Saturday, July 25, 2009
Turmeric (Haldi, Curcumin) - The Magical Spice/Herb of India
There are a lot of other discoveries and findings made by Aryabhatta, but I am taking a break for now. Will come back to Aryabhatta's scientific discoveries sometime later. This post deals with the various beneficial properties of Turmeric, one of the most important herbs of our tradition that has been used in India since time immemorial.
I am sure you would agree that there is no home in India which does not use Turmeric. Called Haldi in India, it is utilised for a variety of purposes in our daily lives.
Turmeric has been part of our cooking since aeons, and is used both as a spice as well as for natural colouring. Ayurveda cuisine refers to the use of turmeric in it's dishes, and that practice has been passed down the generations.
Get ready for a long post loaded with links, because Turmeric (Haldi) has a plethora of medicinalproperties due to the presence of the chemical Curcumin. Some of these are:
1) Prevention or Slowing down Alzheimer's disease. Please refer links below to understand the medical background:
Apart from this, Turmeric (Haldi) has been used since time immemorial in India as a Grandma's cure for skin infections, cuts, wounds and lesions. Recent studies prove that Curcumin inserts itself into cell membranes, making them more stable and thus healing them. Refer the below link:
Turmeric (Haldi) has also been used in India as a cosmetic. People, especially the women-folk are advised to use it to get a glowing and radiant skin.
It is also a common ritual to apply turmeric paste on the to-be bride and groom before marriage in the traditional Hindu ceremony. Studies show that Turmeric helps fight Melanoma, a deadly form of skin-cancer. Refer below link:
I remeber my mother giving me a glass full of "Haldi ka doodh", or Turmeric dissolved in milk, whenever I had a cold/cough/fever, was feeling weak or was having body-pain. Turmeric seems to be a natural pain-killer and is seen to be helpful against all these symptoms. Please refer below links:
Another nice article summarizing Turmeric's benefits:
Phew! When I started this post, I frankly knew only about Turmeric's beneficial properties for Alzheimer's and Body pain. But even after so much of research and new benefits that I have learnt, I am sure there are still many things which have been left out. I think Turmeric (Haldi) does deserve another post in the near future.
So, the bottom-line is that Turmeric (Haldi), an inseparable part of Indian cuisine and Indian tradition, has been proclaimed and accepted as a wonder-herb for it's array of Medicinal properties. No wonder that it has been used in India for ages. Our ancestors had identified it's beneficial properties and made sure that it is both consumed on a daily basis and used for the specific ailment when required...
Till next time,
- Nikhil Mundra
25th July 2009