Saturday, January 7, 2012

turmeric tea: defeating the uncommon cold

     A couple of co-workers gave me an early gift the Christmas crud, a week before the actual holiday. Merry Christmas to me. My youngest got it from me a day or so later.
     My hubs and eldest have a little New Year's plague right now. It's the gift that just keeps on giving. This time around, I'm extremely determined NOT to be the victim of viral re-gifting.
     I'm not a big fan of antibiotics or other drugs. I like to be as drug-free as possible. I'm usually on the lookout for remedies made from stuff I have in my pantry.
     Last year, when my mom traveled to Ireland with her sis, several travelers were stricken with a travel bug... not the good one that inspires you to keep on traveling.
     A local gentleman of Indian decent, sporting a lovely Irish brogue suggested they try turmeric and honey. Turmeric has long been used in Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory. We all now swear by this remedy.
     The turmeric should be the color of the polka dots on the tea towel in the above photo. If it's that dull, camel-y tan color Ralph Lauren made famous in the nineties, take it back... it's old.
     I bought a little can here in town at Kroger and a small packet in Russia at a flea market. There is a huge difference in the two. The brown-ish one from Kroger was promptly returned.
     The Spice and Tea Exchange on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah has some amazing spices, including a vibrant yellow turmeric. When my Russian turmeric is gone, I'll be purchasing from them.
     While turmeric and honey makes you feel much improved, I'm not going to lie to you and say, It tastes fabulous, daahhhling. Nope... It's pretty vile the first time you try it. Turmeric has a bitter, acrid taste that takes some getting used to.
     I mentioned the concoction to my overachieving friend, The Housewife. She promptly Googled the it and found a recipe for turmeric tea. You can read about her findings on the subject by clicking on her name above. She includes more interesting scientific stuff than I do.
     During her annual December visit we experimented with ingredient amounts. Since that time, I have been dispensing turmeric tea like a witch doctor... to any and every coughing, snot-filled acquaintance who comes within five feet of me.
     I've tweaked it until it resembles a spicy, soul-warming Chai. The key is to make it your very own. Compare my recipe, then look at the Housewife's and the guy she got it from. Come up with your own special brew.

Original Indian Remedy: 1 T. raw honey to 1/2 t. turmeric. Increase turmeric to 1 t., if you dare. Make a paste and eat it down with a spoon. It is not yummy, but it really works. Do this several times a day.

Turmeric Tea recipe:
Ingredients
1/4 c. water
3 regular green teabags
3 or 4 whole black peppercorns
1 t. turmeric
1/4 t. ground ginger or a chunk of candied ginger, cut up
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk (in cartons, found in the organic milk section, not from a can)
1-2 T. raw honey
Directions
Place water, tea and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then dissolve turmeric, ginger and cinnamon in tea. Remove from heat and let it steep for a few minutes. Remove the tea and peppercorns. Add coconut milk and honey. Taste to see if anything is needed. Simmer until piping hot.
Make two thousand twelve a healthy one!

3 comments:

  1. How very interesting. I like the chai connection. I guess I need to gather my spices and get to concocting.

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    1. This is a great way to 'choke down' an effective, but otherwise vile remedy. Turmeric and honey work wonders, but adding it to a tea makes it enjoyable.

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