Yes, there are so many interesting uses of turmeric! Cooking with turmeric, since it is best known as a pungent spice used in curries and other Indian dishes, is the most obvious.
But, you can also take advantage of the amazing health benefits of turmeric by using it topically. How about applying a turmeric paste to help heal wounds, combat acne breakouts or even out skin tone?
The uses of turmeric go beyond medicinal, however - it can also be used as an insect repellent (sprinkle in areas you want to repel ants and other crawling insects), a dye for fabrics and other crafts, as well as an ingredient in soap.
If you're pinching pennies, know that you can purchase bulk turmeric very inexpensively. Buying the little bottles in the grocery can really add up!
Although many people are aware of the benefits of this bright yellow spice, many find cooking with turmeric not so easy (including me). Few American recipes call for turmeric. Sure, there are plenty of curry recipes, but a little curry goes a long way for most Americans. To get more turmeric into your diet, here are my suggestions:
For thousands of years turmeric has been used topically. Because it has antiseptic properties, it is applied to the skin to help heal cuts, rashes, and acne. Turmeric for psoriasis? Many sufferers of this chronic skin condition find relief with turmeric. Others swear by turmeric to lighten pigmented skin and even out skin tone. Supposedly, continued application of turmeric on areas where hair is not wanted can reduce hair growth.
There are two ways to apply turmeric to your skin - paste or oil. To make a turmeric paste, mix powdered turmeric with enough lemon juice to make a thick paste. Some people also suggest using cucumber juice in place of the lemon juice. Apply as a mask over your entire face or dab on any affected areas. Leave on until it dries completely or for up to 30 minutes. Rinse off. Be aware that turmeric can stain yellow, so I wouldn't try this before heading out the door for a job interview!
To make a turmeric-infused skin oil, blend olive or coconut oil with a spoonful of turmeric - let it rest for a while (until it turns a nice yellow color) - strain and apply to skin. Once again, turmeric may temporarily stain your skin, so be aware of this side effect!
There are other ways to get the healing benefits of turmeric without the yellow staining. Check out the amazing, organic turmeric skin set above. Or, try a turmeric soap. The concentration of turmeric in soap will be small, but you can still reap some benefits. There is a wonderful Sandalwood-Turmeric with Neem Soap carried by iHerb.com. I highly recommend this healing turmeric soap.
Finally, one of the most popular uses of turmeric - it makes a wonderful dye to color everything from fabrics to Easter eggs. To dye fabric (make sure you're using a natural fabric, such as cotton, silk, hemp or wool), try the following:
You can use turmeric in a similar fashion to dye other crafts. Many people use it to dye Easter eggs - drop hard-boiled eggs in a couple cups of water mixed with a few tablespoons of turmeric and a splash of vinegar. Soak eggs until they turn yellow - the longer they soak, the deeper and richer the color.
Sure, turmeric is one of the healthiest spices in the world. But there are so many other uses of turmeric! Try them out! If you got here without reading my What Is Turmeric page, check it out. And don't miss my health Benefits of Turmeric page to convince yourself that turmeric truly is a spice that needs to be in your kitchen!
Remember to check back often - if I come across more interesting uses of turmeric, I will add them! Or, better yet, sign up for an RSS feed and you'll be notified when I add new information. Start living the healthy lifestyle you deserve.
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