Misjudge the turmeric a tad bit and the very humble Indian breakfast of Poha goes haywire. A wound or a gash is impulsively dabbed with turmeric powder routinely available in the kitchen. Very commonly hot milk with a pinch of turmeric powder is used to alleviate sore throat. Also known as ‘haridra’, ‘kasturi manjal’ or ‘haldi’ it is an herb belonging to the Ginger family which is abundantly found across regions of Asia. Turmeric has a distinct earthy, slight peppery and a bitter flavor. A very popular spice and condiment integral to Indian and Asian cooking it is majorly used in savory meals like curries, pickles, soups and also as a natural dye and coloring agent. It is well known as Indian saffron because of its deep yellow orange color and its economic value over saffron spice. Traditional Indian system of medicine emphasizes on its remedial properties and describes plenty of oral and topical formulations of turmeric as well.
As it has an auspicious gold-yellow color and magical skin rejuvenating properties Indian weddings have an entire ceremony dedicated to its honor known as the Haldi ceremony in which paste of haldi is applied to the bride and groom. Not only does the aroma of haldi please the senses it reminds of its many benefits as a cosmetic widely used for skin care regimen. Here is how the modest turmeric works its magic
Since time unknown turmeric is used to lighten the skin colour and improve skin texture. This holds true even today. Coarsely grind turmeric and use it with warm water as an exfoliating agent or apply it in combination with cucumber/raw tomato juice allow it to dry and then wash off for instant fairness. Gram flour, turmeric and raw milk mixed into a smooth paste and applied daily works as a gentle tan remover and lightens skin colour.
Owing to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties turmeric powder helps to keep acne at a bay when used regularly. Turmeric paste mixed with neem oil and yogurt is a powerful antimicrobial face mask which cleanses the skin. For spot treatment of acne use turmeric powder mixed with honey and apply on acne. This helps in reducing the redness and flare. It also takes care of blemishes and scarring due to acne.
Excess oil causes pigmentation and attracts dirt .Hence pimple breakouts on oily skin further worsen the situation. Turmeric controls the production of oil (sebum) on the skin by acting on the oil glands beneath the skin. Mixture of turmeric with sandalwood paste and raw milk works as a good facial mask for oily skin.
Turmeric has antioxidant properties and hence when used with other skin essential ingredients works wonder on fine lines, wrinkles and age related spots and pigmentation. A face pack made in lukewarm water by mixing curd, ripe avocado, honey and turmeric nourishes and soothes the ageing skin.
Turmeric is a powerful healing agent which when applied as a paste mixed with warm coconut oil heals cracked heels. For soft and clean heels soak feet in warm water with a pinch of rock salt and turmeric powder.
Chronic skin diseases like eczema, scabies, dermatitis, skin rashes and shingles respond effectively to oral intake of turmeric. Fresh juice extracted from a turmeric rhizome when consumed on empty stomach regularly shows improvement in skin conditions.
Daily intake of fresh turmeric juice works wonders to detoxify the liver and digestive system. It reduces facial puffiness, dry ,rough skin, bloating and hyperacidity .A pinch of turmeric spice taken with warm milk before going to bed helps in reducing anxiety and promotes good sleep.
Reduces Stretch Marks
Stretch marks post pregnancy or after severe weight loss are difficult to get rid off. With consistent use of turmeric powder mixed in diluted lemon juice or raw milk over the marks lightens them to a large extent.
The curcumin in turmeric is antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral thus protects from ill-health and sickness due to seasonal changes. It reduces incidences of frequent illness and fatigue and boosts overall immunity to fight infections.
You can treat dry, flaky, inflamed and itchy scalp with the use of turmeric and curd pack for the hair. Routinely washing excess oily scalp with turmeric water proves effective in oil control.
Care While Using Turmeric
Skin-Turmeric stains the skin to a yellowish hue hence it should be washed off once it dries up. Turmeric must be used in combination with raw milk/honey/plain water as it can cause irritation to sensitive skin. Turmeric powder which is used for application over face and body should be stored in a separate and dry container.
Burns and cuts- Never impulsively dab turmeric on unclean wounds or deep burns as they double the risk of infections. Always seek medical advice.
Hair- Turmeric works as an organic dye hence it should not be used on colored or bleached hair. Hair regeneration properties of turmeric are still in research stage and not much is evident.