strain into a mug and enjoy.
This drink helps soothe the throat and the turmeric helps fight infection.
Its also great to use for gastrointestinal problems. Particularly if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stomach ulcers, bowel irregularity or simply that bloated feeling.
Particularly if you have the stomach bug or food poisoning. Turmeric is known to be antibacterial and help kill the harmful bacteria’s in the bowels.
I remember as a child when having an upset tummy, being given a pinch of turmeric mixed with black pepper (tastes horrid) and a spoon of honey to flush that after taste away. Or to pop a lump of jaggery into my mouth. But hey it worked!!!
Note: Turmeric does leave stain clothes and occasionally tint your skin.
Do carry a test out any remedies you try, particularly face mask as too much turmeric in the paste will leave you glowing like an oompa loompa!!!….
If you find that this happens try removing it with some cotton wool and a gentle toner like rosewater or even baby lotion or oil does the trick.
Please comment to let me know if they work for you or if you have any remedies or suggestions…