Turmeric: an Ayurvedic treasure-home remedies

So for as long as I can remember, this orange and yellow root has been taken out of my family’s refrigerator for so many reasons. The time that I landed on my ankle sideways from practicing gymnastics when I was younger, the time my brother fell off his bike when he got off training wheels, the countless times growing up that New York winters brought on sniffles and more.

What is turmeric?

It’s a perennial herb that grows wild in the forests of Southeast Asia. It is one of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian, Thai and Indonesian dishes. According to Ayurveda, ancient Indian 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. Here is a recent and awesome article on turmeric that was in Huffington Post.

What does it do?

This Ayurvedic treasure has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-septic 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, like Dr. Weil’s findings in the article above, turmeric has established itself as being preventive to cancer and diabetes.

The Remedies:

Here are remedies that have been passed down from my grandmother when my grandparents moved from India and into our home when I was younger. 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/contact your doctor ASAP!

Inflammation of the joint/joint pain:

Whenever we sprained 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 our ankle or whatever joint we had injured and then wrapped an elastic ace bandage around our foot.

acne cure:

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 concotion 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:) My sister studied cosmetology and uses this on her clients, as well.

To make:

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. Soooo much better for your skin than all the chemicals in so many of the zit medication ointments out there!

cold remedy:

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. As an adult, I don’t drink cow’s milk, (I drink almond instead, which doesn’t taste good warmed up), so instead  she told me to do this: 1 tsp. of turmeric powder, a pinch of ajowan seeds and some local honey to boiling water as a tea.  Also, whenever we had a cough with our colds, she would add ghee-clarified butter to the mixture. We did it nightly until we felt better, usually a few nights. This worked wonders!

cuts/wounds/scrapes:

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 and my dad would add a little kiss on our head and to the “boo-boo” after putting this on; love helps healing too 😉

 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. My husband and I sometimes add turmeric root itself to our vegetable juices to reep it’s benefits. Also, stay tuned here for some great recipes in the future that include this wonderful ingredient 🙂

Have any turmeric home remedies to share? Comment below!

-Puja

 

 

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