Take the 2-minute tour ×
Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My in laws have a custom of washing the infant with Turmeric powder rather than any soap.

Should an infant be washed with turmeric powder? Any side effects?

How long duration can this be prolonged?

share|improve this question
    
Are you sure it's not talcum powder? –  Ana Apr 4 '13 at 18:20
    
@Ana I am from India. No it is not talcum powder. Fresh turmeric is ground and then the baby is bathed with its powder instead of soap. –  TheIndependentAquarius Apr 4 '13 at 23:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Turmeric is a common ingredient in ayurvedic medicine, taken both internally and externally. In a bath or used in massage, it is said to help with skin conditions (including diaper rash), pigment issues, and excess hair. It is considered by some as a gentler alternative to soap for sensitive skin, though some types of turmeric are considered too harsh for a baby's skin. Turmeric is thought to have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. While you should consult your pediatrician rather than take advice from the Internet, you might be interested to read Anne McIntyre's Herbal Treatment Of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives. Anne has a contact button on her website, and she may be able to address your concerns directly.

I have searched Gale Health, Ebsco Health and Medline databases, and the research I am finding on turmeric is generally regarding internal use. There was one study done in Bangladesh in 2008 concerning infant mortality rates that noted that umbilical stumps were commonly treated with a variety of substances, including ginger and turmeric, and the finding was that this can be unhygienic.

Citation:

Alam, M., Ali, N., Sultana, N., Mullany, L., Teela, K., Khan, N., & ... Winch, P. (2008). Newborn umbilical cord and skin care in Sylhet District, Bangladesh: implications for the promotion of umbilical cord cleansing with topical chlorhexidine. Journal Of Perinatology, 28S61-S68. doi:10.1038/jp.2008.164

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.