Medicinal Herbs: Haridra – Curcuma Longa

Haridra or Haldi is also known as turmeric which is a commonly found spice in India and is one of the best blood purifier in the traditional Indian pharmacopeia.

The use of turmeric for flavoring food, for religious purposes, for cosmetic purposes and for its medicinal properties dates back to the Vedic era. Haldi is used in almost all Indian curries as a flavouring agent; this spice has almost no calories and zero cholesterol. It is full of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6.

According to the text Ashtanga Samgraha by Acharya Vagbhata; Haldi is the best medicine for treatment of all the metabolic disorders like diabetes.  Haldi has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments, as well as a local application to heal sores. Fresh Haldi juice is commonly used in many skin ailments, like eczema, chicken pox, allergy, and scabies. As Haldi has the active and vital compound Curcumin which has a comprehensive range of biological effects including anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumour, antibacterial and antiviral activities.

This widely researched component of Haldi is highly therapeutic and is used in various medicinal preparations mainly because of its immunity boosting and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin has excellent therapeutic value and boosting the immune system is one of the most important properties. Studies have found that it is about eight times stronger than vitamin E and stronger than vitamin C.

Studies have also shown that Haldi prevents acute liver damage and is effective in preventing and reversing cirrhosis of liver, thus it is very effective in treating chronic hepatic diseases. It is also helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes in people who are pre diabetic. Haldi promotes weight loss and helps in reducing obesity related disorders.

Haldi is used to prevent and control rheumatoid arthritis, treating swellings and sprains with a pinch of Haldi powder, lime and salt is a home remedy practiced throughout India since thousands of years. It is a very effective remedy for chronic cough, cold and sore throat. Studies published by Indian Academy of Neurology have shown it to be efficacious in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which decreases amyloid plaque and delays the degradation of neurons and improves overall memory.

Researches have shown Haldi to be effective in the prevention of cervical cancer as the compound Curcumin has been found to be chemo-preventive and therapeutic agent that suppresses cervical cancer growth.

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