Some years back, I remember listening to Bhagat Singh’s nephew, Dr Jagmohan Singh. He was addressing a public meeting at Bhagat Singh’s native village. I still recall him speaking passionately about the need to use haldi (turmeric) in our daily preparations, and what continued to linger in my mind was his suggestion to procure pure haldi at any cost. “If a family can consume one kilo of pure haldi in a month, believe me most of the family’s health problems would be taken care of.”
I knew that haldi being sold in the market was contaminated with horse dung and various other impurities. But with more and more packaged and branded haldi coming into the market I thought the problem with contamination had been taken care of. But I now realise I was wrong.
Last week, I travelled to Hoshiarpur in Punjab to visit a small farmer’s cooperative by the name FAPRO (Farm Produce Promotion Society). Comprising 300 members, the main activity of this society which is based in village Ghugial, centres on processing of haldi and honey. I was told that haldi is cultivated in 23 acres, and the farmers are paid 20-25 per cent higher price than the average prevailing market price. The entire crop is grown under natural farming conditions.
Going around the processing plant and talking to the officials and farmers present, what I learnt was certainly eye-opening. I was told that generally the haldi that is sold in the urban areas contains roughly 40 per cent of filler. Normally, the filler is of rice powder made from broken rice grains that do not fetch a high price in the market. The more you go into the countryside, the percentage of rice powder filler increases. In rural areas, it is not unusual to find 60 per cent of rice powder mixed in haldi. No wonder, you must be wondering why haldi is not that effective anymore.
Although rice powder is not damaging to human health, but mixed with haldi it certainly reduces the medicinal efficiency of haldi powder. Now I know why the haldi powder that I have been consuming is not as effective in healing as it is generally known to be. A hot glass of milk with haldi is supposed to be strong antidote for most sorts of trauma and cough. Turmeric has antioxidants which help purify the blood, protect the liver and remove toxins from the body. Regular consumption of haldi, and when combined with a dose of honey, helps ease pain that originates with ageing of bones. When consumed with raw garlic it is effective against bronchitis.
The list of its healing properties is endless. Haldi is know to be of immense medicinal use and that is why some years back there was an effort to draw a patent on its healing properties by an American institute. After public outcry, the government had successfully managed to fight the patent and get it revoked. But what is the use of singing all praises for haldi when consumers can’t get pure and good quality haldi in the market. At least two sources of pure haldi I can suggest. The next time you are looking for haldi, you can search for FAPRO haldi in Hoshiarpur, and also from Markfed outlets across
Another source for pure haldi is
Swami Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogapeeth outlets which exist in every town.