11 Amazing Uses of Turmeric You Need to Know

Owing to the numerous uses of turmeric powder, it has come to be known as the Queen of all spices. This popular spice can do much more than just add flavour to your cooking. Read further to know more about the many uses of turmeric powder.
Photo: Microsoft Office Image
A couple of nights ago, as I sat sipping some warm haldi-milk to soothe my inflamed throat, I was marveling at the many uses of turmeric powder. That's when it struck me - why not do a post on just that?! How's that for a solution to bloggers block - a glass of warm turmeric-milk?!

BONUS: Download a FREE pdf cheat sheet that you can print and keep handy as a ready reference. Includes 2 bonus recipes not in this post.

Turmeric is obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is a very popular spice in India and is added to several dishes- vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. Turmeric is an essential part of all curries or curry powders. But, the use of turmeric powder is not confined to cooking. It has several medicinal and cosmetic uses as well.

PRECAUTION: Exert caution while using turmeric in pregnancy or while nursing. Although turmeric used in cooking may be safe, turmeric supplements should NOT be taken while pregnant or while nursing. Read more about it at www.turmericforhealth.com

1.      Relieve sore throat

Photo: Microsoft Office Image
The most common use of turmeric is probably to relieve a sore throat. In India, Haldi-milk is a popular remedy for coughs and colds. Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of milk and stir it well. Bring to a boil and drink it while still hot. If you prefer, you could add honey, sugar or jaggery to make it sweet. Some people also add peppercorn or ginger to this preparation for added benefit. Generally taken at night, it is known to improve symptoms of cold by the next morning.

For many more effective and natural home remedies to treat a cold, read 8 effective ways to treat a cold without medicines

2.      Heal minor cuts, wounds, grazes or burns 

In case of minor cuts, wounds or grazes, make a paste of turmeric and apply it to the affected area. Turmeric helps stop the bleeding and helps the wound to heal faster. It also prevents any further infection and helps relieve pain.  
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself. A couple of years ago, I cut my finger pretty badly and the bleeding just wouldn't stop. On an impulse, I sprinkled some turmeric powder and the bleeding stopped almost instantly.
In case of burns, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of aloe vera pulp and apply to the burnt area. This prevents any further infection, promotes healing and prevents scarring.
CAUTION: In case of severe injury, a visit to the doctor is necessary. 

3.      Treat skin diseases

Many skin diseases can be treated by regular application of oil mixed with turmeric powder. Turmeric is said to cure several skin disorders including 
Turmeric powder in stall
Photo: By Surya Prakash.S.A. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], 
via Wikimedia Commons
eczema and psoriasis. It also is useful in the treatment of skin conditions such as ringworm or other parasitic skin infections. 
Regular application of a mix
ture made of turmeric with milk can soothe the skin and reduce the redness and inflammation of eczema..
You could also prepare "turmeric tea" and use it to wash the affected area. Add ½ tsp of turmeric to a glass of boiling water an allow it to simmer for few minutes. Cool and use.

4.      For healthy teeth and gums

Turmeric powder mixed with salt works as a good dentrifice. It is known to whiten teeth and maintain oral health. You could even use it by mixing some turmeric powder with the toothpaste that you normally use.

5.      As a face pack/mask

Turmeric powder is very popularly used in homemade face packs as it has been known to make the skin fair and blemish free with regular use. It is also known to have anti-acne properties.
A paste prepared using gram flour, turmeric powder and milk makes an excellent face pack. Apply the mixture on the face and neck. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Do this regularly for a glowing complexion and blemish free skin.

6.      Facial hair removal

Of the many uses of turmeric, using it to get rid of unwanted hair is very popular in India. Although a slow method, it is claimed to be very effective by those who have tried it. Also, it is useful for only fine facial hair.
Photo: Microsoft Office Image
Take a thick paste of gram flour and water and add to it some turmeric powder. Apply this paste onto the affected area, in the direction of hair growth. Allow to dry and then rub off with a damp cloth in the opposite direction of growth. If done regularly for about a month, this produces effective results.

7.       As a body scrub

A paste of gram flour, turmeric powder and water makes a very gentle and useful body scrub, which can be used on the face as well. Using this scrub regularly gets rid of d
ead skin cells and gives you a glowing and blemish free skin.

8.      To deter dandruff

Many people claim that a combination of turmeric and oil helps deter dandruff. Apply a mixture of turmeric powder in olive/coconut oil and massage into your scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes and shampoo off as usual. Do this regularly to control dandruff.

9.      Care of feet

Another common use of turmeric, which even my maid swears by, is in the treatment of cracked heels. Make a paste of turmeric powder with coconut/castor oil and apply onto the affected areas of the feet. Wash off after 15- 20 minutes. Do this regularly and the cracks will soon heal.

10.       Lightens stretch marks

Regular application of a mixture of gram flour, turmeric, milk and some oil onto stretch marks helps in lightening them over a period of time. So, chuck all those expensive cosmetics that promise to clear up stretch marks and try this inexpensive home remedy instead!

11.      Promotes longevity

Photo: Microsoft Office Image
Yes - you read it right!! Apparently, this wonder spice also promotes longevity. You can prepare your own "longevity tea". Boil 4 cups of water and add to it 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and add ginger and or honey/sugar according to your taste. Have this daily to increase your life span!

In addition to these minor ailments, turmeric powder is also known to diminish sprain strain, help tame swimmer’s ear, soothe a sick stomach, ease arthritis, delay liver damage, minimize Alzheimer's symptoms and even inhibit skin cancer and battle other forms of cancer. 
Now, it's over to you!

It's time for you to put what you've just learned into practice.

Let me help you with that:
I have created a wonderful cheat sheet in PDF format that you can download for your quick reference

Sounds good? Let me make it better - it's absolutely FREE and it includes 2 BONUS RECIPES not included here!!

Download the free PDF cheat sheet now:

Do you know of any home remedies using turmeric? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

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