Many families of the Southeast Asian countries, especially India, know of this orange-hued spice very well. Â It is one of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian, Thai and Indonesian dishes.
What is turmeric?
It's a perennial herb that grows wild in the forests of Southeast Asia. According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing medicine, it has been used for over 2,500 years in it's value of medicinal healing, a lot of which has been researched in studies today.
What does it do?
This Ayurvedic treasure has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiseptic properties, as well as being a diuretic, a laxative and an expectorant herb. Turmeric is a good source of Vitamin C and Potassium. It also contains a compound called Curcumin which has anti-bacterial properties. In clinical studies, turmeric has established itself as being preventive to cancer and diabetes.
Here are remedies that have been passed down from my grandmother when my grandparents moved from India and into our home when I was a young child. She still uses them, still leads an ayurvedic lifestyle and is completely healthy and in her eighties. While these remedies worked great for me and my family, if there's anything you are unsure of, please seek medical care or contact your doctor ASAP.
Whenever we strained our skinny ankles growing up, my mom would make a paste of turmeric powder and water, (about a 3:2 ratio of powder to liquid), slightly warm it on the stove until it became a paste, add some sea salt to it and then spread the paste on the ankle or whatever joint we had injured and then wrapped an elastic ace bandage around our foot.
As a teenager, while I was lucky not to have bad hormonal acne, I do remember it was the worst to get a random pimple in the middle of your face, especially when you had a Sweet 16 to go to and your high school crush was going to be there. Here's an amazing all natural face mask you can help your teens beat that acne with, or even use on yourself as a facial for smooth and glowing skin. My husband and I decided to do a traditional Hindu wedding for our wedding ceremony, and one of the special rituals prior to the wedding is called a Pithi. It's where all your family, including your cousins and aunts and uncles, wish you happy, loving and positive thoughts and rub this turmeric concoction on your face so you glow as a bride. I will say, as messy, (and fun), as it was, my skin felt pretty awesome after:) Many modern cosmetologists uses this on their clients, as well.
Inflammation of the joint/joint pain:
Take 1-2 tbsp. of chickpea flour, a few pinches of turmeric powder, some milk to add in while making a paste and finally a drop of organic rose water and mix it all in a shallow bowl. Steam your face so your pores are open and then apply the mask, especially to trouble areas. Let it dry for about 15-20 minutes and then wash it gently with warm water.
Another option for blackheads or single pimples, is to mix a pinch of turmeric powder and coconut oil and apply that directly to the lesions.
The minute we would start sniffling, especially after our snowball fights in the the winter, my grandmother would rush to give us this before we went to bed. She would mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder, some black pepper and small chunk of jaggery to a glass of warm milk. Alternatively, especially for a cough, you can also do this: heat up 1 tsp. of turmeric powder, a pinch of ajowan seeds, ghee-clarified butter, and then add some local honey. We did it nightly until we felt better, usually a few nights. This worked wonders!
Taking a little turmeric powder and lime juice is a great way to help heal a wound under a band-aid! Be sure the area is cleaned! Along with all these remedies, turmeric is a great addition to food, helping with digestion, some say even helping with memory and for the preventive properties described above. I sometimes add turmeric root itself to our vegetable juices to reap its benefits. This simple ingredient can go a long way in your household which is why the movement started by Ancient Health Care plans to get the information about Ayurveda's simple techniques for health and longevity to the masses.