Ayurvedic healers love turmeric for its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-oxidant properties. Try this cup of comfort tonight — the turmeric will settle your stomach, the warm milk will make you sleepy, and the spices provide extra flavor and warmth.
Heat 2 cups organic milk with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, a pinch each of freshly grated ginger-root and cracked black pepper, and 1 cinnamon stick. Cook until the milk comes to a full boil. Enjoy warm.
Variation: Use 2 crushed cardamom pods instead of a cinnamon stick. Add crushed jaggery, honey, or sugar to taste.
Health Benefits: Scientific studies have shown that turmeric can help prevent and/or ease arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. From an ayurvedic perspective, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper are warming spices that help keep the sniffles away. The warm milk provides protein and makes tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid, more readily available to the body.
Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What It Is and What It Can Do for You and Radiant Body, Restful Mind.