Embrace The Turmeric Face

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Rachna Hukmani Photo Copyright Katarina Kojic Photography. All rights reserved.

My mom has always been obsessed with turmeric. Using it in home remedies to cure any ailment to cooking with it to using it as a face mask, she swears by it. Truth be told it really is a miracle root. Google health benefits of turmeric and you’ll be in awe. It can cure anything from inflammation to hair loss to wrinkles to cognitive function to lowering risk of cancer.

About 2 months ago I had a freak injury in boxing class (a long story for another time!) that has ended up in me having torn and sprained ligaments as well as multiple bone contusions. This resulted in a lot of “me” time because I had to elevate my knee and stay off it. On a plus note, I meditated so much I feel I must have evolved as a human being. I feel lighter and more alert somehow.

In the midst of all the meditating and lightness, I was reminded about the year I started getting migraines out of the blue. I was 10 years old. As expected, my mom came to my rescue, mixing a concoction consisting of turmeric, indian butter (ghee), coconut oil and ginger. She smeared it across my forehead generously despite my spirited objections (tantrums). I smelled like a chicken tikka marinade. I know that sounds like a good thing but it didn’t feel like it.

Of course, it worked wonders. My migraine was gone in an hour. This also meant she wasn’t going to let me miss school the next morning (booo!). I was sent to bed and I woke the next morning feeling perfectly normal (or as normal as a 10 year old Indian child can feel in an all Greek school).

The only drawback was my forehead was bright yellow from the overnight turmeric miracle. No matter how much I scrubbed my forehead, my forehead looked like a Minion had licked it. Of course, my mom did not understand why it was social suicide to go to school like that. She refused to let me stay home.

Off to school I went. And all day, kids asked me, “What’s with the yellow forehead?” in Greek. To which I replied with a blank stare, “Um…what yellow forehead?” In my 10 year old brain I thought that was the smartest reaction. Complete denial. Of course, they all looked at me suspiciously and asked more questions. I stuck to my guns all day and walked around head held high. I’m lucky they didn’t make a mean nickname out of it. In a weird way, I embraced my turmeric face quite proudly even though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Luckily, the kids forgot about it after a week and my migraines eventually went away for good with repeated usage of mom’s magic concoction. This little mishap also became an inside joke for the Hukmani household – we would say, “Do I have turmeric on my face?” if we did something ridiculous instead of “Do I have egg on my face?”

As this random memory came back to me a couple of months ago, I hobbled into the kitchen injured ligaments and all. I made my mom’s miracle remedy cure for my knee, applied it generously on my knee and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning, swelling reduced and I was limping less. I proceeded to use it everyday and by the end of the week I was able to straighten my knee. While I’m not completely healed and it will take about 6 months or so, I continue to use her remedy and I keep getting better. To avoid any yellow discoloration of my knee, I apply it over kinesio┬átape and cover it up with a bandage so the color stays contained. Problem solved. To avoid smelling like a butter tikka, I just use less of it. You actually don’t need much of it. So easy.

It’s so interesting how things have a way of showing their true value later in life. Not only has my mom equipped her kids with a miracle cure so we rarely worry about minor illnesses, she randomly taught us to laugh at ourselves and not get embarrassed very easily. She taught us to embrace our turmeric face. I certainly have a good laugh every time I think of the ridiculous nature of my injury.

I invite you all to use my mom’s magic concoction physically and symbolically. Feel free to also say, “Do I have turmeric on my face?” and send me photos of the ridiculous things you do.