Growing up, Turmeric was a staple in my house. We called it huldi. I always saw it as something that added an orange-ish hue to our dishes and then left an ugly stain on our dishes and nails that would eventually fade with time. However over time and the wisdom imparted from my Mother, I learned it was more than just a food dye or a stain, this tangy spice is used in ayurvedic practices as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises and has been known as an antibacterial agent. The ritual at our house is to mix a spoon of it in a hot cup of milk and drink it first thing in the morning to cleanse the body of any toxins.
In India, turmeric is used in various skin creams as a lightening agent while also treating inflammations on the skin. Before the day of a wedding, turmeric is mixed into a paste, applied all over the body of a female, and allowed to sit for a few minutes. After it is washed off, the turmeric creates a nature glow and clears the skin of any impurities allowing the bride to look her best and radiant for her wedding day. I have noticed that most of these rituals are common throughout southeast Asia.
Turmeric itself is bitter which is why only a pinch of it is used in curries, rice or other dishes just to add color. The benefits and use of this spice are mainly for its healing properties. It is widely grown in India but can also be found in China and Indonesia.
I’ve only tried this spice in food or in hot milk when visiting my folks but for a while I’ve been thinking about adding it to my diet to see how it would help my system and what the benefits would be. I’ll be trying this out for a month to see if I notice any changes.