BY LISA S.T. DOSS
The cultural knowledge of herbal lore is not entirely lost. The information may still be in our genes, urging to take root and blossom. It begins by first loving the fragrance and taste of herbs. Take the interest one step further! Start drying leaves and flowers to make delicious teas, healing salves, tinctures, poultices and more to promote wellness!
The validation of turmeric as a medicinal spice extends a wide range of languages and cultures spanning 4,000 years. In addition to phrasing such as “lucky,” “beautiful as night” and “beloved of wife,” the yellow root can heal ailments comprising every letter of the alphabet. You, too, may find curiosity in trying a natural recipe characterized to “delight the heart,” “cure fever” or “offer fair complexion.” From health experts to healers in the holistic and allopathic world, inflammation is the source of almost every disease. Once impacted, the domino effect hinders all aspects of health and mobility. The gift from the plant world is turmeric’s roots and flowers, which provide immune-boosting, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.
Growing Tropical Herbs
Similar to holding a rabbit’s foot for luck, some believe turmeric plants can promote wellness. Gardeners interested in a challenge may enjoy creating a germination chamber using plastic, a grow light and a heat mat. After six weeks, the first sprouts arrive; yet, patience and continued care require growers to wait for a full 10 months until the broad, emerald leaves show signs of browning – an exciting time for harvesters!
Drinking a Remedy for Healing
A decoction is a method to dissolve a material, such as stems, roots, bark and rhizomes, by boiling. Try making the following decoction – bedtime golden milk, to break sleeplessness while easing digestion, inflammation, allergies or joint and bone pain.
Recipe: Combine 1 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 ½ teaspoon almond butter, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch of black pepper to a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, whisking briskly until almond butter combines with the spices. Do not boil.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed Mason jar for up to three days. Reheat on the stove.
Create a Paste to Heal Wounds
The body’s natural reaction to injury is to send white blood cells to the wound despite the effects of pain, swelling and redness. To calm the response, the healing spice, turmeric, fights inflammation while promoting new, healthy tissues.
For minimal scaring and fast healing, make a thick paste comprising two teaspoons of turmeric powder with either coconut oil or water. Once applied to the wound, cover with a bandage for 24 hours.
Make a Face Mask for a Clear Complexion
The recipe to the fountain of youth to fight acne and scarring, prevent breakouts and achieve a natural glow is available to anyone willing to combine household ingredients.
Recipe: In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 ½ teaspoons of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of milk or yogurt; then, stir in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to form a paste. Apply to skin, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
A Poultice to Ease Pain
Rather than taking a pill, consider making a natural material comprising a variety of healing ingredients wrapped in cheesecloth to relieve inflammation.
Recipe: Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to a small pan along with ¼ small, raw onion, sliced, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, and 1 ounce of fresh, grated ginger. Cook on medium heat until it forms a ball. Do not burn. After cooling and warm, place in a cotton bandage, and apply to the injured area.
A Warning of Dye
A yellow chemical called curcumin can dye the skin if the powder is not organic. It’s essential to perform a patch test first. Users can apply a coat of coconut oil before the poultice or wrap touches the skin.
Enjoy the miracle spice, turmeric, whether it is for beauty, health or nutrition!
Next Month: Ginger