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Health benefits of the humble turmeric

There’s a lot more to haldi than its properties as a spice

brunch Updated: Nov 18, 2017 21:45 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
turmeric,haldi,spice
Turmeric is a root that is as popular as ginger in Ayurveda(istock)

We are all so used to turmeric (haldi), that by now we’ve taken it for granted. Yet, haldi has such tremendous medicinal value, that this\ narrowly escaped being patented outside India.

Turmeric is a root that is as popular as ginger in Ayurveda. Many of its beneficial aspects are due to its active compound, curcumin. Curcumin has a profoundly anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and provides a good defence system against diseases.

Inflammation is the body’s reaction to toxic elements in our environment, such as water with heavy chlorine, air pollution, unhealthy oil (trans fats), stress, lack of sleep, and overuse of chemical aromas, deodorants, cleaning agents, etc.

This reaction can damage the skin and blood vessels, causing liver problems, arthritis, cholesterol blocks and various other issues. Haldi, therefore, makes a good preventive medicine. Here’s how:

For a healthy liver: A decoction of crushed and boiled turmeric and ginger root manages fatty liver, poor liver function and gall stones. Also, take milk thistle capsules twice a day for one month.

For arthritis: Rheumatic knee pain responds best to a vegetable soup with added haldi at dinner time. Also fast intermittently, taking only haldi-based vegetable soups at dinner. Avoid processed cheese, pickles and fermented and packaged foods.

Also use a topical paste made of haldi in a few drops of til oil, plus eucalyptus oil, with a pinch each of sendha namak and camphor. Apply on the joint and leave on for a few hours.

For your skin: To the age-old haldi and chandan paste, add a teaspoon of gram powder and a capsule of sea buckthorn oil.

For general well-being: A glass of haldi cooked in hot milk taken every night will take care of internal infections and inflammations.

NOTE: For true therapeutic benefits, only use organic turmeric root, and grind or crush it at home.

From HT Brunch, November 19, 2017

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First Published: Nov 18, 2017 21:45 IST