Seven Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Immunity

Hand reaching for the sky

There is a lot to say about the innate immune system and how we can use Ayurvedic herbs and other simple activities to optimise it.

It is important to holistically consider all the body’s systems.
For example, optimising digestion is tremendously important so that our system can naturally metabolise any toxin, pathogen, virus or bacteria that may enter the body as a hazard.
Optimising sleep so your body can regenerate is another crucial immune-boosting consideration.
In regards to the herbal intervention for immune support, here are seven of my favorite Ayurvedic herbs to boost immunity:

Amalaki (Indian Goose Berry)

Like with all herbs, we recommend taking Amalaki in the form of a formula. Two of our favourite formulas that contain Amalaki (Indian Goose Berry) are:
1. Anand Sid Yog ("Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss"):
It promotes bala (vital strength), which helps the body fight back disease. It is useful to boost immunity in life-threatening diseases as well as the common cold. This is certainly one of the best ayurvedic herbs for immunity due to its capacity to enhance overall vitality and to help prevent disease.
Dylan Smith harvesting Amalaki berries
This herb contains a combination of antioxidants that support each other synergistically to create a magnified anti-oxidant effect.
Anand Sid Yog (ASY) is a free-radical scavenger and helps prevent free-radicals from forming in the first place.
One of the main ingredients is Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry), which has about 10-20x more vitamin C than an orange has been extensively studied by modern science for its immune-boosting properties.

You can read more about the benefits of Amalaki on immunomodulatory activity HERE

2) Maharishi Amrit Kalash:
This formula is a potent combination of 40 ayurvedic herbs that work synergistically to offer multiple health benefits like strengthening immunity, detoxification, preventing premature ageing. It is a full spectrum antioxidant and nourisher.
It helps balance the three doshas, detoxify the body, promotes bala (vital strength) and helps cultivate Ojas.
This formula is also well known for improving organ functioning and lowering stress, amongst other things.

Self-Abhyanga with Medicated Kumkumadi Oil

The dynamic activity of your epidermal layer (superficial skin enclosure) is your biggest organ and your body's first level of defense against any intruding organisms, chemical or physical agents, and/or radiation.
Your skin is also a pathway that allows you to directly interact and stimulate your nervous system.
One essential way to optimize your skin physiology is self-abhyanga. The effects of this massage are magnified when using a medicated oil as these herbs pull toxins more effectively from out of the skin and tissues and also very effectively strengthens them.

Read more about your elegant epidermis and how to optimize skin health HERE.

Nasika Nose Oil

Most viruses and unwanted bacteria are air-borne.
A daily routine in Ayurveda called Nasya, involves sniffing a specific oil up the nose.
This enhances the bio-film in the lining of the nostrils which is the "security gate" to your brain and respiratory tract. 
I can’t stress how crucial this is in the time of the pandemic and shedding of spike proteins.

We recommend using only finely procured Ayurvedic nasal oils like Nasika Oil.

Siddha Jal (Superhuman Liquid)

This is a powerful combination of precious herbs concentrated into oil form to add into your water and drink.
Simply add a couple of drops in a cup of hot water, inhale the sea then drink the nectar.
Made by the Raju family, Siddha Jal helps to:
  • Clear polluted or blocked respiratory channels
  • Blockages in the food channels and digestion
  • Allows the herbs to penetrate the subtle channels of the body
  • Enhances the effect of Nasika oil to penetrate
  • + more

Propolis + Bee Pollen

Propolis is what makes a beehive literally one of the most hygienic places on earth.
It comes from the Greek word "Propolis" (Pro meaning "in defense" and Polis meaning "city") which therefore means "to protect the city.”
This sticky force field keeps out bad bacteria, mold, other insects, viruses and more.
I love to use a couple of squirts on half a teaspoon of bee pollen a couple of times a day.
Studies show Propolis Extracts by Nativebeeings (Native Australian bees) has 70% higher bio-activity levels than honey bee propolis.

