Haldi, or turmeric, is one of the most revered spices as it helps in healing a variety of ailments and benefits the human body in general. In most of our Pakistani- or generally desi– homes, haldi doodh seems to be the all-powerful remedy which can cure anything from the flu to joint pains (and of course, the ‘curse’ of dull skin).
So, is haldi really as great as it’s cut out to be?
Let’s consider some facts about turmeric:
- It actually stems from the ginger family- that’s why, in its original un-powdered form, it looks like ginger root from the outside but is a golden yellow once peeled and cut.
- Turmeric is a staple ingredient in desi (sub-continental) cooking.
- Curcumin is a most beneficial component of turmeric; it boasts anti-inflammatory properties and is a strong antioxidant.
- However, curcumin levels are not easily absorbed nor are the levels very pronounced- it helps to take a turmeric supplement to access the properties of turmeric and curcumin.
- Turmeric is mostly consumed through our diets but it can be used topically for a number of benefits.
Health Benefits of Haldi
- Haldi is scientifically proven to be beneficial for arthritis patients. Since curcumin is anti-inflammatory, and arthritis is inflammation of the joints- it makes sense why it’s so effective.
- Turmeric may be effective for pain in general. It may be effective for knee pain, and in some cases, pre-menstrual cramps.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties help with gut function and improve digestion.
- Some studies suggest that the curcumin in turmeric may help with mood and relieve feelings of depression.
Haldi and Beauty
We use turmeric in our everyday sabzis, yes, but it is also a very popular ingredient in beauty products (usually homemade masks).
Turmeric (used in ubtan to ‘beautify’ brides) has been used for skin and beauty for centuries in South Asia. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the appearance of scars and uneven skin tone.
Haldi also provides a natural glow to skin, but be careful how you use it as it may stain your skin yellow temporarily.
Turmeric aids in skin regeneration and boosts collagen production, which leads to the skin looking younger and brighter.
How to use/consume haldi
- Use it in your everyday sabzis and daals.
- Make haldi milk (helps with immunity boosting, healing and aches)
- Mix one tsp. turmeric with 2 tbsp. warm honey and a few drops of lemon juice- use as a mask to minimize pores and brighten skin tone.
Read: Desi Totkas for Beautiful Skin Before Your Big Day
- Capsules with concentrated doses of turmeric are also available- these contain higher dosages of curcumin for immediate effectiveness. However, consult your doctor before taking supplements.