Alum or fitkari is an amazing ingredient with brilliant uses. It has several uses from skin lightening to water purification. There are many types of alum and it’s important to know which alum to be used, correct dosage, and also the right method for using it to prevent all side effects.
What is alum?
Alum is popularly called fitkari and is commonly used in India. Many people think that alum is only used in shaving, but the reality is that it has many other amazing uses and health benefits too. Although there are many kinds of alum, the potassium alum is commonly used for many household purposes. This is also commonly called alum.
Uses of fitkari/alum
1. Relieves canker sore and bleeding gums
To treat canker sores, a piece of alum is finely powdered and a pinch of the alum powder is applied on the canker sore. It usually stings for some time, but the person gets relief from canker sores. Many people do not like to use alum powder. Young children find it difficult to bear this burn.
The homemade alum mouth rinse can be used to get rid of the mouth sores. You can make the rinse by powdering a piece of alum in a mortar. Then boil water with salt added in it. When the salt dissolves, remove it from the heat and slowly stir in alum powder. After the alum dissolves, slightly strain and then use it mouth rinse 2 to 3 times in a day. Salt is very effective in curing canker sores because the rinse is safe to use by young and old. If you use raw alum powder, do not swallow it when applying on the canker sores and use a tiny bit. This alum rinse will treat the bad breath, brightens your teeth, and also stops bleeding in gums.
2. Cures eye abscess
Alum is useful for treating the eye abscess. For treating the abscess, rub a piece of alum on a clean sandalwood stone with little water. The sandalwood stone is used to rub the sandalwood bark to make sandalwood paste at our home. If you do not have the stone, you may use any smooth stone which is available at home. Rub the alum until you get a very thick smooth paste. The paste is effective but it slightly stings when applied. But boil breaks on the same day it is applied providing you a good relief from the eye abscess. While doing trying this remedy, always make sure that the alum paste doesn’t enter your eyes. As the paste stings, do not use the remedy for kids.
3. Treats athlete’s foot and cracked heels
Alum powder is useful in treating both athlete’s foot as well as cracked heels. The athlete’s foot is a skin infection that is caused by a specific fungus. Scaling, itching, and redness are some common symptoms of the athlete’s foot. The best way to use the alum for treating the athlete’s foot is by dipping the feet in the alum foot soak.
You can make the alum foot soak by taking a bowl and then adding warm water to completely immerse the feet. Take two spoons of alum and then mix it a cup of water until the alum crystals dissolve and then add to a foot soak. Immerse the feet in the alum foot soak until the water becomes cold.
You can add fresh neem leaves to the soak too. This would help treat the athlete’s foot because it has super anti-fungal properties. The foot soak can also heal cracked heels as alum also softens hard skin effectively. After soaking the feet in the mixture, wash and massage the feet with cold-pressed coconut oil.
4. Soothes after shave cuts
Alum has been commonly used as aftershave treatments for a long time. Alum helps get rid of expensive aftershaves. It has many antibacterial properties and halts bleeding quickly. Rubbing it on the face just after shaving can also heal minor cuts during shaving. It stops bleeding fast. You may not like using it aftershave for the first time but on regular use, you will find positive results in your skin tone. For use after shaving, rub an alum block on the wet face for a few seconds and then you can wash it off. Remember using the alum in a barbershop is one of the major reasons for getting a skin issue as a single alum piece skin lightening is used for everyone. It is strongly suggested not using the alum stone in a barbershop at all.
5. Cleanses head
During summers, the head is full of dirt and pollution causing problems such as smelly head and lice. Alum is one best solutions to clean the lice and dirt from the head. Wash the hair with some water soaked in alum in the morning.
6. Cures wrinkles
If wrinkles started to show on the face, clean it with the alum water, and massage it with the alum every night. This will reduce wrinkles. You can immerse a large piece of cloth in the alum water and clean the face with it.
7. Reduces sweating
Alum can be helpful in controlling your sweat. If you sweat profusely, bathe in the alum water and you would notice the difference soon after.
8. Relieves from urine infection
Women very often have the problem of urine infections during the summers. This happens due to dehydration. To get rid of the problem, always clean the private parts with the alum water twice a day. Also, bathing in the alum water will help you in getting relief.
9. Used for coloring hair
Yes, you can color your hair using alum. It can be purchased from the market. You can use it to make the grey hair turn black. Grind alum powder and make a thick paste using rose water. Apply the paste on hair and allow it to dry, after which it can be washed with normal water.
10. Treats menorrhagia
Menorrhagia is heavy menstrual bleeding and this is due to aggravated Pitta dosha. Alum balances aggravated Pitta and controls menstrual bleeding.