By Shaan Bajaj
At least once a week, my mother would welcome me home with a bowl of freshly mixed haldi (turmeric) to make a mask, especially in the warmer months of Bangkok’s scorching heat. She and my dadima would rave about the glowing benefits haldi had as I sat in my shower waiting for this mask to dry before I could wash it all off . I hate to admit it, but they may have been on to something. Haldi’s health benefits are unparalleled; it is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and here are multiple ways to incorporate it into your wellbeing routine.
APPLYING HALDI ON YOUR FACE/BODY
The haldi mask is one of the most common uses of haldi, with an entire event dedicated to the application of haldi for a bride and groom before their wedding day. Not only is it applied to give your skin a natural glow, but its anti-inflammatory properties will protect your skin from breakouts. Regular and consistent use can also help reduce any acne scarring. You can apply haldi by:
• Mixing a fresh haldi face mask
• Using haldi-infused skincare products, like sunscreens, moisturisers, toners and serums
• Applying a haldi-based eye cream, which can help brighten your dark circles
HALDI ON HAIR
Its magical anti-inflammatory properties can be used in shampoos, conditioners, hair masks or hair oils. It can be used to fight hair loss, dandruff , oily scalps, while improving scalp health. Using haldi will reduce infl ammation and thus encourage hair growth, while antioxidants protect your hair from damage. Even if you do not apply it to your hair directly, consuming haldi as part of your diet can also have these benefits.
INCORPORATING HALDI INTO YOUR DIET
Adding haldi to your day-to-day meals is probably one of the best and easiest ways
to utilise the many benefits of this magical ingredient. Ayurveda and recent research has shown its medicinal benefits for your body and brain. For example, haldi’s anti-inflammatory agents can be used to help fight chronic inflammation that can occur from various diseases, while it also promotes brain function and improve memory and attention. You can incorporate haldi to your diet by adding it to the following dishes:
• Indian curries or sabzis: an essential ingredient in every South Asian household,
and the ingredient responsible for ruining multiple white clothes and nails. Not
only will this spice add to their fl avours but you can gain all its benefi ts without
going out of your way.
• The infamous golden lattes, better known in our households as haldi dood: an
easy and rather fun way to consume your haldi is by making an Instagram-worthy
latte. If you want to be really extra, use it as an excuse to go to a café serving the latte, but just be warned that your mother might scold you for spending THB 150 on the drink she used to have to beg you to drink.
• Smoothies: one of my favourite ways to add haldi to your diet, as you can mix it in with other healthy ingredients like spinach or chia seeds. Just add a teaspoon of haldi to your favourite smoothie recipe, and you won’t even notice it’s there.