A Tale Of Turmeric
As a Mizan Therapist my friend Asma nurtures wombs with the use of traditional healing techniques, but I like to call her ‘The Mistress of Spices’! Here straight from the heart she shares with us her favourite spice and how you can (easily) bring it and its benefits into your life. Ever since Asma told us about this ‘sunshine drink’ using turmeric, Mama-in-law (who is visiting to help with the new baby) rustles up this warm, restful brew for me before bedtime and oh I do feel LOVED. You’ll surely want to give it a go but first enjoy this lovely tale of turmeric as a teacher by Asma K Arif
A few years ago, I did not have a pestle and mortar but I liked the idea of grinding my own herbs and spices. I never actually did anything with this intention apart from imagine I would one day realise this little day dream of mine. Then a year later, an unfortunate incident occurred when a community member spoke to me about her failing relationship with her husband. As she spoke all I could think of was … turmeric! Funnily enough her husband does look like dried turmeric – long, thin and dull looking with a hard, non-welcoming exterior. This thought stayed with me for days as I reflected on their relationship and their similar temperaments. Luckily, I had by this point been gifted a pestle and mortar, which was happily taking occupancy on my counter-top smiling at me – probably shrieking Lady, please use me! – and so I pulled up my sleeves, got comfortable on the floor, added a piece of dried turmeric to the mortar and got to work on it.
Initially after a few forceful hits nothing happened – literally – no crack, no dent, nothing. I hit it harder and still nothing. This was going to be one tough turmeric to expose. I refocused my intentions and attempted a different approach – one of respect, care and understanding that this turmeric had a lot to give to the one worthy of its respect. And after a few hours (with a lot of breaks in between) the mustard coloured shell was ground into a beautiful, vibrant, fine orangey-yellow powder.
You see, there is a conversation that occurs between a person and the spice being ground. As the two labour to reveal the mysteries the spice holds, a transformation occurs not only in the spice but also in the person. If a person nurtures themselves towards the spice, the unveilings occur; and this is something I learnt especially when grinding turmeric by hand. I have ground many spices, however turmeric time and time again proves to be one of my best teachers.
That first attempt at grinding turmeric down to a powder was SO satisfying. Yet even more satisfying were the lessons I had learnt whilst doing the work of grinding. Lessons about my own temperament, my relationship with stubborn hard exterior people, and most importantly the insight I gained into how my friend could help her husband in their relationship. My advice to her:
Recognise that his inner core wants to give you more and make you happy. Instead of screaming at him, which toughens up his exterior, be gentle yet firm in your manner so that he can receive you and respect what you are asking from him.
(The advice worked – all praise is to God!)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is hot and dry in temperament. It’s a great stimulant, stomachic, diuretic, salivant, appetizer, blood purifier, anti-oxidant, carminative, bile stimulant, decongestant and regenerator of liver tissue. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also assist the uterus postpartum. In gist, it does a whole lot of good for a whole lot of ailments. The trick is knowing how to use it.
One beneficial way to use turmeric is by drinking it as a simple mixture. The idea of this has been lost among generations, however is returning slowly, and for that I am glad to share this recipe as part of the revival. Use it especially if ever you are run down, feeling cold, having a fever, unable to sleep, or wanting a replacement for Ibuprofen/Paracetamol/Tynelol/anti-inflammatory tablets. It is what I call “Love in a mug” or “Golden Sunshine in a mug” – others online are calling it “Golden Milk” or “Turmeric tea”. Whatever the name, it is very nutritional, medicinal, will get your body on the mend, and it’s easy and quick to make.
Just a couple of points before I share this gift with you ~ One, I am unapologetically dedicated to the rule of using freshly ground spices as they have more therapeutic value than packaged spices sitting on shelves for who knows how long; and if you get it from someone who really puts a lot of love and good energy into grinding the spices then you have got a bonus healing product. However grinding by hand can be an obstacle for some, so one could do it with a coffee grinder and barring that try to source some organic turmeric powder from your local whole-foods store. Two, you do not need to use fancy utensils to make this gift, however do put your love and goodness in it when hovering over it.
Ingredients (for one person):
1 cup of milk (I prefer organic goats milk or homemade almond milk; however, it is your choice what you use).
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground turmeric.
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon.
1 teaspoon (or more if you like) of raw, organic, local honey.
What To Do ~
~ Warm up the milk to a nice simmer on a stove (please do not use the microwave).
~ Once simmering add all the spices, give it a good stir to release the beautiful orange-yellow colour of the turmeric. Whilst the colour is coming out: The black pepper will enhance the therapeutic benefit of the turmeric and the cinnamon has its own great therapeutics that work well in this drink.
~ Once colour has come out (literally a few minutes) add in the honey and let it dissolve.
~ Pour in a goblet of your choice and drink it up. Feel the love of the golden sunshine!
There are many alternatives out there. Some pour the golden milk through a sieve first to discard of any spices but I do not because it is all full of goodness and if you have ground the spices well you really shouldn’t get clumps. You can also add vanilla paste if you want that “I am having a vanilla latte which is actually healthy but hey you don’t know that” look; or a few saffron strands if you have been feeling low in mood or suffer from depression and need an extra pick me up.
Whenever I am ill, run down or nearing my menstrual cycle (i.e. to calm the hormones/PMT down) I gift myself “Love in a mug” twice or three times a day. It works wonders and I can feel a difference in my physical let alone emotional being.
Try it, have a go, let the healing begin and keep smiling.
Thank you Asma for sharing this ‘revival’ of the Golden Sunshine Milk with us. Amongst many awesome things Asma is currently a student of Prophetic Medicine and if you’d like you can read more of her writing here.