Turmeric, known as Haldi in India, is the world-famous, tropical spice is used to dye fabric and flavour food, along with treating a variety of ailments. Historians report that this underground stem was first grown in India and then taken to South East Asia with the spreading of Hinduism and Buddhism, as it was used to colour the robes of priests and monks.
The word turmeric comes from the Latin words Terra and Meritta; which translates to sacred soil. Over centuries, is has been used in Ayurveda, Siddha, and folk medicine traditions to treat ailments related to the immune system and gut.
How to Use Haldi
Turmeric is probably one of the most versatile herbs known today. While Indian households are well accustomed to a dash of haldi added to stews, curries, meats, and vegetables, turmeric is also gaining great popularity in cuisines across the world.
But haldi can be used in more ways than one.
- Food: Try adding a dash of turmeric to your cooking. Since the flavour itself is quite mild, you may not notice this addition to your regular cooking, apart from the yellow tinge it adds to the food.
Haldi is a great addition to stews, vegetables, and soups, and works well with any marinade for fish and chicken as well. Adding a dash of turmeric to plain or fried rice can add an interesting flavour to your meal as well. Even blending some turmeric into your morning smoothie or cup of chai is another great way to add this superfood to your everyday recipes.
Do remember, however, that turmeric is known to naturally slow blood clotting, so if you are taking oral medications such as asprin or ibuprofen, stay away from excessive ingestion of turmeric while on them.
- Skin :The anti-bacterial and healing properties of haldi make it perfect for a face mask on those self-care nights. Mix half a teaspoon of haldi into a bowl of plain yoghurt and add a teaspoon of honey to make a paste. Apply all over your face and keep it on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Wash with warm water and repeat a few times a week to treat uneven skin, psoriasis, acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Do keep in mind that turmeric has a strong colour and can stain the skin and nails mild yellow if used in too much volume!
- Hair: Turmeric has also been known to treat hair conditions and has been prescribed to manage dandruff, scalp inflammation, control oil, and even promote hair growth. To use as a hair mask, mix equal parts of olive oil and turmeric, adding honey for moisture if required. Apply evenly to the hair and scalp for 15-20 minutes before a wash. Shampoos with added turmeric are available commercially and are also a great option if your hair is in need of some TLC!
- Wounds and Burns: The curcumin found in turmeric reduces inflammation and skin irritation, and can keep open wounds or burns from developing infections. If you hurt yourself or sustain a mild burn, covering the area with turmeric until you reach medical attention can manage the pain and keep infection at bay.
For more information on the best Ayurvedic practices, consider an experience at Amal Tamara for a week or two of guidance from our expert team. We would love nothing more than to host you on what will be the beginning of your Ayurvedic Journey for Life!