Haridra Powder and Paste


The stretch or tear of soft tissues around a joint such as ligament is known as sprain. Common symptoms and signs of sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, instability and loss of function. One or more ligaments can be injured at the same time. The severity of the pain will depend on the extent of injury, i.e. whether a tear is partial or complete and the number of ligaments involved.

A sprain can result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of its normal position. This results in an overstretching or tear of the ligaments supporting that joint. Typically, sprains occur when people fall and land on an outstretched arm, land on the side of their foot, or twist a knee.

Haridra powder mentioned in Ayurvedic classics is a simple formulation which is effective when taken internally as well as applied locally.

Haridra (Curcuma longa Linn.)

Haridra is a dried rhizome of a plant that grows to 2 to 3 feet in height with funnel-shaped yellow flowers. Haridra or turmeric powder is bright yellow in colour. It has an earthy aromatic and spicy fragrance with slightly bitter taste. Turmeric is an important spice in India with medicinal value. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes which are used fresh or in powder form. Turmeric is traditionally used locally and orally in sprain and swelling resulting from it. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and may be used in inflammation induced joint pain and related symptoms. In recent studies, the three major curcuminoids found in turmeric have been found to limit the activity of chemicals and enzymes responsible for inducing and maintaining inflammation. Curcumin is found to be a powerful pain reliever in injuries and inflammatory conditions.


Haridra powder made from rhizomes is used orally as well as for local application.

English name Turmeric
Latin name Curcuma longa Linn.
Family Zingiberaceae
Parts used Rhizome

Main chemical constituents

Curcuminoids including yellow colouring principal – curcumin, and an essential oil with high content of bisabolane derivatives.

Quality standards

The identity, purity and potency of Haridra rhizome for oral use is estimated on the basis of the following physical constants:

Foreign matter Not more than 2%
Total ash Not more than 9%
Acid-insoluble ash Not more than 1%
Alcohol-soluble extractives Not less than 8%
Water-soluble extractives Not less than 12%
Volatile oil Not less than 4%

Method of preparation

  • (1) Take 50 grams of dried rhizomes of Haridra and dry them further to remove moisture for easy powdering. Rhizomes should have been harvested not more than one year ago.
  • (2) Grind rhizome in grinder till fine powder is obtained.
  • (3) Filter the powder through 85 mesh sieve to remove coarse fibers and other particles.
  • (4) Keep the powder in a dry and air-tight glass or plastic container away from sunlight.

Dosage form

Dusty, yellow-coloured fine powder.

Therapeutic properties

Tumeric powder has anti-bacterial, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties.

Indications and uses

  • (1) Sprain, inflammatory conditions of joints and burns are the main indications for local application of Haridra paste. Haridra powder is used internally for blood purification, skin blemishes and allergic conditions.

Dose and mode of administration

  • (1) For oral use, the dose of turmeric powder for adults is 2 to 5 grams and for children it is 1 to 2 grams. The dose of fresh turmeric juice is 10 to 20 millilitres in adults and 5 to 10 millilitres in children. Normally two doses a day should be taken with water or mixed with honey.
  • (2) A paste made from rhizomes, mixed with lime and salt, is applied to the sprained area and removed when it gets dried.

Precautions and safety aspects

  • (1) Turmeric being regularly used as a food item is considered safe and no adverse effects are reported of its long-term use. However, its oral use in children and pregnant women should be done under medical supervision. Turmeric or its alcoholic extract administered respectively in the dose of 2.5 grams per kilogram body weight and 300 milligrams per kilogram body weight on different species of animals proved non-toxic. It is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medicine.
  • (2) Turmeric’s side effects may occur with the use of more than the recommended doses. In that case, it may cause stomach upset or other gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea.
  • (3) As turmeric is bitter in taste, it is better not to take its powder or juice on empty stomach.
  • (4) Persons suffering from bile duct blockage, blood-clotting disorder and stomach ulcers should not take turmeric in excessive quantity.
  • (5) Treatment with turmeric may be stopped if it does not yield beneficial effects in a couple of days and medical advice should be sought.
  • (6) Proper rest to the affected part should be given along with the application of medicament.
  • (7) Persons receiving aspirin or warfarin should take turmeric with caution since their combined use may aggravate bleeding tendency.
  • (8) The following measures can help to prevent or aggravate sprain:
    • - Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
    • - Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep muscles strong.
    • - Practice safety measures to prevent falls.
    • - Wear shoes that fit properly.
    • - Do stretching exercises daily.
    • - Warm up and stretch before engaging in any sport or exercise.
    • - Avoid running or fast walking on uneven surfaces.


  • (1) Sharma PC, Yelne MB, Dennis TJ. Database on medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, 2000. p. 154.
  • (2) India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Ayurvedic pharmacopeia of India. Part I. Vol. I. New Delhi: Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, 2001. p. 45.

Further reading

  • (1) Arora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma longa (Turmeric). Indian J. Med. Res. 59(8), 1971.
  • (2) Ayurveda and its scientific aspects. New Delhi: Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 2006.
  • (3) Bhavamishra. Bhavaprakasha Nighantu. Edited by Pandey, GS. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, 1999.
  • (4) Indian herbal pharmacopoeia. Vol. II. Jammu-Tawi: Regional Research Laboratory, and Mumbai: Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, 1998.
  • (5) Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants. New Delhi: Springer (India) Pvt. Ltd., 2007.
  • (6) Khung N, Rastogi G, Grover JK. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Curcuma longa. Indian J. Pharmacology. 1998.
  • (7) Kundu S et al. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome paste and honey show similar wound healing potential: a preclinical study in rabbits. Int. J. of Low Extreme Wounds. (4), 2005.
  • (8) Potnis VV & Grampurohit ND. Anti-inflammatory activity of the creams containing turmeric and red sandalwood. Indian Drugs. (31), 1984.
  • (9) Sharma PV. Dravyaguna Vignana. Vol. II. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, 2001.
  • (10) Yano S et al. Antiallergic activity of extracts from Curcuma longa: active components and mechanism of actions. Phytomedicine. 3 (Suppl. 1), 1996-97.

Source: Traditional Herbal Remedies for Primary Health Care - WHO