Spa Secrets from Hyderabad
Turmeric, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, has really come into its own in recent years. According to Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal, Ph.D., “Once disparagingly called poor man’s saffron because of its brilliant deep yellow hue, turmeric is now considered Indian gold.” Turmeric’s status as a spice superstar stems from “the good health of the people who eat it daily and its emerging scientific reputation as one of nature’s most powerful healers. Turmeric owes its preventive and curative skills to its active ingredient: curcumin, a compound so diverse and powerfully rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that it has been shown to protect and improve the health of virtually every organ in the body.”
Priya Reddy Rosebush of Ashburn (pictured below), who hails from Hyderabad in the south of India, agrees. She stated simply and straightforwardly, “It heals everything.”
Known for her flavorful flair in the kitchen, Priya also adapts the secrets of her spice box to beauty rituals. For a soothing, hydrating Yogurt-Turmeric Face Mask, Priya combines 2 tablespoons of yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of powdered turmeric, which should be applied gently to the face, and then thoroughly rinsed off. Many Indian women apply this topical paste made with turmeric as a facial mask daily to enhance the skin’s vibrancy.
For a slightly different take on turmeric, try this Traditional Indian-style Body Polish from the comprehensive compendium Spa. “This skin-buffing recipe is handed down from generation to generation by Indian women.” Simply mix together 2 tablespoons fresh milk, 1 tablespoon chickpea flower, and a pinch of turmeric. Massage into damp skin to cleanse, buff, and moisturize. Then rinse for a healthy glow.
And finally, what could be more relaxing than a Traditional Indian-style Milk Bath? Mix 1 cup fresh milk, 1 teaspoon oatmeal, and two drops rose essential oil (I like Aura Cacia Rose Absolute) and pour the mixture into a warm bath. Relax in the bath for at least half an hour as you soak away your cares and enjoy smooth skin as a result. Rose is a coveted scent In India, even finding its way into summer drinks. Aura Cacia recommends dabbing this essence onto pulse points and applying it to “mature skin for nourishment and revitalization.” The application and scent of rose essence soothes the body, calms the mind, and encourages the spirit. Namasté.