Turmeric or Curcuma longa is a medicinal plant and I had the opportunity to learn about its medicinal properties during the course of my M. Sc. ( Botany ). We had a subject by the name of ‘Medicinal Plants’ and were introduced to a wide variety of plants which were of great medicinal significance. That was a part of formal education. If I think of informal ways of how I learned the benefits of this mustard colored spice, it would take me back to my childhood. My grandparents often sprinkled a pinch of turmeric powder over hot milk and reaped its benefits by sipping it just before bed time.
I have been trying to incorporate it into my wellness regimen but was never very regular until last September. I sprained my ankle and after trying almost all the pain relievers, balms and other medicines ( including steroids ), I was in much discomfort, so much so, that the daily mundane activities were difficult to perform. My mother suggested that I should try turmeric milk. She has been asking me to do so for last 10 years or so. But this time I could not say no as it was my only hope to feel better. Since then I’ve been drinking turmeric milk twice a day. And I’m glad I made the switch from plain milk to this golden milk.
It’s no longer a secret that this potent spice has far more benefits than just being an important ingredient to make curries. The active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects like:
A recent report by CNN also confirms all of the above mentioned effects.
How to add this miracle spice in your health and wellness regimen ?
One of the easiest ways is to use it in your soups and curries. When I first started taking it, I usually mixed a pinch of turmeric powder in ½ cup lukewarm water. It was not at all tasty but I thought of it as a medicine and as we know, medicines are rarely fun to swallow. If you drink milk ( any kind ), then turmeric milk is also an easy and palatable option. To make turmeric milk you have two ways.
Using Turmeric Root:
Take 1 cup of milk ( any milk of your choice ) adding an inch of turmeric root ( available at Whole Foods) . Boil the milk . Strain out the turmeric root. Now add a pinch of ground black pepper. Mix well and your golden milk is ready.
Using Turmeric powder:
Take hot milk, add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of ground black pepper. Mix well and enjoy.
If you find turmeric milk unpalatable ( chances are you will ! ), then consider adding these spices to any of the above prepared recipes.
a pinch of cinnamon powder
a pinch of green cardamom
Did you know??
In India, turmeric is a popular home remedy for cough, colds and congestion. As a paste , it is used as an antiseptic on fresh wounds.