Q. Growing up in India, whenever we had a bruise that was swelling up fast, it was treated very effectively with turmeric. The turmeric was heated with slaked lime [calcium hydroxide], forming a paste. The warm paste was applied on the bruise.

Within minutes the pain would subside and the swelling would go down in a couple of hours. The lime would make the skin weird for a few days but the paste was very effective.

In addition, if we were feeling symptoms of an oncoming cold, a glass of milk with a pinch of raw turmeric would help us hold up much better.

A. Turmeric is used in curry and is responsible for the yellow color of mustard. We have heard from people who grew up in India that turmeric has many benefits. Scientists are studying the active ingredient in this spice (curcumin) for its potential activity against Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and even cancer.

Another person offered this: “I am from India. My mother taught me to use just one or two teaspoons of turmeric in cooking a dish for the family. Each person might get 1/2 or 2/3 teaspoon. This dose has been passed on from generation to generation for thousands of years.

“I currently live in the U.S. Many people here buy turmeric in bulk and use it without any dosing guidance. Too much in a meal can upset your stomach and is not good for you.

“When I get a small cut that bleeds, I put turmeric powder on it to stop the bleeding. It stops right away and within a few days the cut has healed.”

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  1. CraftyMariachi

    Reminds me of all my grandma’s cures for things. When I was a kid, whenever I got a bad bruise, she would make me put cabbage on it haha. Anyhow, I have used turmeric before – I think it helps. Definitely agree with cpmt though, watch out for stains!

  2. cpmt

    YOU HAVE to be careful not to touch your clothes or they will get stained… I heard before in books some spices and herbs in India can cure or help with wounds, cuts etc… even cure bones, and help with epilepsy.

  3. JR

    My yoga teacher, who also happens to be from India, gave me a cold remedy that includes milk and turmeric. It tastes awful but works so quickly.
    1 cup warm milk
    1 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tbsp grated ginger
    1 tsp cinnamon powder
    Boil for 10 minutes. Cool and strain. Drink twice daily.
    I’ve never needed to do more than one day’s worth to kick a cold.

  4. Phyllis

    I take turmeric in capsule form and appreciate its benefits, but using it for cuts and bruises is another way I’d like to try. Where can slaked lime be obtained?

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