Curd is a by-product of milk which is used in almost every household from time immemorial. It is not only used in its raw form but can be added in the preparation of other dishes as an ingredient for our consumption. Apart from this, it has been found beneficial in enhancing our overall appearance by using it as a homemade mask for face. Curd is formed by the setting of milk and in this process, it gains beneficial properties because of the fermentation induced by the lactic acid bacteria. A thick white consistency enriched with minerals, proteins and vitamins B12 and B2. The cooling effect of curd makes it a highly consumed food product in summers to provide respite from the heat and humidity. Curd has become essential nourishment and it is hard to imagine its absence in our daily menu. Curd benefits for health Immunity: Being rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium and potassium, curd has lactic acid bacteria that produce lactic acid which fights against unwanted bacteria in our intestines. Two bowls of curd advised daily as an immune booster. Easy digestion: Some people are allergic to milk. Lactose which is present in milk can cause allergies. After fermentation into curd, lactose is converted into lactic acid which is easier to digest. The rich calcium content helps in weight reduction. Improves vaginal health: Curd contains lactobacillus which is a probiotic. This good bacteria can live in the vagina lining and prevents the formation of yeast and bacterial growth. Controls blood pressure: Magnesium and calcium present in curd help in keeping the heart and arteries in healthy conditionS so it is good for people who are affected by hypertension and heart diseases. Bones and skeletal muscles: Curd contains proteins and calcium which helps in the growth of muscles and bones respectively. Curd benefits for hair Dandruff control: Curd is a great scalp nourisher. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and an excellent moisturizer for people affected by dandruff, it is also a boon in winters especially because people use a hot water bath and this removes the moisture from the scalp. It can be applied alone and also a homemade mask for hair can be made by mixing it with honey and lemon. It reduces itchiness and irritation. Hair softening: fuzzy and curly hair is usually dry and rough; curd can be used to eliminate this coarseness by moisturizing the scalp at regular intervals. Harsh weather conditions, excessive use of hair chemicals, styling techniques using heat such as curlers, straightening rods can leave the hair damaged and full of split-ends. A curd mask consisting of curd, oil, honey can be used to revive such hair. Hair growth: Vitamin B7 is present in curd solely responsible for hair growth at a faster rate. Since the curd has moisturizing properties, it makes the hair lustrous and smooth. benefits of homemade mask for face People nowadays have a very busy schedule and they are not able to give much time to their skin. Curd is easily available in every household and it contains all the nutrients which help to rejuvenate the skin. Skin softening: For people who have dry patches on the face, the curd is a blessing. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins. The presence of lactic acid in curd helps to exfoliate the dead cells. This brings back the glow and acts as a valuable moisturizer. The appearance of wrinkles and early signs of aging can be reduced to a large extent by the use of curd masks. To make an excellent homemade mask for face for anti-aging take two spoons of curd, one spoon of honey & a few drops of lemon juice. Make a mixture of these 3 ingredients and apply it on the face for 10-15 minutes. 2. Healing sunburn: Due to constant exposure to harsh UV rays of the sun, people tend to get sunburns. The affected part becomes painful, red, itchy. There may be signs of blistering, peeling, rashes and the area is hot to touch. Fat-free plain curd can be applied to the area and left for around 15-20 minutes. The protein present in curd helps to soothe the skin and the lactic acid acts as an exfoliant to remove the blistered top skin layer. 3. Dark circles: The reasons for the formation of dark circles are usually stressed, lack of sleep, excessive use of the eyes especially while doing computer work or reading. Lack of proper nutrients in our diet can also give us dark circles. Curd is an all-rounder here as it can help to heal both intrinsically and extrinsically. Packed with probiotic material, nutritious content such as vitamins, minerals, proteins. Daily intake of curd reduces stress and brings a face glow. A homemade mask for face consists of 1 tablespoon of curd with 2 tablespoon of turmeric powder and a few drops of lemon juice. Ayurvedic approach Extensive research has been carried out by Ayurvedic practitioners. Curd can be both beneficial and harmful according to Ayurveda. Curd in its different states has contrary effects on the body. Thick and sweet curd is cold in nature whereas sour curd is hot in nature. Curd increases the secretion from the glands in our body and elevates the kapha-dosha that is why the intake of curd should be avoided at night and in winters. People suffering from sinus, asthma bronchitis are especially advised not to consume curd in winters. Ayurveda suggests that fermented food should be avoided in the (monsoon) season. Curd is heavier in nature and difficult to digest as compared to its lighter form, buttermilk. It is also constipating in nature, people suffering from diarrhea should take curd. Night consumption should be avoided but people who love curd can take it with amla, ghee, soup, honey. Homemade mask for hair recipes using curd Homemade Hair Mask pack for dandruff: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice1 cup curd1 tablespoon of honey Mix all the three ingredients. Apply it for 30 minutes on the scalp, then rinse it out with warm water and shampoo. Homemade Hair Mask pack for conditioning the hair: 1 cup curd1 tablespoon of olive oil This pack should be applied on the scalp after shampoo. Keep it for 15-20 minutes. Rinse it out with normal water. Homemade Hair Mask for split-ends ½ cup curdFew drops of castor oilCream Apply the mixture with the brush on the roots of hair for 40-45 minutes, after that wash it with lukewarm water. Homemade mask for face recipes using curd For oily skin 1 tablespoon curd1 tablespoon of fuller’s earth1 tablespoon of rose water1 tablespoon of sandalwood1 tablespoon of turmeric Combine all these ingredients. Spread the smooth paste all over the face. Put it for 10-15 minutes and wash it when it becomes dry. For normal skin 2 tablespoon curd1 tablespoon of turmericFew drops of mustard oil Apply it for 10 minutes and then rinse it out. Do this procedure at least twice a week. homemade mask for face having dry skin 2 tablespoon of curd1 tablespoon of honey1 tablespoon of lemon juice Apply it all over the face and wait for it to dry. After that rinse out the face with normal water.