Some call it Turmeric Latte, others call it Haldi ka Doodh, whatever its name you’re about to meet the doctor in your kitchen- Turmeric.
Growing up in an Indian home meant rarely going to the doctor's office unless the matter was that serious. The reason for that was simply because my mother would always say your Doctor and Beautician is right there in your kitchen. As a child, I never understood what she meant, but now as an adult, I’ve become a Turmeric ambassador and I am constantly recruiting.
What is turmeric and where did it come from?
Turmeric is native to Southern India and Indonesia, with 78% of the world's supply of this healing root coming from India. In Vedic culture, turmeric has been used for religious purposes and continues to hold high significance till today. Its use can be dated back to 4000 years ago, with China catching on around 700ad and Africa by 800ad. Now the west has now discovered it around the last decade and has started making numerous delicious drinks that pack a ton of healing properties. I can almost hear my grandmother saying, “We’ve been saying this for years”, glad the world is catching on and enjoying it too.
It's a ground root that is orange-yellow in colour, looks similar to ginger on the outside and above ground, the plant itself has the most beautiful flowers you’d ever see. Apart from its different names in different languages (Indian Saffron, Turmeric, Huldee Doodh in Hindi and in Tamil Palile Manjal), this ground stem plant actually comes from the ginger family and is scientifically known as Curcuma Longa.
How is it used today?
Growing up we ate it, drank it, and even wore it. Even today mum’s still consulting turmeric before any doctor. When we got cut and started bleeding our mums would apply the loose powder to the cut area. Boy oh boy would it burn like hellfire, BUT it worked, the bleeding stopped and the wound was kept clean of bacteria because turmeric is a natural antibiotic as well.
Apart from medicine, this very versatile root is also used as a textile dye, as an aromatic stimulant and in the food and beverage industry. It was also once used as a perfume in ancient times. In Indian culture, the root is ground into a powder and mixed with other traditional ingredients to form a paste. This paste is applied onto the skin of brides and grooms the night before the wedding in a ceremony, for them to get a golden glow for their special day. Today health stores worldwide have a huge range of teas available and it’s about time you know why.
What are SOME benefits? (Because there’s a ton):
Turmeric treats hundreds of ailments*, here's a short compiled list:
- It's an anti-inflammatory
- There are healing properties that also help to prevent and treat cancer,
- Reduces arthritis symptoms
- Boosts immune function
- Helps to balance IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Can help treat and prevent Alzheimer's
- Helps to manage and prevent diabetes, lung conditions
- And last but certainly not least reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues.
How to use it in tea and other beverages?
Turmeric Tea originated in India and is a staple in every home. Ask any child and they will tell you it’s the last thing they consume before going to bed and the first thing they drink if they have a cold. There are numerous ways of preparing the drink, either with water or with milk. The root is ground into a powder form and added into a pot of milk, it is then boiled and strained into a cup before drinking.
Let’s share some recipes:
Haldi ka Doodh/ (Turmeric Milk):
In a small bowl mix together the following ingredients-
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder,
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom,
- ¼ tsp black pepper,
- Ground ginger (you can use your own discretion based on preference),
- A pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of allspice.
Heat milk in a pot for about 3-4 minutes, till it comes up to heat. Stir in some pure honey according to taste and a few drops of vanilla extract. Add 1 tsp of your turmeric spice mixture to the milk and reduce the heat for about 2-3 minutes. Once the milk is ready, strain it into your cup and enjoy.
Ginger Turmeric Tea for colds and flu:
Put water into a pot and add in:
- A few slices of ginger (according to your preference, the more you add the better it works),
- A piece of cinnamon/ ½ tsp cinnamon powder, 2 or 3 grinds of black pepper.
- Once everything has boiled, add pure honey and ½ tsp of turmeric powder on low heat.
- When you’re ready to enjoy this miracle drink, strain into a cup and enjoy.
- Other additions:
You can also add almond milk or coconut milk to help absorb the powder which also caters for vegans looking for alternatives to cow’s milk. For flavour, you can also add a few drops of lemon/ lime.
The variations and flavour options are endless, so are the benefits.
Get a pack of turmeric root/ powder, grab your spices, and fuel your body, spirit, and soul with the magic that is Turmeric tea. Being safe for vegans, this is a perfect body warming drink that can calm any stressful day.
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