If interested in purchasing, use the discount code "VITALVEDA" for both propolis and bee pollen

*CAUTION test first for allergies. 

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Described as the holiest plant on earth in the ancient Vedic texts, Tulsi is still revered today as holier than holy.
Tulsi has an enormous array of health benefits. And provides those medicinal actions at potent levels.
One effect is its ability to enhance the body’s own immune response.

Use fresh tulsi leaves or buy tea bags and sip a coupe times a day. I can assure you this is one of the best daily beverages you can possibly consume.

You can buy some top-grade tulsi products on Organic India's website - use the discount code VITALVEDA

Turmeric (Haridra)

Turmeric is the most researched plant on the planet, and for a very good reason.
We should seriously be using turmeric every day in our diet, and if you already are, up the amount you add to food.
Don’t underestimate this spice. Turmeric is an incredibly effective anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, supports the respiratory tract + much more.

Use turmeric powder in your cooking and even add it to food if you want to up your intake to the next level.

My favorite turmeric is dark "alleppy turmeric" from Herbies.

To learn more on the many benefits of Turmeric read the following article HERE

REFERENCES

  1. ShahK,VermaRJ.Protectionagainstbutylp-hydroxybenzoic acid induced oxidative stress by Ocimum sanctum extract in mice liver. Acta Pol Pharm 2012;69:865-70.
  2. Samson J, Sheeladevi R, Ravindran R. Oxidative stress in brain and antioxidant activity of Ocimum sanctum in noise exposure. Neurotoxicology 2007;28:679-85.
  3. Archana R, Namasivayam A. A comparative study of different crude extracts of Ocimum sanctum on noise stress. Phytother Res 2002;16:579-80.
  4. Sembulingam K, Sembulingam P, Namasivayam A. Effect of ocimum sanctum linn on changes in leucocytes of albino rats induced by acute noise stress. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1999;43: 137-140
  5. Sembulingam K, Sembulingam P, Namasivayam A. Effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn on the changes in central cholinergic system induced by acute noise stress. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;96:477-82.
Page 95 of the book "Turmeric - The Ayurvedic Spice of Life" written by Prashanti de Jager
Page 97 of the book "Turmeric - The Ayurvedic Spice of Life" written by Prashanti de Jager
Page 96 of the book "Turmeric - The Ayurvedic Spice of Life" written by Prashanti de Jager
Page 105 of the book "Turmeric - The Ayurvedic Spice of Life" written by Prashanti de Jager
Page 106 of the book "Turmeric - The Ayurvedic Spice of Life" written by Prashanti de Jager

Which do you consider to be the best ayurvedic herbs for immunity? Comment below 👇

Banana “Kadali” Smoothie Recipe

Banana smoothie on a glass

This delicious banana smoothie recipe will leave you completely and utterly delighted.

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 2 large bananas
  • 3-6 medjool dates, stones removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of almonds that have been soaked & skin removed. Roughly crushed.
  • Good pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Good pinch of crushed cardamom seeds.
  • 1/2-1 cup of water or coconut milk (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve at room temperature (since cold drinks and food put out Agni/digestive fire).

*Please note banana is best eaten alone. Combining Banana with some coconut oil (good to reduce the high blood sugar spikes from banana), cardamom and ghee is also fine. This recipe is for those who want to get a bit more creative and transition to a healthier banana smoothie option.

For more ayurvedic recipes click HERE.

Hot Milk Elixir

Just like grandma used to cook up for you with love and foresight. This nightly sleep aid and anabolic tonic holds great wisdom, incorporating one of the most nourishing foods: cows milk, with the intelligence of natures herbs and spices. You’ll sleep like a baby and super charge overnight.

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

This Ayurvedic remedy will reduce your stress to allow you to switch off and gain a more restful and undisturbed sleep.

Supersede the Stress

Insomnia, which can increase the risk of most degenerative diseases(1) is mostly caused by stress. When we are under stress, cortisol levels (stress fighting hormones) do not decrease, rather they keep us revved up throughout the night and we don’t have the energy to calm them back down.

