Turmeric | India’s Ancient Holy Powder

Turmeric | India’s Ancient Holy Powder

Growing up as a girl with strong ties to my Indian heritage, one distinctive scent and colour is woven through the tapestry of my life. The fine golden-yellow concoct with cool touch and the sharp smell of freshly rain anointed earth. Yes, I am talking about glorious Turmeric, commonly referred to as “Haldi”.

The ancients were a bright bunch. They found myriad uses for plants, herbs and fruit with medicinal properties. Turmeric is no different.

Grind it up and add a pinch of Haldi to fresh cream, honey and gram flour. Viola, you have a body polishing scrub (ubtan) that can put the Estee Lauders of the world to shame.

Turmeric | India’s Ancient Holy Powder

Ubtan is a mixture of sandalwood powder, turmeric, besan milk & milk cream.



Sprinkle this magical powder over a glass of steaming milk flavoured with ginger root, and you can bid everything from a sore throat to chronic fatigue goodbye.

I never understood why brides-to-be would sit willingly, clad in only a thin saree, as married women daubed streaks of haldi moistened with mustard oil on their faces. When my day arrived, I got the significance. Turmeric awards you the ultimate ethereal golden glow and offers divine luminescence to the skin.


Kumari Govender
This is me as a baby, with my grandmother

I called her ayah (grandma), and she was a cornucopia of childish delights for me. My grandmother shielded me from my mother’s timely and firm taps on the head reserved for the instances I turned too boisterous. She sneaked little treats into my room while the cruel world relegated me to a corner, hemmed in by books. And she slathered haldi on my scraped knees giving me the confidence to go traipsing back into the world.

Today, in retrospect – those were the best days of my life.

So naturally, I am nostalgic about this magical ingredient.

(Curcuma longa)
is what I want to label
“The Holy Gold”.

Turmeric is supercharged with antioxidants. It soothes irritated skin, reduces inflammation and protects against environmental depredations.

Turmuric Root

Prepare a paste with water and honey and apply it to your face for a sun-kissed blush. Or add to edible coconut oil and ingest for an inside-out body cleanse with moisturising benefits.

Treat haldi with reverence and respect. It is one of the yet to be deciphered secrets of the natural world. How can one plant be so many things? For now, I am grateful it is and thoroughly enjoy the convenience of modern processing that has brought me beauty, health and childhood memories in a box.

To your sun-kissed glow!

Yours in Style,

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