With its distinctive amber hue and earthy taste, Turmeric is a staple in Indian kitchens. This “golden spice” is used in a wide array of dishes, ranging from curries to rice preparations and even snacks. But its significance to Indian culture stretches beyond its culinary applications—featuring in religious, wellness, and spiritual practices for centuries.
Read along to discover the various time-tested benefits of turmeric and some simple yet effective ways in which you can add it to your daily rituals.
A Cultural Overview of Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of natural medicine, turmeric is highly valued for its therapeutic properties. It is most commonly used as a home remedy for various ailments, especially during the cold and flu season. “Haldi Dudh” or “Turmeric Milk” is a popular beverage that is said to boost the immune system. It is also a popular natural dye, imparting a beautiful yellow colour to fabrics.
Turmeric is also believed to be auspicious and has been used in religious rituals to invoke the blessings of deities for success, happiness, and prosperity. A popular part of Hindu wedding rituals is the “haldi ceremony,” where turmeric (“haldi”) paste is applied on the bride and groom by the families as a symbol of good luck. The ritual also considers turmeric benefits for skin that impart the bride and groom with a natural glow.
How Turmeric Heals The Skin and Body
Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are believed to provide various health benefits, such as aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting relaxation.
Turmeric is also rich in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to aging. Turmeric benefits for skin as it can help even out skin tone. Curcumin is known to inhibit the production of melanin, which is responsible for skin pigmentation. It helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
Turmeric also helps to heal wounds. The curcumin present in it accelerates the formation of new skin tissue and facilitates the remodeling of collagen, the primary structural protein in the skin. It also possesses antimicrobial properties that can prevent infections in the wound area.
How to Include Turmeric in Your Daily Rituals
We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat” and there is definitely some truth in it. While Cleanse-Hydrate-Protect are the three essential pillars of a good skincare routine, a balanced diet can support your skincare by combating inflammation, breakouts, and premature aging. We have already noted how turmeric benefits for skin health but how can you incorporate it in your everyday routine? Here are some suggestions:
There are many benefits of turmeric milk for skin and it is pretty simple to make this comforting beverage. You will need:
- 1 cup of milk (you can use dairy or plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or 1-inch fresh turmeric root, grated)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper (to enhance curcumin absorption)
- 1 teaspoon of honey (optional, for sweetness)
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
- A pinch of cinnamon or cardamom
In a small saucepan, pour the milk and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add the turmeric and ground black pepper to the milk. Stir well to ensure the turmeric is well-dissolved. Add the ginger and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool slightly. Strain the turmeric milk into a cup to remove any solid particles. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Serve immediately.
If you prefer not to drink milk, you can still enjoy turmeric tea benefits for skin. It comes together in less than 10 minutes so you can make it a morning ritual. The process is similar to that of turmeric milk—just substitute milk with water and enjoy.
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