Turmeric: The Multipurpose Super Herb
The curative properties of turmeric have lent it to be used as a spice in Indian recipes and medicine in Ayurveda for thousands of years. The healthy nutrients of milk team up perfectly with the anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric. Turmeric milk or Haldi ka doodh (haldi means turmeric, doodh means milk) brings this sweet nectar onto the favorite’s list of healing rasāyanas of many traditional yogis and Ayurvedic Consultants.
The 6 Tastes
In Ayurvedic cooking we want to make sure we deliver all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent) in every meal. This balances the doshas which leads to less imbalance and sickness. What I find is that I can eat about 1/3 as much food and feel a sense of satiation when all the tastes are included in my meal. That is such a good thing in this day and age of the giant plate meals. But it also explains why those giant plate meals even exist. In a meal that isn’t well planned to offer all 6 tastes, we continue to eat hoping that we will eventually, if we eat enough, find enough of these tastes and then be satisfied. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t, but either way, we are eating far too many calories.
It is sometimes difficult to get all the tastes into one meal. One of the easiest ways to meet this requirement is to use spices. For instance turmeric supplies the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes with just one spice. These are sometimes the three harder tastes to add to a meal. It is a heating spice thought to help in diabetes and also promotes good digestion. Turmeric increases vata and pitta if too much is consumed, and relieves kapha.
Ways To Consume Turmeric
Milk is a great delivery system for turmeric whether you are using it internally or externally. Adding turmeric to milk increases milks own antioxidant qualities. Milk fights free radicals that damage skin, making it lose its elasticity and glow. Milk also strengthens bones, which helps with osteoporosis and arthritis (joint inflammation and pain). Consuming the drink twice a day before meals will ease morning stiffness, reduce pain and swelling in the joint. But it’s the anti-inflammatory qualities that make turmeric milk a favorite for soothing sore throats and calming coughs.
Some Recipes For You To Try
Basic Turmeric Milk Recipe
- ½” of fresh ginger grated
- ½ tsp. dried turmeric powder or 1 inch piece fresh turmeric
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup filtered water
- 1 Tbls raw honey, or to taste
Place all ingredients except honey into a pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes to seep. Rewarm if needed and then add the honey. Once the honey has been stirred in, strain and sip.