Modern science has once again proved ancient wisdom by showing milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%. The improvements of sleep are remarkable:

  • Promotes deeper sleep (3)
  • Supports more restorative sleep (3)
  • Provides relaxation at the level needed for sleep (4)
  • Calms anxiety (4)
  • Improves numerous stress markers (5)
  • These peptides further support digestion, emotional state, cognitive function and even cardiovascular function. (6)

Interestingly, these peptides in milk activate GABA receptors.(4) Pharmaceutical drugs that are widely used as sedatives for stress, anxiety, and sleep target these same GABA receptors!(7)

Ojas Building

Even if you sleep well, this night-time tonic will not only upgrade your sleep to be more deep and restful, but also build your Ojas.

Ojas (OH-jas) is considered to be the most refined by-product of digestion, said to reside in the heart. Ayurveda considers ojas to be a bio-celestial substance that is our vital essence.

Our vitality, immunity, vigour, skin, sleep, digestion, spirituality and physical strength are all directly influenced by our reserve of ojas.

Ojas builds our inner silence. It Increases the ability to genetically connect with the circadian rhythms allowing the body to resonate with the rhythms and thrive. If your body is under stress, emergency alarm bells will keep ringing (flight or fight response/sympathetic nervous system) disconnecting you from the genetic ability to hear these rhythms.

Building ojas is an art. Yoga, pranayama breathing exercises, meditation, spending time in nature, sleeping at the right times, laughing, showing love and affection and giving to others, spending time being creative, relaxing, and doing things that make you happy all build ojas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build ojas is to eat a diet of fresh, unprocessed whole foods in the appropriate season.
Further, there are certain foods and herbs in Ayurveda that are great ojas-builders. These were traditionally blended with warm milk and taken before bed as a sleep aid and an ojas-builder.

 

Ayurveda’s Super Sleep Recipe

Recipe: Hot Milk Elixir with Spices

  • Boil 3/4 cup of un-homogenised cows milk + 3/4 cup of water. You can adjust the ratio according to your taste and digestion - more creamy or more diluted.
  • After you turn the stove on, add 2 strands of saffron + 1 chopped medjool date + 3 crushed and peeled almonds. Boil till it fully foams up (and is about overflow out of the pot)
  • For extra digestive boost and purity, you can let it sit for a few minutes before boiling it again till it foams up. Repeat this process a total of 3 times (including the first boil).
  • After the milk has boiled, add:
  • Pinch of cardamom powder
  • pinch of cinnamon powder
  • pinch of ginger powder
  • pinch of turmericpowder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • ½-1tsp ghee.

*Note you can add or subtract the spices and the food items according to your taste and liking.

Stir well and enjoy.

Recipe: Hot Milk Elixir with Therapeutic Herbs

Boil 3/4 cup of un-homogenised cows milk + 3/4 cup of water. You can adjust the ratio according to your taste and digestion - more creamy or more diluted.

  • Boil till it fully foams up.
  • For extra digestive boost and purity, you can let it sit for a few minutes before boiling it again till it foams up. Repeat this process a total of 3 times (including the first boil).
  • After the milk has boiled, add one pinch of Bliss and 1tsp of ghee.

*Alternative/additional herbs to Bliss that can be used are Dhatu, Swarna Dhatu, Ashwagandha or Shatavari.

Stir well and enjoy.

Product Bliss, by One Eleven Health

When to Drink It:

  • Have between dinner and sleep - approximately 45-60mins after dinner and 45-60mins before bed.
  • You can even make this your dinner.
  • Drink one cup of the golden milk each night for 3 months to rebuild ojas levels and support sleep patterns.
  • You can also have this in the morning approximately 45 minutes before breakfast or make it your breakfast, (good for people who don’t have an appetite in the morning). It is also a great replacement to coffee.

