Ayurveda – Haridra Herb and its medicinal importance
Turmeric- haridra (Curcuma longa Linn). is a perennial member of the Zingiberaceae family and is cultivated in India and other parts of Southeast Asia. The rhizome of turmeric, the portion of the plant used medicinally, yields a yellow powder. Dried haridra is the source of turmeric, the Indian spices ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color. Turmeric is used extensively in foods for its flavor and color, as well as having a long tradition of use in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
Properties of Haridra:-
Rasa(taste) – katu(pungent)and tikta (bitter)
Vipaka(post digestion effect)-katu (pungent)
Doshaghnata(pacification of dosha)-kapha dosha and pitta dosha
particularly for the treatment of flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hematuria, hemorrhage, liver disorders, diabetes and colic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, including hypoglycemic property antioxidant,anti-spasmodic, anti-arthritic, hypoglycemic, anti-bacterial, cardioprotective, wound healing
Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to relieve pain and inflammation.
Besides flavoring food, to purify the blood and skin conditions remedy is probably the most common use of Turmeric in Ayurveda.
The main organs that turmeric treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs. Turmeric is used for epilepsy and bleeding disorders, skin diseases, to purify the body-mind, and to help the lungs expel Kapha.
Activities of Turmeric include: Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardiovascular, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary.
Therapeutic uses of Turmeric: Anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds.
Turmeric helps to regulate the female reproductive system and purifies the uterus and breast milk, and in men it purifies and builds semen, which is counterintuitive for a pungent bitter.
Turmeric reduces fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems in general.
Turmeric is used to treat external ulcers that respond to nothing else. Turmeric decreases Kapha and so is used to remove mucus in the throat, watery discharges like leucorrhea, and any pus in the eyes, ears, or in wounds, etc.
In Ayurvedic cooking, turmeric is everywhere, this multifaceted wonder spice helps
> Detoxify the liver
> Balance cholesterol levels
> Fight allergies
> Stimulate digestion
> Boost immunity
> Enhance the complexion
It is also an antioxidant Ayurveda recognizes turmeric as a heating spice, contributing bitter, pungent and astringent tastes.