Since Cleopatra shaved her legs with the edge of a shell, women have searched for a better and more lasting way to remove unwanted hair from the face, legs and underarms. Shaving is the most common method, but it only lasts a few days. Waxing, body sugaring and depilatory creams can give you a couple of weeks between sessions. The versatile spice from India, turmeric, provides the potential for more effective removal.
In India, women use turmeric to remove unwanted hair and some claim it can permanently inhibit hair growth. To try this remedy and judge the effectiveness for yourself, mix ½ cup of turmeric with enough milk to make a thick paste. Spread this on your legs in the direction of hair growth and let it dry. Using your hand or a dry washcloth, scrub your legs in a circular motion, removing the paste and hair along with it. Repeat the treatment every few days or as you see hair growth. After using this remedy for a few months you may notice the hair is finer and takes longer to grow back.
You can feel safe using this method of hair removal since it has been used on babies in India for centuries. Some babies are born with excess hair all over their bodies. For aesthetic and cleanliness reasons, some mothers want to remove this hair. They begin rubbing turmeric on the baby’s skin as early as a month old. After a couple of months, the baby may be practically hairless.
Another way to mix the paste is to add the turmeric powder to plain, unsweetened yogurt. The acidity of the yogurt may be beneficial for skin. If you add a little flour to the paste, it dries the oil into your skin to help with the removal process.
Turmeric powder sold for cooking leaves your skin with a yellowish tinge. If you have access to an Asian or Middle Eastern market, look for kasturi turmeric, which may be sold as kasturi haldi or kasturi manjal. It is lighter in color and may not leave such a stain. If you can’t find the lighter turmeric, regular turmeric powder is fine. Lessen the discoloration by dipping a cotton ball in milk and rubbing it all over your lip, chin, legs or wherever you used the paste.
Theresa L Johnston is a Southern writer with expertise in alternative medicine, gardening and behavioral and women's health issues. She has been published at http://www.ehow.com, in "The Mostly ARTzine," and has edited several newsletters. She has written procedures manuals, call scripts, and youth group curriculum for her various employers over the last 10 years.
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