"But I Don’t Do Dairy"

If you are intolerant to dairy, it is probably indigestion, some weakness and/or your mind getting the better over you by 'accepting' the intolerance. Additionally, most milk is difficult to digest because it is unnecessarily homogenised, pasteurised the wrong way, added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

However, drink the right milk and correct your agni, and you may find you can slowly introduce this medicinal lactation back into your diet.

Most places you can find milk that is non-homogenised without all these nasty additives. Getting non-pasturised or vat-pasturised, (heated at low temperature for short time), is a bonus, but the main precept is to drink non-homogenised milk. This has become so popular that mainstream supermarkets in Australia and New Zeland are now selling it. Additionally, most health-food stores will have it.

If you are very sensitive to milk, I suggest first correct agni, then slowly introduce dairy by drinking thin Lassi with lunch.

You may substitute substitute coconut or (freshly made) almond milk. Though you won’t get the benefits of the milk peptides, you’ll still have a vehicle for the ojas-building foods and herbs and some calming benefits from the warmth of the milk.

Take this milk to build some resiliency towards the stress that prevents us from sleeping like we should.

It’s tasty, nourishing and a great way to end the day, plus it’ll send you off with the clouds for the night.

References

(1) Occup Med (Lond). 2010
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) J Dairy Sci. 2000 Jun
(4) Ther Umsh. 2009
(5) Eur J Nutr. 2005
(6) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007
(7) FASEB J. 2001



Mung Dahl Recipe

Mung is an easy to digest lentil that provides adequate protein. Used for both cleansing and building in Ayurveda, one can eat mung dahl everyday and not only will you gain complete nutrition and satisfaction, but soon this will be the stuff you crave!

Anti-Flatulence

Mung is the only legumes that is “vata balancing.” This means that, unlike every other type of beans or lentils, they will not produce any intestinal gas. They naturally are much easier to cook, digest, and assimilate.

Promotes Sattva ("Purity")

Sattva is a quality in us that translates to “purity.” If Sattva is increased, then so is our inner stillness, clarity of mind and contentment. Love radiates and flows back to us in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding or loving hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. Fresh, seasonal whole foods are predominately Sattvic, thus increases the Sattvic quality in us, based on the Ayurvedic law of “Like Increases Like.”

This is why Mung Dahl is considered to facilitate spiritual growth and effectively detox the body. It has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick, and the healthy during special times of detox, cleansing, and deep spiritual practice.

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 3/4 cup of whole green mung dahl (with green skin on) (green gram)
  • 2 or more types of any fresh seasonal vegetables finely chopped - e.g. zucchini, kale, silver-beet, spinach, dandelion, cauliflower,  broccoli etc. - by using seasonal foods, nature is providing the antidote to the harsh qualities that the season may manifest.
  • salt to taste

Spices:

  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-15 fresh curry leaves
  • leeks, spring onion or onion - all finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped - make sure to purify by removing the inner green sprout.
  • Ghee - Approx. 1-2 tablespoons.

Method

  1. Wash mung dahl and soak in a generous amount of water it for 2 hours. Even 1-6 hours of soaking is ok. The longer you soak the quicker it will cook.
  2. Boil mung dahl in a pot of water - allow water level to be about 1 inch above the food. You can need to add more water as you go.
  3. When the mung dahl is getting more soft (test my squishing a lentil with your fingers), add vegetables that take a bit longer to cook (e.g. thick leafy green stems, broccoli stems, cauliflower, carrot etc.). (add as many vegetables as you like).
  4. After the "vegetables that take a bit longer to cook" are basically cooked, add turmeric + black pepper + salt + hing + quicker to cook vegetables such as leafy greens.
  5. Once the dahl and veggetables are cooked, in a separate pot fry the other spices in ghee along with onion, garlic and curry leaves.
  6. Add the spices in the main pot, mix well for 5 minutes to infuse the spices in the dahl.

You are adding the vegetables in the pot in a timely matter so that when the vegetables are finished cooking so are the lentils.  (Everything is ready and cooked by the end).

Garnish with fresh coriander and fresh lemon.

