THE WONDERS OF TURMERIC -HARIDRA BY MONICA B GROOVER

Last year, during SDCOA's annual 3 day workshop a student of mine told us that her husband was in a motorcycle accident and besides concussion, had a nasty contusion on his back. He was told that it will heal by itself in time. She took turmeric root powder, as, well as turmeric root juice--and applied it with Aloe vera gel -as a LEPA. In three days, before his next appointment with her husbands physician, the bruising had practically disappeared. The Physician was amazed.

Be mindful, that this was not an open wound. This is the blue purple bruising only.

Then, there's yesterdays story of a toddler bumping his head, and, getting a blue bruise, and, my special herbal mix with turmeric as chief ingredient really helped.

(You dont want to put any herbs on an open wound--see your doctor)

A Lepa is a paste in Ayurveda. Yes, the Turmeric or Haridra paste will make everything yellow and it doesnt look that pretty-but its results are amazing.

Turmeric is used in Chinese Medicine and called E Zhu.

Haridra (Turmeric) Roots are of two types:

!. White Turmeric Rhizome
2. Yellow Turmeric Root

Pandit Atul who cooks a lot with White turmeric root during our SDCOA workshop, and, he makes an amazing astringent chutney with it. I also tend to have turmeric root pickle in my kitchen cabinet. When there is no time to cook, a simple corn tortilla with turmeric root pickle and make a fantastic healthy snack.

Usually, when we talk about Turmeric we are talking about the Yellow Turmeric. However, I wanted to talk about both of these varieties. Below is the instagram photo of his turmeric chutney:

Turmeric root chutney by Atul

A post shared by ayurveda-college-online (@ayurvedaonline) on

Now, lets talk about the wonders of Turmeric. Studies and research have shown that it is helpful in normal brain function, and cell reproduction(‘Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope’, Wall Street Journal, 2005).

According to Chinese Medical Journal, September 2008, 17;3:11, Turmeric's bio component called curcumonoids have shown therapeutic actions and molecular biological action.

Ataturk University, Turkey, has had a research team that have studied the antioxidant properties of Haridra in response to free radicals. (Chemico-Biological Interactions, July 2008, 10;174(1):27-37).

What does Ayurvedic Texts say?

Haridra is bitter and drying so Vata should have it with ghee or with soups and foods. Remember Turmeric has poor absorption so it is best eaten with food and cooked in fats. (Fat soluble)

As Ayurvedic Practitioners, we use certain Ayurvedic Herb glossary terms for Herbs. For (YELLOW TURMERIC). For, Haridra they are:

Artavajanana - Supports menstrual cycle. Artava is menstrual blood. Janana means promotes. Usually, must be combined with Shatavari, and/or other artavajanana herbs for most potent SUPPORT action.

Agni Dipana - Supports Jatharagni (Digestive fire) Thermogenic. This means that it is heating. So, Pittas can have with Aloe juice or coconut or ghee to counteract this property.

Jvaraghna - Jvara- Supports Fever. Supports certain fevers, especially the kapha kinds.

Krimighna - Krimi covers a broad term here. Fungus, and, all kind of bacteria usually bad ones. So, it is anti fungal, anti bacterial

Kusthaghna v- Kushtha is skin. So, Turmeric is great for skin

Lekhana - Have you ever scraped wood to get to the bottom layer. Now, imagine this wonder and Super herb scraping Ama (toxins). Lekhana is scraping. Supports Detoxification.

Pandughna - Pandu was the name of father of Pandavas in Indian Vedic Literature. He was so named because of his light skin and anemia. So, Pandu is the name used in anaemia. When used in conjunction with dates, blackstrap molasses, pomegranates--(all iron rich foods), turmeric increases their efficacy and supports Anemia.

Pramahana - Supports healthy glucose levels when used with jambolana, Gymnema (shardunika) and gokshura

Raktashodhana - Rakta is blood. Shodhana is purification. Turmeric supports Blood purification. Combine this with skin clearing action--supports bumps, contusions and bruising. (Be mindful--that it turns everything yellow--so you want to put a lepa or paste of turmeric, use a cloth over it)

Sandhaniya - Sandhi means to join. You know how after a bone fracture has healed that area is still kind of sensitive. Turmeric Ghrita or Ghee is a great option to rub at this point.

Stanyashodhaka - Turmeric supports purification of breast milk. Why would anyone need that? Well, how about if mom is on antibiotics or has toxins--does she want that to flow to the baby. So, there you go.

Turmeric supports Vedanasthapana - Vedana is pain. So we can translate Vedanasthapana as anti inflammatory analgesic. Remember the story of my student, or, my friends toddler who had a bump on his head--I have turmeric in three different forms in my kitchen at all times.

1. TURMERIC GHRITA - Ghee form
2. TURMERIC ROOT - in the fridge
3. TURMERIC POWDER - in the kitchen cabinet

I can mix and match it for LEPAS, with aloe, or use it in the food. Internally or externally--it WORKS!!

Last, but, not the least Haridra is Vishaghna - Supports purification of bad toxins. Visha is actually poisonous toxins.

We use it in India to make our skin beautiful. I remember our student who is now a sucessful Ayurvedic Practitioner once rubbed Turmeric on her face and arrived at my class. I asked her if she was feeling okay. (Yellow skin signifies liver issues and pitta issues in Ayurveda). She told us she had rubbed turmeric on her face. It was her idea of a facial. One of the best stories from our classes. :)

Again, a word of caution--not on open wounds. Ayurveda is not recognized by FDA and this information is from ancient Ayurvedic texts and for informational purposes only. Please see your physician for any health issues.

If you want to contact me for an Ayurveda Consultation, contact me using this contact form

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