Lately again, there have been many enquiries about turmeric – the wonder spice or herb.
In Ayurveda it is one of the very few roots with a wide range of benefits and effects. There is a saying in Ayurveda – any kitchen is incomplete without turmeric”
It is one of the most essential ingredients in this system. So much so that, in the very unique “Indian /Ayurvedic spice box”, it takes the central position among the 7 little containers. Every meal prepared almost always contains turmeric.
The most common form is the pure turmeric root that has been dried and powdered. It is classically a dark yellow powder.
Its uses are not limited just to the kitchen; they extend to other aspects of life like wedding ceremonies, daily rituals, baby massages, beauty therapies, and of course Ayurvedic therapies.
In Indian weddings we have a very special ceremony called Haldi or turmeric ceremony where by the brides and the grooms are smeared with pure root turmeric paste just a few days before the wedding. Turmeric is known for its skin beautifying properties through cleansing the blood.
Once again turmeric is very commonly used in massages for new born babies. The baby is first massaged with warm sesame seed oil. Thereafter a mix of powders of turmeric, rose, sandalwood are then applied to the skin and gently scrubbed. This works as a very good and gentle exfoliation for the babies. Turmeric is known to have very good anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Therefore, it helps to prevent any such infections and conditions in the babies.
Turmeric is also known as a skeletal system rejuvenator. It has been used for many years for any bone related ailments or conditions like fractures or inflammation. Its anti inflammatory quality helps towards preventing any inflammations or imbalances of the bones tissue.
A combination of warm milk, turmeric and ghee (clarified butter) can help to gently relieve constipation especially in younger children, pregnancy, and older people.
Its anti inflammatory and blood cleansing properties also helps to prevent or relieve any symptoms of acidity or ulcers. It has also been quite widely used for people suffering from symptoms of IBS or colitis.
Turmeric is known for its skin rejuvenating properties. There is a saying in Ayurveda – when a pregnant woman regularly consumes turmeric during pregnancy, she will be gifted with a baby with beautiful, healthy glowing skin. It has very good anti bacterial anti fungal and anti viral properties. This helps in ailments like eczema, psoriasis, acne etc.
A combination of turmeric and aloe vera gel will help to smooth out the complexion and get rid of any fine lines and discolorations from the skin.
It also has very good wound healing properties. Therefore it can be used locally as an application for any external wounds or injuries. Likewise, it can be applied locally for women who may have undergone episiotomy at the time of child birth.
Once again, a combination of turmeric and aloe vera gel when taken internally is very useful towards various skin ailments like acne, psoriasis, eczema along with skin scarring, discolouration etc.
It is also known to help strengthen the immune system therefore helps to prevent recurrent infections or colds and coughs. It’s very good anti fungal quality makes it useful in conditions like tenia pedis or any other fungal infections in the body.
The benefits and uses of turmeric are very wide and vast. It no wonder that this is one of the most important herbs or spice in Ayurveda.