When I say turmeric what comes to mind? Is it ‘one of the main ingredients in Indian Curry Powder’? Yes, turmeric has been known for its culinary uses in Indian for centuries; however, did you know that it has also been used as an effective beauty product for just as long?

Because of its many Ayurvedic (medicinal) properties, turmeric has also been celebrated and applied for millenniums in wedding ceremonies and extensive holy rituals – especially in India. Even today, this tradition takes place all over the world. I remember as a child attending several Indian weddings where turmeric paste is rubbed onto the face, arms and legs of the bride and groom (yes, guys, beauty is important for you as well!). This ritual prepares the couple for their sacred union representing an outer appearance of soft, glowing, and radiant skin. The ritual also represents both the holy and spiritual aspect of purity and connectedness before the marriage ceremony.

Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and its main active compound is ‘curcumin’ which is antiseptic, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, thus helping to restore the pigmentation, tone, and texture of your skin. You can even heal cuts and bruises by applying a pure paste made of just turmeric and water.

So how can you enjoy this inexpensive beauty secret at home? Tumeric is best applied as a facial mask and although there are several different recipes, I am sharing my own personal favorite which is the particular blend used in Indian wedding ceremonies. This recipe can be used for normal to oily skin and will leave you feeling great after long, hot days here in the desert.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour, 1 tbsp organic yogurt, 1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (according to skin tone)

Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Apply a thin layer on your face. Once it is dry (approximately 15-20 minutes), you can scrub in a circular motion as if you’re exfoliating your skin, and then rinse your face with lukewarm water.

You can change the amount of turmeric in the recipe according to your complexion. For fairer skin, start off by using half the amount (this will help in preventing staining of the skin). For a tan or darker complexion, use the suggested amount as this will bring out the glow in your skin tone. Also keep in mind that turmeric will stain cloth, so a dedicated wash cloth and towel are recommended.

There are many benefits from this particular face/body mask. The yogurt helps to improve your complexion and is soothing and cooling; the garbanzo bean flour effectively removes dead skin cells and will give you a soft look and youthful glow; and the turmeric assists in fighting acne and uneven skin tone.

Turmeric which is also known as “haldi” in most parts of India was derived from the Sanskrit word of “haridra” which means golden colored. In Sanskrit turmeric has more than 53 different names due to its magnificent properties and connections to its natural healing powers.

You can find quality turmeric here in the desert at many places including Savory Spice store on El Paseo, Clark’s Nutrition, World Market and Fil-Ann Oriental Mart in Cathedral City.

Dipika Patel, the “Queen of Nutrition,” is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Intuitive Healer, AromaTouch Therapist, and Chef & Cookery Teacher and can be reached at [email protected] or 760-821-3119.

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