Home Remedies from south India: Skin care

This is a continuation of the series which started with Hair Care. The other posts covered Colds, Coughs, Foot, Head aches, among other topics. The information in this series is the knowledge of my grandmother, which I documented as part of a project on medicinal plants and home remedies.

  1. Steam inhalation with Tulsi opens the pores of the skin. Gives clear skin.
  2. In case of skin infections- Honey mixed with cinnamon powder is applied in equal parts on the affected skin; cures eczema, ringworm and many other types of skin infections
  3. Turmeric powder is applied on the skin during and after bath. This acts as a disinfectant and removes excess hair. This was made commercially popular by the company Vicco. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E86h7NxUJ6k (embedded below)
  4. Multani mitti and Karboga arisi (a type of rice) is made into a paste with water. The cream of curd is mixed with this. This is applied on the face and left to dry. It is washed off with luke-warm water.
  5. Semmann (red brick powder) and Katti Karpooram (crystallised camphor) is dissolved and applied on acne.
  6. Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder is made into a paste which is applied on pimples before sleep and washed off with warm water the next morning. If done daily, pimples will be removed from the root in two weeks.
  7. Erukku leaf’s (Calotropis gigantia) latex is placed on an injury or the leaf is heated and tied over it.
  8. Erukku leaf’s or Oomathai (datura) leaf or Andimandara leaf with velakkenai (castor oil) is placed over boils.
  9. Nallennai (sesame oil) is applied all over hair and skin and let to soak for some time. A hair bath* after this leaves the skin and hair softer and shinier.
  10. Tea made with four spoons of honey and one spoon of cinnamon powder and three cups of water. Quarter cup is consumed thrice or four times a day. This keeps the skin fresh and soft. This also increases the life span and arrests old age.

*’Hair bath’ is a term used in colloquial Indian English (Indianism) which means having a regular bath as well as washing one’s hair. Many people don’t wash their hair every day. Also, in India, the term bath doesn’t imply bathing in a bathtub; it could mean a shower, bathing from the bucket, or in a river; either way, it refers to the act of bathing.

Here is the old Vicco turmeric commercial as promised.


The pictures used in this series are inserted from other websites. I have used them only to illustrate the ingredients used in the remedies.

See also