Fitkari, called Alum in English, is a rough-edged stone commonly used in India for therapeutic as well as spiritual purposes.
Its chemical name is potassium aluminum sulfate, KAI(SO4)2.
Did you know that Alum is also eaten in small quantities to cure canker sores (small mouth ulcers)? People have used it since long to treat minor cuts and abrasions.
However, this should be strictly done under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
In many Indian households, it is commonly found sitting on the kitchen cabinet shelves. It is found both in sold crystalline form as well as powdered form.
Let’s quickly look into some benefits of Alum-
- Antiseptic- In the Ayurvedic form of medicine, Alum is used as a remedy for toothache and gum problems. Alum is loaded with antiseptic properties that help protect against cavities, swollen gums, bleeding gums, and tooth decay. Many dentists recommend it as a mouthwash.
- Coagulant- Alum along with chlorine is used to purify water. Alum helps settle suspended particles in water through coagulation. Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills disease-causing pathogens in water.
- Astringent- Alum is a natural astringent. It is a component in many anti-wrinkle and anti-aging creams. Soak cotton balls in the alum mixture and apply on the face. Leave the unit dry and wash off. Doing this on a regular basis is believed to make your skin tight.
- For bad breath- Rinsing your mouth with 1 gm of alum and a pinch of salt dissolved in warm water takes care of bad breath. One should be careful not to drink this liquid as it can cause nausea.
- Beauty Benefits- Alum removes your blackheads in the most effective way. Take Alum powder, add some rose water, and make a smooth paste. Apply it gently on your blackheads. Leave until dry. Wash off with cold water. Avoid rubbing your skin as it may cause irritation. Pat dry your face. In Ayurveda, Alum is often recommended to treat acne and pimples. It also treats cracked heels. Heat a lump of alum so that it liquefies and becomes foamy. Upon drying, you get a crumbly powder. Grind it to a fine consistency. Mix with coconut oil. Rub it to your heels. Regular use makes your heels soft and smooth.
- Styptic- It is a common sight to spot Fitkari in Indian salons. Its styptic properties are good for after shave and help reduce bleeding in minor cuts and abrasions.
- Vastu Shastra- Many Acharyas (people who preach Vastu Shastra, a traditional system of architecture from India) believe that Alum is a remedy for any Vastu defects in the house. According to Vastu Shastra, keeping a small piece of Alum in an obscure corner bestows positivity, happiness, and peace in your house. It is also believed that keeping alum in your safe brings more wealth.
How to select and store Alum
Alum should be translucent in appearance and in a solid crystal or powdered form. Powdered and solid Alum should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool and dry place.
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