Its benefits do not stop yet! Turmeric is used externally as well.
Skin Conditions: The juice of fresh turmeric is prized as a cure/soother for many skin conditions, including eczema, chicken pox, shingles, poison oak/ivy, and scabies. Turmeric paste makes quite a satisfactory substitute! Apply the paste directly to the affected area, cover lightly with gauze or loose cotton clothing (that will likely be ruined with stain). This is known to help dry the blisters up and accelerate the healing process. For shingles, one ayurvedic remedy calls for first spreading a light coating of mustard oil on the shingles rash, and then spreading the turmeric paste over that. (Skin condition such as those described above are seen in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as originating from liver congestion/toxicity. You can help your rash from the inside out, by also ingesting turmeric. Also, see my September 2000 column, Eating for a Healthy Liver.)
Sores/Wounds: Keep turmeric in your first aid kit! It acts quickly to help stop bleeding, plus because of its anti-bacterial quality, will help prevent infection. For cuts, pile on the turmeric, cover with gauze, and apply pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. Of course, serious wounds require immediate medical attention.
Douche: Made with fresh plain yogurt, turmeric and water, this is especially helpful in countering odor and yeast problems, and is the best douche to use following the menstrual period. Use 8-10 parts water, 1 part yogurt (be sure it has active acidophilus cultures), and 2-3 tsp. turmeric. Blend it up in the blender until smooth.
3 Tbsp. turmeric
3 cups water
Bring turmeric and water to a boil. Let it boil until it forms a thick paste. It must boil at least 8 minutes. If necessary, add more water. Once it starts to thicken slightly, you must stir it constantly to prevent scorching. Store in a glass jar (it will stain a plastic storage container) in the fridge.
Recipe by Yogi Bhajan
(as it appears in my cookbook, From Vegetables With Love)
1/8 tsp. turmeric
½ cup water
1 cup milk
1-2 Tbsp. almond oil (optional)
honey to taste
Boil water and turmeric in small saucepan over medium-high heat for 8 minutes (the turmeric must be fully cooked). Meanwhile, bring the milk and almond oil to boiling point in a separate pan and remove from heat. Combine the two mixtures and add honey to taste.
Now, what I don’t say in the cookbook is that you can easily make more than one serving at a time and keep it in the fridge. Also, I really prefer it with a lot more turmeric. It certainly can’t hurt to use more. I suggest using ½ tsp. per cup. And, if you have Turmeric Paste made, you can just heat up the milk and almond oil with a teaspoon of turmeric paste. Try adding a little freshly grated nutmeg, too. Mmmm!
You can make Golden Yogurt from scratch (this is the best way), or simply add a spoonful of Turmeric Paste to plain yogurt (be sure the commercially prepared yogurt is made with active acidophilus and/or bifidus cultures, and does not contain gelatin, stabilizers, or added milk solids). A favorite breakfast of mine is ½ cup of Golden Yogurt, 1/2 cup organic apple sauce, and ½ cup (or less) of granola. Mmmm. Here’s how to make your own: