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May 2018

Haldi Ceremony—Historical Use of Turmeric

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(5):543. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0363

Long before golden lattes and turmeric face creams became popular in the West, ancient South Asian civilizations were using the native golden root as a panacea to treat everything from arthritis to indigestion to various skin conditions. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound-healing properties and also influences multiple downstream signaling pathways.1 In addition to medicinal uses, turmeric has played an important role in South Asian cuisine and cultural practices.