You all must be wondering why I thought about writing this post. In last few days, I noticed that few of my readers have objections about my including a pinch of turmeric in the authentic dishes. First things first, we do include it from generations and my goal is to provide authentic, tried and tested recipes that I’ve learnt from my Aayi. The second thing is, a pinch of turmeric does not affect the taste in anyway and it has so many medicinal values that, if possible, better to include it in all dishes.
As I said, we include turmeric in most of our food. Then my pachi(momâ€™s sister) read an article somewhere, which said using turmeric in all the dishes, reduces the chances of Cancer. She kept on stressing this point and Aayi also started including it consciously. I try my best to include it in most of the dishes that I cook.
I found this interesting article in the collection from Kannada weekly ‘Sudha’. Hope it helps you all. Take some time from your busy schedule and go through it, I am sure it will help you all. I am translating this article as it is.
The name of the article is “Arishinada Arasutana”. Arishina means turmeric in Kannada. Arasu means king. Arasutana means royal (not too literal meaning, but close). So the title – “Richness of turmeric”, something close to the Kannada title.
The scientific name of turmeric is “Curcuma longa”. It also has the names like ‘Haridra’, ‘Kanchani’, ‘VaravarNini’. The turmeric powder is a powder prepared by the roots of this plant. These roots are hard and brittle. When tender, the outer skin of these roots has dark brown or yellowish green color, the inside of the roots has orange mixed brown or bright red color. The roots are cleaned, boiled, dried and then powdered to get the â€˜turmeric powderâ€™. The powder prepared in this way has yellow color and very good aroma.
Auspicious uses of turmeric: Turmeric has the first place in any pooja, wedding, thread ceremony, house-warming ceremony etc. Any pooja (devataarchane – kannada) starts with turmeric and kumkum. Turmeric is mixed with water, given a shape of dome(Gopura) and worshiped as Goddess Gowri. In poojas, usually people wear the cloths soaked in turmeric(and then dried).
Turmeric in kitchen: Turmeric is the most important ingredient in Indian dishes. It gives color, taste and aroma to the dishes. This has blood purifying, antiseptic and digestive properties. In recent days, we are seeing an increase in usage of artificial food ingredients in various food and food products, which may affect our health adversely. With the intake of turmeric, the adverse effects on health can be controlled. The idlis and kadubus(a dish similar to idli) prepared with turmeric leaves are good for health. In villages, turmeric leaves (instead of plates) are used to have food. Turmeric is a main ingredient in preparing pickles as well.
Turmeric in cosmetics: Turmeric is a very safe and effective beauty product.
– Apply a paste of turmeric and sandal wood paste to face and wash it after 10mins. This helps in making the face glow and cures pimples.
– Tender turmeric root and Raktachandan(no idea of an English name) are mixed with milk and applied to face twice in a day. This makes the face glow.
– Turmeric root mixed in coconut milk helps in getting rid of pimples and makes the skin more healthy and soft.
– Mix turmeric powder, besan(chick pea flour) and fenugreek powder in equal quantities with milk, apply this to body and take bath. This removes unwanted hair from the body and makes the skin soft and beautiful.
Turmeric as medicine: Turmeric is full of medicinal values.
– Turmeric has anti-cancer properties.
– For cold and throat pain, mix 2 teaspoons turmeric with 1-cup warm water and drink. (We usually drink turmeric and pepper mixed with hot milk whenever we get throat pain or cough. This gives immediate relief).
– For the cuts from sharp knifes, turmeric is applied to the cut and pressed to stop the bleeding.
– Mix clean turmeric powder with coconut oil, apply to body and take bath after sometime, to reduce the occurrences of skin diseases.
– Mix turmeric powder, ginger, garlic with milk and keep it for boiling. Drink this milk before going to bed to overcome cold and throat pain.
– The intake of turmeric keeps a pregnant woman healthy. This helps to increase the antibiotic properties in babies.
– For cough, drink 1-teaspoon turmeric mixed with 1-teaspoon honey. Followed by this, drink hot milk.
– Mix turmeric and amla(gooseberry) in equal quantities with 1 tea spn hot water and drink twice daily. This helps in controlling diabetes.
– Applying turmeric to boils in mouth helps to overcome the boils.
– Turmeric is good for people with heart problems.
– Mix turmeric with buttermilk and drink to overcome jaundice, piles.
– Mix turmeric with salt, brush teeth with this mixture to reduce tooth pain.
– Intake of tender turmeric mixed with pepper is good for urine problems.
– Mix turmeric with milk cream and apply to dry lips, hands and legs.
Read this for more details about turmeric.
Note: I havenâ€™t tried and tested all of these remedies, but few of them. Also this article should not be taken as a medical advice. Please consult your physician for illnesses mentioned in the article.