The humble turmeric or haldi is making waves globally and for all the right reasons. A potent immunity booster, its versatility is much more than what meets the eye.
In Ayurvedic wisdom, turmeric has a multitude of benefits. To understand its role in strengthening the immunity some Sanskrit terminologies must be understood. Dr. Zeel Gandhi, BAMS inhouse Ayurvedic doctor, Vedix explains, “Lekhaniya literally means scraping. Turmeric detoxifies the body by scraping off adhered toxins (ama), and fats, flushing them out. Healthy toxin free body equals good immunity.
“Krimi Hara – turmeric is a known antiparasitic agent that cures abdominal worms and other infections. Turmeric counters 20 kinds of Meha or diabetes, described in the ayurvedic texts. By boosting insulin functions and metabolism, the body is conferred with better immunity. Similarly, turmeric is known to have a positive effect on Asra or blood and detoxifies the blood tissue making the immune responses exerted by the blood serum, effective against invading pathogens. Shotha as it reduces inflammation thus regulating immune responses in cases of allergies and Vrana as it expedites wound healing.”
Make a combination of pure traditional ghee, a little black pepper or long pepper powder with your turmeric. You can consume this mix just as is at the start or end of the day. Alternatively, you can consume this combination with a hot non-caffeinated beverage, or water. Curcumin is best absorbed with a little fat and piperine. Most active compounds in turmeric are lost, if not combined with a proper Yogavahi or the carrier agent. Healthy fats can be sourced from nut butters or virgin oils but Ayurveda prizes ghee for its superior benefit.
Piperine present in long or black pepper helps absorb maximum active compounds present in turmeric. “Turmeric is a potent herb that is well-known for its medicinal effects as well as its ability to enhance immunity. Our elders have long told us about the immense benefits of turmeric, from childhood to adulthood. In Ayurveda, it is considered as a pungent spice that has purifying and anti-inflammatory properties. The main active element, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and natural healing qualities,” says Sheetal Bhatt, Founder, G.O.D Cafe and an Ayurvedic Philosopher.
“There is always a confusion in the kitchen and a good reason why we use mostly turmeric powder instead of fresh turmeric in our cooking. Fresh turmeric is quite heavy to digest and has super heating properties with bitter taste because it is high in moisture content. On the other hand, when turmeric is sun dried or in powder form – it loses moisture and makes it easier to digest, and easy to use,” says Chef Tarun Panjwani. Here are a couple of recipes for you to try.
Turmeric Ginger Iced Tea (courtesy Chef Tarun Panjwani)
- Water 2 cups
- Black tea powder 1 tbsp
- Honey 1 tbsp
- Freshly grated turmeric root 1 tsp
- Freshly grated ginger root 1 tsp
- Fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp
- Ice cubes as required
- Few lemon slices for garnish, optional
- Pour water in a saucepan. Heat the pan on medium flame and let water boil.
- Once water comes to boil, add black tea powder. Now add grated turmeric root and grated ginger root and let it simmer.
- Now switch off the flame, add honey and mix well.
- Then add lemon juice and stir it with a spoon. Strain the iced tea and let it cool at room temperature and chill it in the refrigerator.
- For serving iced tea, add 4-5 ice cubes in glass, pour chilled turmeric and ginger iced tea. Also add 1-2 lemon slices (optional). Garnish with lemon slices and serve chilled.
Swarna Haldi And Kesar Masala Milk (courtesy G.O.D Café)
- 250 ml milk
- 1-gram turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of milk masala (grind and combine almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cardamom, and nutmeg to make a Milk Masala mixture)
- 3 to 4 strands of saffron soaked in little warm water
- 2 spoons Jaggery Powder (available on Amazon)
- In a bowl, add your 250 ml of organic milk, turmeric, Milk Masala, strands of saffron soaked in little warm water, 2 tbsp of Jaggery powder; and mix the dry ingredients well.
- Add your bowl to a medium low heat, stir and leave for at least 8 to 10 minutes till all the ingredients are blended in the milk well.
- Now add the jaggery powder and bring it to boil until your color changes to fresh golden yellow. Serve hot.
You might like the last post from our immunity boosting series, the Goodness of Ginger