Turmeric is one of the most important spices in any Indian recipe. It has many unique properties, making it an ideal choice for food flavoring, natural colorant, an effective part of various treatments for diseases and beauty problems. Its yellow color makes it sacred for Hindus. Turmeric or haldi, as it is commonly known is used for many religious purposes.
Turmeric is an underground root called rhizome and belongs to ginger family. Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric. Curcumin has several therapeutic properties. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. The turmeric rhizome is boiled for long durations and then dried at high temperatures, to grind it into yellow powder.
Turmeric prevents formation of gas in the alimentary tract. Therefore, it is used in dishes to improve digestion. It stimulates bile production in liver and its removal from gall bladder. Turmeric helps in unblocking the arteries and preventing heart stroke. It lowers the cholesterol level and is also good for relieving pain due to osteoarthritis. Use of turmeric extract, two weeks prior to menstruation reduces menstrual cramps.
Many home remedies can be made from turmeric. For anemia, take one teaspoon of turmeric juice mixed with honey. Daily drinking hot milk with turmeric can cure asthma. To get relief from burns, mixture of turmeric and aloe gel can be used. For diabetes, one teaspoon of turmeric should be taken thrice a day. To get relief from pain, a paste of one teaspoon turmeric and two teaspoon of ginger should be applied on the affected area. Drinking one cup of warm milk with turmeric before going to bed is also useful in relieving pain. Daily using a paste of one teaspoon turmeric with half teaspoon of salt mixed in mustard oil helps to keep teeth and gums healthy. Turmeric also has ability to cure conjunctivitis.
Turmeric is a goldmine for skin care. It prevents dry skin, treats eczema and acne and slows the aging process. Many herbal products found in the market have turmeric as an essential ingredient. The turmeric mixed with raw milk is a very effective skin cleanser. Applying turmeric on the body once in a while decreases the hair growth and improves skin complexion. It is a useful tonic and purifies blood effectively. Turmeric is a gift of the nature and we should reap all the benefits of this wonderful herb.