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Turmeric: bringing warmth and vitality


 By Dr Pooja Maddela

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa

Other Common Names: Haridra, Indian Saffron

Part Used: Rhizome

 Explore the healing benefits of Turmeric Turmeric is well known for its use in cooking, and it has become very popular for the treatment of inflammation and pain.

Less known is that it has been used traditionally as a treatment both internally and topically for a much wider range of ailments as well as being an important part of many traditional rituals and ceremonies.

Turmeric has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family along with ginger and cardamom, plants which also possess powerful medicinal properties.

During the change of season, when cold and windy weather prevail, we recommend you incorporate warming spices into your foods to maintain balance in the body. Kitchen herbs such as turmeric, and also peppers, chilli, garlic, ginger and cinnamon are very powerful at helping to keep you strong and healthy especially in Autumn and Winter. These herbs fire up your digestion, keep your blood flowing freely and support immune function as well. Following are some traditional recipes from India using Turmeric to treat common health problems encountered especially in the change of seasons. I hope you find some ways to celebrate with Turmeric this season!

Traditional Turmeric Recipes for Respiratory Infection

Common Cold:

1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon of powdered black pepper to a glass of warm milk

2. Mix it well

3. Drink twice a day


1. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk

2. Mix it well

3. Drink twice a day

4. Taken early morning on an empty stomach is more effective

The Role of Awareness in the Curative Effects of Herbs

By Dr Pooja Maddela


Turmeric is a valuable medicine as well as a tasty food

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the physical base or location of awareness, it is perhaps the most precious thing concealed within our brains. And it is something that the individual alone can feel and experience. Each of us cherishes it highly, yet it is private.
(His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

The cultivation of inner awareness leads to the enhancement of general health including improved digestive function.

Inner awareness can increase the benefits of health giving foods we eat, as well as the curative effects of medicinal herbs and spices we consume. Awareness also boosts immunity and promotes healing.

So, how do we improve ‘awareness’?

The best way is through a relaxed state of mind. In fact, for gaining the maximum benefits of spices/herbs that you ingest, via awareness and optimal absorption, digestion and elimination, performing deep abdominal breathing and mental relaxation is necessary. Following is a simple yet profoundly powerful technique that will bring numerous benefits into your life including increased awareness and enhanced digestive function.

Five Steps to Achieve Awareness

Practice every day for best results

  1. Lie down on your back, feet wider than hip width apart, hands slightly away from the body. Close your eyes if you are comfortable.
  2. Shift your awareness to your abdomen and perform deep abdominal breathing
  3. With inhalation your abdomen rises, with exhalation your abdomen sinks
  4. Keep focusing on your breathing
  5. Perform 6-10 breaths
On this path effort never goes to waste, and there
is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual
awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.
(Bhagavad Gita)


TURMERIC IMAGE: By Simon A. Eugster (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Other content is an excerpt adapted from ‘Avena’ Journal of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists with permission from the editor.

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