Haldi Benefits and The Uses of Turmeric in Indian Culture
Turmeric or haldi is otherwise known as the golden spice or Indian saffron for the brilliant yellow colour it imparts. It comes from the same family as ginger, which is known for its health-promoting compounds. In India, turmeric has been used for generations in cooking and in Ayurvedic medicine. Over the recent years, it has been shown that the various claims of turmeric benefits for health are in fact grounded in science.
Turmeric in Ayurvedic Medicine
In Ayurveda, this versatile root is a known treatment for various respiratory conditions, liver disorders, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, cough and sinusitis. It is believed to have medicinal properties with include relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation and relieving arthritis.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Haldi is a good source of manganese and iron. It contains curcuminoids and terpenoids - bioactive compounds that are extremely beneficial to health. Among the curcuminoids, curcumin is the predominant one, and its properties have been studied extensively. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of degenerative diseases, including cancer.
Curcumin benefits health through its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Further, curcumin also offers excellent antioxidant benefits by scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidative damage which can lead to a number of ailments. One study has even shown that curcumin is effective against depression.
Here are some of the ways in which the various haldi benefits are utilized in Indian culture.
1. In Kashmir, new mothers are given a soup made with haldi to help with strengthening bones and healing post childbearing.
2. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, haldi powder is sprinkled on minor wounds to disinfect them and promote healing. Haldi paste is also used to treat boils and burns.
3. In skincare, haldi is used along with other ingredients like milk, dahi and sandalwood to treat acne, scars, pigmentation and stretch marks. It is also used to treat dandruff.
4. Haldi milk, made with milk, turmeric powder and honey has long been used to ease colds, sore throats and coughs.
Aside from its nutritional and medicinal significance, haldi is also culturally important and is used in a number of traditions.
1. In Hinduism, turmeric is considered sacred. In many regions, at weddings, the mangalsutra or “holy thread” worn by the bride is prepared by dyeing a string yellow with haldi paste.
2. In many communities, a pre-wedding ceremony is held - aptly called “Haldi”. Here, haldi is applied to the face and hands of the bride and groom as a blessing for a happy married life. This practice is also said to ease anxiety.
3. In some parts of south India, a bit of the haldi root is worn as a good luck charm to ward off evil spirits
4. Turmeric’s bright yellow colour is another one of curcumin’s benefits. Turmeric is, thus, traditionally used to dye clothing such as the robes worn by Buddhist monks and the festive garments worn during Onam.
The versatility of turmeric is truly astounding. Whenever you are using the spice, ensure that you pick the purest and unadulterated option. Tata Sampann Turmeric Powder is made from only the best ingredients and packaged for lasting freshness. What’s more, it comes with a minimum 3% curcumin guarantee and has its natural oils intact. Make a smart choice for your family’s needs.
- Everything you need to know about turmeric [Medical News Today]
- Chemistry and Biochemistry of Terpenoids from Curcuma and Related Species [T&F]
- Inflammation and Cancer [NCBI]
- Anti-inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma Longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research [NCBI]
- On the Antioxidant Mechanism of Curcumin: Classical Methods Are Needed to Determine Antioxidant Mechanism and Activity [NCBI]
- Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial [NCBI]
- The Flavour of Spice [Google Books]
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