What is Banhaldi (Curcuma aromatica)? - Information & uses

What is Banhaldi (Curcuma aromatica)? - Information & uses

Banhaldi, scientifically known as Curcuma aromatica, is a plant belonging to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is commonly referred to as Wild Turmeric and belongs to the same genus as the well-known Curcuma longa, which is the source of turmeric. Banhaldi is native to India and is particularly abundant in the eastern and northeastern regions. It shares some similarities with regular turmeric but has its unique properties and traditional uses.

Understanding Banhaldi:

Banhaldi is a perennial herb that grows to a height of about 2-3 feet. The plant has broad leaves and rhizomes that are orange to yellow in color. The rhizomes of Banhaldi are what are most commonly used for various purposes. Much like turmeric (Curcuma longa), Banhaldi has a vibrant yellow color and contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties.

Traditional Uses and Benefits of Banhaldi:

1. Medicinal Use: Banhaldi is traditionally used in various forms, including fresh rhizome paste, dried and powdered rhizomes, and extracts. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As a result, it has been used for wound healing, skin disorders, and to alleviate pain and inflammation.

2. Skin Care: Banhaldi is popular for its skincare benefits. It is used in face packs and creams to enhance the complexion, reduce skin blemishes, and promote healthy skin. It is considered especially effective for oily and acne-prone skin.

3. In Ayurveda: In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Banhaldi is considered to have a cooling effect, and it is used to balance the Pitta dosha. It is employed for various ailments, including digestive issues, menstrual discomfort, and skin problems.

4. Culinary Uses: While Banhaldi is not as widely used in cooking as regular turmeric, it is sometimes used in traditional Indian dishes. It imparts a unique flavor and color to the dishes it's added to.

    Products that contains Banhaldi -

    Side Effects and Precautions:

    Banhaldi is generally considered safe when used in moderate amounts as a spice or for external applications. However, similar to regular turmeric, excessive intake can lead to digestive discomfort, and some individuals may be sensitive to its compounds.

    It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized guidance, especially if you intend to use Banhaldi for medicinal purposes.

    In summary, Banhaldi (Curcuma aromatica) is a lesser-known cousin of turmeric with its own set of traditional uses. It is valued for its skincare benefits, Ayurvedic applications, and culinary uses. When used in moderation, it is generally safe, but it's advisable to seek expert guidance for specific health-related uses.

    Author: Nikita Vishnoi BCA
    Reviewed By: Dr. Vandana Kesari

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