From boosting immunity to balancing hormone levels, the legendary 'golden spice' has been a crowd favourite since time immemorial. Multitudes of peer reviewed journals and research have backed the health benefits of the remarkable Indian saffron, also known as the turmeric!
If we just take a close look at our own families, we'd realise turmeric's use in many forms – be it applying it as a raw paste on the face, or drinking it in a powdered form with milk, to using it as a favourite spice while cooking. Some of us may even have applied a paste of the magical root on our aching bodies to relieve ourselves off some nasty muscle spasm.
Sounds almost godsend? Maybe it is so!
Turmeric's unique composition, with hundreds of astounding chemical compounds, helps it to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, healing health conditions from stomach aches to respiratory illnesses, promoting immunity, protecting against major ailments, and so much more.
It is perhaps the only reason why the staple of Ayurvedic medicine has become so popular over the years. The earliest history of the spice can be traced back to China, moving later to South India through trade. The Indians became devout believers of the magical healing power of the golden spice, and because of their strong belief, started to cultivate turmeric on their own.
Today, nearly 80 percent of the world's turmeric is produced in India! The western world is not far behind either, having learned the benefits of the magical spice; they have begun incorporating turmeric into their medicinal world – all because of its incredible healing properties.
Today, we see turmeric being used rampantly at weddings – be it on the day of 'telai' or the 'holud' in the presence of family and friends. The elders usually suggest the bride and the groom to apply a paste made out of raw turmeric regularly on the skin, for at least a month before the main day to ward off any sort of skin conditions.
Brides drink a special concoction made out of turmeric powder for a permanent healthy glow and a skin free of blemishes. This method is so much better than putting on tons of makeup to hide-out flaws!
Have we ever thought deeply why this magical compound worked so effectively? The answer again lies in the many benefits of the chemical compounds of the turmeric.
So maybe, just maybe -- the previous saying that goes like 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' can be replaced with the turmeric in place of the apple!
Remember going through your parents wedding album, wondering why there were no pictures of their holud and mehendi? It was probably because back then, holuds were more of a private affair, where only close relatives and friends were present - applying the magical paste on the bride and the groom – as a symbol of purity, love and affection.
And then do you remember attending your cousin's holud, which was a massive occasion all on its own - with cousin folks in colour coordinated wardrobes, practising dance lessons for the umpteenth time only to entertain the extended family of your kin. The entire fun seemed to be in the preparation for the holud day, rather than the main wedding event. The entire family, including the stern uncle, seemed to let loose on this special occasion, enjoying and cracking jokes once in a while. This occasion would perhaps be the one that you treasure for years to come.
How about today's holud? It's certainly a bit different from the previous ones!
The culture and the content remain the same. However, whereas in the past it was more about entertaining the extended family, today it's more about entertaining the entire guest list, since the bride and the groom have a joint holud.
Hence, whatever the form or the mode of celebrations! Holud as an occasion certainly remains and would do so in many years to come.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed