Turmeric: Nature's golden blessing

Significance of turmeric

Turmeric……… indian gold!!! It is rewarded with this appellation because of its unceasing relationship with indian culture, cuisine, medicines, cosmetics, weddings, ceremonies, religious rituals and many more. Its uses are not confined to only this as it has been one of the most precious herb in ancient medical system i.e ayurveda. In ayurveda turmeric is regarded as haridra हरि वर्णं द्राति संशोधयति means the herb for flawless complexion that's why in every indian wedding haldi ceremony is performed where the paste (उबटन) prepared from turmeric, besan, milk, rosewater and sandalwood is applied on bride’s face, neck, arms as well as feet's because it is strongly believed that it reduces marks, acne scars and pigmentation plus adds natural glow to the skin. Its strong anti inflammatory, mitigation of free radicals as well as antioxidant properties compel modern science to accepts its benefits. Hence we can say that its uses are numerous as it is practiced in ailments like in common cold, cough, joints pain, depression, diabetes, wound healing since earlier eras till today. In this article some more home uses of turmeric for better routine management has been covered.

Calibre of curcuma longa

Ayurveda has highly encouraged the medicinal use of turmeric both externally as well as internally either in the form of powder, smoke, juice, paste or decoction to prevent and cure diseases. Some of the important uses are as follows:

  1. X factor for females

  2. Turmeric is also called as ‘योषित् प्रिया’ which means that turmeric is used in treating female reproductive system problems such as in abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, vaginal infections etc moreover it helps in regulating menstrual flow, decrease intensity and pain of dysmenorrhoea and also beneficial in amenorrhea and uterine tumors. It is a mild uterine stimulant too therefore it is advisable for any pregnant woman who would like to use turmeric besides culinary purpose to seek the guidance of a qualified practitioner first.

  3. Turmeric for first aid

  4. In case of subcutaneous bleeding/injury, turmeric either with water, coconut or mustard oil can be used as a paste for local application to reduce swelling, pain and to enhance the healing. Internally 1 gm turmeric powder should be taken along with jaggery as it is natural analgesic (painkiller). Even it is beneficial for your pets too such as dogs who suffer with joint inflammation, injuries or memory issues could be healed with turmeric.

  5. Turmeric as antimicrobial

  6. Turmeric is also called as ‘कृमिघ्ना’ in sanskrit because it is blessed with varied properties such as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and anthelmintic (anti-worm). It interferes with the ability of microbes to replicate themselves thus for its antibiotic properties turmeric has been compared with penicillin. It is also an excellent home remedy for intestinal worms (tapeworm/roundworm), chronic diarrhea, urinary tract infections and genital infections.

Decoding turmeric for diseases

  1. In Respiratory system

  2. Curcumin present in turmeric possess antioxidants which protects our lungs from pollution as well as toxins. Therefore it is used in respiratory diseases since ages. For example turmeric mixed with ghee is traditionally used to get rid of cough and as adjuvant to treat asthma. Turmeric is also a very good choice for bronchitis and other pulmonary infections, especially when taken with fresh garlic or you can also fry a tablespoon of turmeric, cumin with few mashed garlic cloves in ghee for these ailments. For blocked noses try gargling with warm turmeric tea for a minute, this will help open your nasal pathway as both mouth and nose are connected to each other through pharynx.

  3. Periodontal infections and cough

  4. You might be suffering from the swollen gums and from gum infections. Turmeric helps in reducing gum infections. Apply the pinch of turmeric mixed with salt and mustard oil to the affected area around two or three times a day.

    Cough and cold are not very serious diseases but they make the body lethargic, mind sluggish and the life irritable. Turmeric is rich in volatile oils and curcumin that helps in alleviating cold and cough and also provides a shield against the infection. Turmeric gargles - Take a cup of hot water and add half teaspoon of turmeric powder, half teaspoon of table salt. Do gargles with it as this would give an immediate relief from cough.

  5. In depression

  6. Turmeric is a new way of treating depression naturally. If you are suffering from depression due to seasonal changes, turmeric could greatly affect your health. The curcumin present in the turmeric positively affect the serotonin in the brain, thus helps diminish depression.

  7. In diabetes

  8. India is one of the most affected nation in the world that suffers from diabetes which commonly addressed by the three symptoms namely polyuria (excessive urination), polyphagia and polydipsia. Ayurveda assures that turmeric is very effective in type II diabetes management especially to treat polyuria and therefore turmeric is awarded with the epithet “मूत्रसंग्रहणीय”.

Turmeric sufficient for skin

  1. A perfect skin beautician

  2. Learning herb name is an essential way to study the herbs and to get more knowledge about them. In sanskrit the turmeric has been called with the other names like Gauri, Kachani, Nisha whose meaning is associated with improving complexion moreover providing glow and grace to the face. In Indian marriages “Haldi Ceremony” an important ritual is celebrated where turmeric mixed with besan i.e. called as uptan is rubbed on the face and body of both bride and groom. This helps to instantly enhance the glow and complexion of the skin including also keep away the harmful bacterias. Turmeric else works as an antiseptic thus used as medicinal paste in various skin disorders such as pimples/acne, eczema, ringworm infection.

  3. Pigmentation problems

  4. Turmeric helps to reduce extra pigmentation on your skin and arms. This can be easily done at home. Mix a little turmeric with cucumber or lemon juice and apply on your face. Leave it for some time and wash off. A one-time application will be of little help and only regular use will give a soft glow to your face.

  5. Remove Melasma

  6. Mix 2 tsp of turmeric, a little milk and lemon juice and let it stay on your face for 20 minutes and wash off, within two weeks you should see the results.

  7. Stretch marks

  8. Most of the women are worried because of the stretch marks either due to pregnancy or obesity but to abolish them you should try out this simple home remedy. Take the mixture of yoghurt and turmeric then apply this paste over your affected area for 5-10 minutes this will gradually fades your marks (referred to as striae gravidarum).

Bit different utilization

  1. Dhoomapana (a medicated smoke)

  2. In dhoomapana we inhale the smoke of burning turmeric. Ideally it is done by sprinkling turmeric powder or putting dry turmeric root on the burning coal and then we have to inhale the fumes so generated that act as expectorant. Dhoomapana is very effective in curing dry cough besides these fumes also works as mosquito repellant for this use a small mud pot by placing red hot charcoal into the pot and turmeric over it, to spray the fumes. Therefore if you are allergic to liquid vaporizers than the dhoomapana can be very beneficial in warding off the mosquitoes and the fumes would favourable to the health of family. Inhalation of medicinal smoke of turmeric is beneficial in severe hiccups too.

  3. Turmeric for conjunctivitis

  4. According to ayurveda an individual suffering from conjunctivitis i.e inflammation of the conjunctiva can be cured by the turmeric decoction, for this you have to boil 1 gm of turmeric powder in 10 ml of water and then wash your eyes thoroughly with this medicated water. With regular use it will reduces itching, redness and watering of the eyes.

  5. Supplementary

  • Pregnancy - It is also given internally along the jaggery after delivery to strengthen the uterus and improve lactation.
  • Scorpion bite - It is utilized in scorpion bite to reduce swelling and pain.

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Dr. Shishir Prasad

MS (Shalya Tantra) | Associate Professor (Gurukul Kangri- Haridwar) | President NASYA-Uttarakhand

Haridwar, Gurukul Kangri

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