The curative properties of turmeric have lent it to be used as a spice in Indian recipes and Ayurvedic medicine 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) adds to the list of healing rasāyanas of many traditional yogis and Ayurvedic consultants.
There are multiple ways to include turmeric in your diet. Given here are a few recipes you can use every day.
1. Basic Turmeric Milk Recipe
- ½ inch of fresh ginger grated
- ½ tsp dried turmeric powder or 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup filtered water
- 1 tbsp raw honey, or to taste
- Place all the ingredients except honey into a pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Let it stand for 15 minutes to seep.
- Rewarm if needed and then add the honey.
- Once the honey has been stirred in, strain and sip.
2. Turmeric Milk Recipe For Sore Throat
- ½ tsp dried turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- ¼ cup water
- Top off the cup with milk and heat the mixture for a few minutes until the milk almost boils.
- If you want to add peppercorns, which is thought to improve the absorption of the turmeric, do it before heating.
- Other flavors can be achieved by adding a few pods of cardamom (cracked) and a pinch of saffron to the milk/water concoction before boiling.
3. Cough Turmeric Milk Recipe
- 1 cup milk
- Sugar to taste
- ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Add milk and sugar to a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
- Roast the ajwain in a non-stick pan for a few minutes until it turns brown.
- Add turmeric to this mixture and stir.
- Add this to the warmed milk, mix well, strain, and sip while warm.
4. The Ultimate Turmeric Milk Recipe
- 2 cups fresh whole milk
- ½–1 tsp of turmeric powder
- 2–3 whole peppercorns
- 2–3 cardamom pods cracked
- ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp ghee (not if you are experiencing mucus)
- Pinch of saffron, optional
- Honey or jaggery for taste
- Heat the milk along with the spices for 2–3 minutes or until the milk is almost boiling.
- Add sweetener to taste, let it cool until warm, strain, and serve.
5. Sleepy-Time Turmeric
Add nutmeg to the basic turmeric milk recipe; nutmeg helps you sleep.
6. Turmeric Honey
- 9 tsp dried turmeric powder
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (grind it finely)
- ½ tsp dried ginger powder
- Raw organic honey
- Mix turmeric, pepper, and ginger thoroughly.
- Start adding liquid honey into the powder; it helps to warm the honey (not cook, just warm), which allows it to absorb better.
- Whipped versions of honey or old honey that has begun to crystallize will not work, the honey needs to be runny.
- Stir, slowly adding the honey until all the powder is dissolved and you have a thick paste. The amount will vary depending on the moisture content of the honey.
- Store the turmeric honey in an airtight jar.
7. Turmeric Milk (Non-Dairy)
- 8 ounces almond or coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½-inch-wide round slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- ½–1 tsp honey (or molasses as suggested by my dear friend and yoga teacher Shari)
- Optional additions: a tsp of ghee, cinnamon, cardamom
- Gently warm the almond or coconut milk on the stove.
- In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps.
- Add the rest of the milk and mix well.
- You can leave the pieces of ginger in the tea, or strain it out before drinking.
Turmeric can also be used in multiple ways externally for multiple conditions.
1. Turmeric Paste For Psoriasis
Turmeric is now gaining attention in the Western scientific community for the treatment of various conditions, including psoriasis. According to the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric responsible for inhibiting skin growth factors that lead to psoriasis scales. It has also been used in face wash and face mask concoctions for years to help with acne.
- ¼ cup of turmeric powder
- 2 ½ cups of water
- To make turmeric paste, stir the mixture and bring it to a boil.
- Simmer over medium–high heat and stir constantly until it reaches a thick honey-like paste consistency.
- If it gets too dry while cooking, add some water.
- Once cool, transfer the contents into an airtight glass container or jar. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to about a month.
To use, spread a thin layer of turmeric paste onto the psoriasis-affected areas of skin before bedtime. Use enough paste so that you cannot see the underlying skin, but not so much that the paste is falling off. Wrap a piece of gauze around the skin to keep the paste in place and leave it overnight. Remove the gauze and wash the turmeric paste off of your skin using warm water.
Turmeric permanently stains porous surfaces, such as plastic and clothing. It temporarily stains the skin, giving it a light yellow to orange color. Stains on the skin gradually fade over a few days’ time.
2. Turmeric Face Wash and Mask
Indian brides have been using this recipe for years to give them a beautiful radiant skin on their wedding day. But you don’t have to be walking down the aisle to gain the benefits from this face mask. It not only will brighten the skin but will also help with acne and age spots.
- ¼ tsp of turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp of neem
- A few drops of coconut oil
- Place the turmeric and neem in a small bowl and mix well.
- Place a small amount in the palm of your hand and add coconut oil, drop by drop, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Apply the turmeric paste onto your face and neck beginning at the forehead and moving down, making sure to avoid the eye area.
For face wash, gently massage over face for about 30 seconds. It is a little gritty so be gentle. Rinse face with cool water.
To use as a mask, apply and let the paste dry; it takes about 20 minutes. Wash off the mask with warm water and then, after all paste has been removed, splash your face with cold water. Gently dry with a soft, clean towel.
Delivering All 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.
I find that I can eat about one-third of as much food as usual and feel a sense of satiation when all the tastes are included in my meal, and this is a good thing in our age of giant plate meals. However, it also explains why those giant plate meals even exist.
In a meal that isn’t made to offer all 6 tastes, we continue to eat hoping that we will eventually find enough of these tastes and be satisfied. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t, but either way we eat far too many calories.
[pullquote]Turmeric increases vata and pitta if consumed in large quantities, and it relieves kapha.[/pullquote]
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. Turmeric is a heating spice thought to help in diabetes and also promote good digestion.
Advantages Of Consuming Turmeric
Benefits Of Turmeric
There are many ways you can take turmeric: fresh, dried, and grated as a spice, capsule, or pills.
- We know that turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic.
- It can relieve pain and swelling (known in Ayurveda as nature’s aspirin).
- It can be applied to small cuts and wounds, helping with blood clotting, preventing infection, and healing skin.
Benefits Of Milk
Milk is a great delivery system for turmeric whether you use it internally or externally.
- Adding it to turmeric increases the antioxidant qualities.
- It fights free radicals that damage skin, making it lose its elasticity and glow.
- It also strengthens bones, which helps with osteoporosis and arthritis (joint inflammation and pain).
Consuming milk with turmeric twice a day before meals will ease morning stiffness and 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.
Benefits Of Honey
Raw organic honey is often added not only for the taste but also for its own powerful antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Ayurveda considers raw honey as being a prabhava, a term that means the unexplainable special effect of a substance, that cannot be explained by rasa (taste), virya (the quality of energy released by an herb or food after eating), or vipāka (the final post-digestive effect of food that occurs in the colon and has an action on the excreta).
I am sure this is not the last word on turmeric. But for now, this information will hopefully give you a way to invite turmeric into your lives. My mission always is that you live healthy and happy every day, and if anything that you have learned from me helps you do that, then I have done my job well.