The lesser known drug, ‘Kali Haldi’ or Black Turmeric

Black Turmeric or ‘Kali Haldi’ is a lesser known drug, unlike its cousin yellow Turmeric or white Turmeric. This plant has extensive therapeutic efficacy on humans for decades and even now. For thousands of years, this plant has been used by the indigenous people of the tropical regions of Asia. As more and more people are getting tuned to natural therapies/ traditional medicines all over the world, this plant hidden in the tropical rainforests of Asia, offers natural solution to many ailments.

Black Turmeric or Curcuma Caesia Roxb is a member of the ginger family(Zingiberaceae) which consists of 70 species of rhizomatous herbs making it a perennial rhizome. It is commonly cultivated in Eastern India, Thailand and in Indonesia and flourishes well in loamy soil. This is a perennial plant which grows erect with height ranging from 0.5 – 1.0 mts. Its exotic Pink Maroon Flower with a Maroon midrib (Fig 1.) easily stands out of the and distinguishes this plant from its near cousins in the think undergrowth of the rainforests. The rhizomes of the plant are bluish in color, fibrous with a strong camphor aroma are extremely bitter in taste as they are rich in alkaloids and are of immense therapeutic uses.

Fig 1. Black Turmeric Flower

Years of use and research has proved that it has major benefits on human health to the extent of controlling and inhibiting Cancer growth. To fully understand why Black Turmeric is so highly sought after and often associated with Occult in Indian Tradition, let’s take a more detailed look at the many health benefits of Black Turmeric or Kali Haldi.

Fig 2. Black Turmeric Rhizomes

Below are the benefits of Black Turmeric which has been certified by age old traditional practices and modern scientific research

The rhizomes of Curcuma Caesia Roxb. (Zingiberaceae) are used in treatment of various ailments and metabolic disorders like leukoderma, asthma, tumours, piles, bronchitis, etc. in Indian system of medicine. Cell Mutations results from the side effects of free radicals such as hydrogen peroxides, superoxide anions, organo peroxides, etc. produced by drugs, ultraviolet radiations, ionizing radiations, pollutions etc.

Therefore, the increased levels of antioxidant present in plants are believed to combat the effect of free radicals/mutagens reducing the action of initiation or progression stages of cancer and any other degenerative diseases. The rhizomes are rich source of secondary metabolites such as phenolics, carotenoids, curcumins etc. that plays a prominent role in repairing cell mutations

  • A Natural Anti-Oxidant

This is the most common attribute of the Turmeric family. They are natural antioxidants and rescues the body from tissue degeneration. The curcumin in a Turmeric is very effective in neutralizing free radicals. Therefore, if taken in moderation; the Black Turmeric can neutralize the free radicals which the body cannot. Thus, negating the effects of aging and cancer cells. If you pair your anti-oxidants fruits with turmeric based dishes it acts as an effective anti-cancer meal.

The dried rhizomes are polished to remove the rough surface. Dry rhizomes are used in treating Piles, Cancer, Impotency, vomiting, allergies etc.

For treating colon cancer; Curcumin is not well absorbed in the blood but it is absorbed well into the colon lining, giving it an advantage against cancerous tissues in the colon. It can help prevent prostate cancer because of its ability to interfere with the spread of cancer cells and inflammatory responses that are the precursors of cancer development.

  • Black Turmeric is immunity-boosting!

With bio-active properties present in the plant, the Black Turmeric plant boosts immunity. Its choleretic, antimicrobial, and carminative in nature (as confirmed by a leading journal). It’s a cure for fever, dysentery and worm infection. Ingestion of raw rhizomes or Powders, digestive organs are the primary clinical targets of Black Turmeric; for e.g.; treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Remember excess quantity induces vomiting.

  • Black Turmeric is a Pain Reliever and Anti-Inflammatory drug!

A pinch of black turmeric rubbed on a toothache relieves the problem but ensure to use a small quantity of it. Additionally, fresh rhizome of black turmeric or kali Haldi (cleaned well) applied on forehead for Migraine relief, and other body parts with wounds, sprains and swollen body parts as a quick healer. It also helps in treating menstrual pains.

Rheumatic and joint pains are healed by using Black Turmeric. Freshly ground rhizomes of Curcuma Caesia are wrapped in Banana Leaves (Fig. 3), heated on iron plate over fire and applied on affected areas. The smooth muscle relaxant effects are derived from the hydrochloric extracts of the Curcuma Caesia.