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.”