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What is Haldi? - The Indian Spice Turmeric That Healed My Nose Ring and Other Health and Beauty Benefits

Updated on January 29, 2015
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What is Haldi?

A popular Indian spice, extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. Known as Turmeric in grocery stores, this spice gives a combination of flavor to many dishes. It is bitter and peppery with a mild fragrance of ginger and orange. You can safely use Haldi in your traditional meals in small quantities without significantly altering the flavor profile. Native to Indonesia and southern India, this spice has been used for over 5000 years in the culture. The 13th century Spice Road made haldi a commodity to be traded with Europeans but it has only been recently since the spice has been become popular in Western culture. Recent research about the organic medicinal properties of turmeric has contributed to this rise in use.

Traditional Indian meals featuring turmeric
Traditional Indian meals featuring turmeric | Source

What is The Importance of Haldi In Indian Culture?

Indian culture has a deep history of turning to natural herbs for medicinal solutions. Their keen observations have been passed down generation to generation, since the first healers first noticed turmeric. Most quickly, its anti-inflammatory properties were noticed. Since then, haldi has been a key component in treating a variety of ailments.

Traditionally, haldi was referred to as the “Indian saffron” for its versatility of uses. Along with healing, it has been used as a textile dye due to its intense yellow-orange color.

Inflammation of the nose
Inflammation of the nose | Source

How to Heal that Inflamed Bump on Your Nose Ring

The nose ring is a finicky piercing as its specific position allows for many opportunities for it to be bumped and cause irritation. Moving the piercing re-introduces trauma to the wound, often creating inflamed red bumps. These bumps need to be dealt with immediately as prolonged irritation can create unappealing scar tissue to form (keloids or granulomas. A piercer will often advise you to take an anti-inflammatory pill such as ibuprofen to push down your body’s natural immune response.

Haldi has a very unique component called curcumin – this is the agent of reducing inflammation. It is powerful enough to be comparable to manufactured prescription drugs such as Motrin. The difference is, with this natural remedy you avoid all the unpleasant toxic side effects such as damage to the liver, ulcer formation and intestinal bleeding.

Haldi has no toxic properties and can be safely used.

To heal your nose ring bump you should take a dual approach. Take half a tablespoon of turmeric and add a couple drops of water to it until it turns into a thick paste. Overnight, cover the inflamed portion of your nose with the paste. Before going to sleep, make “haldi milk” and drink a cup. The instructions are simple; boil milk and a tablespoon of turmeric together. You can add honey to taste. This ensures that you get the topical and ingested benefits of the spice working together.

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Other Health Benefits

Repeated clinical studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric works effectively to neutralize the free radicals in the body.

What are free radicals?

Groups of atoms formed by oxygen reactions with unpaired electrons. These radicals are extremely reactive and they can act upon necessary components like cell membranes and DNA. This reaction damages cell function, contributing to cell death. Antioxidants like the created by turmeric are a defense system against this.

Thus turmeric is a key protector against:

- Inflammatory diseases like arthritis

- Memory loss

- High blood pressure

- Immune system failure

- High cholesterol

- Inflammatory bowel disease

- Heart disease

- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s

Beauty Benefits

Free radicals also contribute to aging. So turmeric's antioxidants help protect your cells from free radical damage so that it remains elastic, cleansed and nourished.

Easy Ways to Add into Your Regular Meals

Add the spice to an egg salad, any lentils, salad dressings, steamed vegetables and of course the traditional Indian curry.

Health benefits of Turmeric Tea and How to make it

The Trick to Optimizing the Benefits

As with only bought spice it is important to look for organic sources that do not involve chemical processes of extraction. You can add turmeric to your meals to slowly introduce the health benefits of curcumin into your diet. There is about 3% by weight of curcumin in turmeric.

For those who want to add an intense boost of health benefits you need to have an extract of curcumin. There are specially formulated supplements that provide the body with all these benefits. It is important to note that curcumin is not well absorbed by the blood stream unless it is ingested with piperline (found in black pepper). It is best to take these together (the supplement and a couple of whole peppercorns) with a fatty meal for optimal absorption.

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