Make the Meal a Complete Protein

Serve with a carbohydrate such as fresh bread and/rice or quinoa etc.
When you mix grain + legume you have all nine essential amino acids which make up a complete protein.

This explains how ancient cultures like India and Africa have been living off beans and rice for decades.

General Ratio:

  • 50% vegetables (at least)
  • 25 % protein
  • 25 % carbs

Enjoy this warming, comforting and super tasty dish that leaves you feeling energetic and satisfied after you eat.

Less cravings, sustainable energy levels and moving towards perfect health.

7 Ayurvedic Super Foods

According to modern science, food nutritionists, food industry leaders and dieticians, so called “superfoods” aren’t exactly “super.” Wikipedia describes that “Superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits..”

The European Union has even prohibited the marketing of products as “superfoods,” unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research.(1)

Not particularly inspiring…so I will redefine the word from an Ayurvedic perspective.

First of all, there is no need to exaggerate that foods are “super.” Whatever one uniquely needs will be their superfood. Additionally, everything is actually superfood if you know how to transform and use it.

In general, for a food to be “super” it must:

1. Promote ‘Sattva’

Sattva is a quality in us that translates to “purity.” If Sattva is increased, then so is our inner stillness, clarity of mind and contentment. Love radiates and flows back to us in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. Fresh, seasonal whole foods are predominately Sattvic, thus increases the Sattvic quality in us based on the Ayurvedic law of “like increases like.”

2. Detox and Heal the Body

Some Ayurvedic foods are prized for their powerful medicinal properties. Ayurveda valuably teaches us how to use food as medicine.

3. Directly nourish ‘Ojas’

Ojas is the vital essence of our body that translates to “vitality.”
A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.

'Ojas' is considered to be the most refined product of digestion. Every food must metabolise through all the body’s tissues before it can become Ojas.

Ojas: a bio-celestial liquid substance that (predominately) resides in the heart, as well as all over the body in a less concentrated matter.

Building Ojas is an art. Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole foods, and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of special foods (some listed below) even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas directly.

The Super Seven!

The seven Ayurvedic super foods I have chosen genuinely are super. They aren’t just packed with a dense hit nutrients, minerals and essential constituents, but actually promote and support your bodies natural intelligence to absorb and produce its own required constituents itself! Further, The Super Seven promote strength, immunity, peace and contentment in the body and mind. And best of all, they are readily available to everyone! Here they are…

1. Hot Water

I am about to reveal to you a very special Ayurvedic purification technique that is excellent for eliminating toxins from the body’s system…
It sounds very simple, but you’ll find that is has a powerful influence in purifying and strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, as well as detoxing and rejuvenating the major systems of the body.

All you have to do is sip hot water frequently throughout the day.

Sipping frequently (rather than focusing on quantity) flushes the lymphatic system, softens hardened tissues (just like hot water will soften leather, unlike cold water) and dilates channels and deeply hydrates the body. It also heals and repairs the digestive system.
In a short time you’ll begin to appreciate the soothing and balancing effect of this technique. Once you have gotten used to it, you will look forward to drinking hot water on a frequent basis.

“Hot water is the most superfood.”
~ Dr. J.R. Raju.

 

 

2. Ghee

Ghee is the crown jewel that joins Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. Ghee is clarified or purified butter. With all the lactose components & milk solids removed, no-one is allergic to ghee.
Ghee is light to digest and has the special quality of enkindling Agni and supports fat metabolism. It effectively detoxes the gut and is an effective source of internal lubrication.
This concentrated golden substance is highly Sattvic and directly nourishes Ojas.
Click HERE for more on the benefits of ghee

3. Cows Milk

Dairy has a bad name in the press these days. With people increasingly claiming dairy intolerances, it has become perilous in todays new-age health scene.

Let me clarify two reasons why this has developed:

1. The dairy industry in the west is increasingly producing homogenised milk from poorly treated, stress inundated cows that are being fed grains. Further, the milk is pasteurised the wrong way, with added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

2. A lot of kids drink cold homogenised milk with sugar filled processed cereals, and topping it off with some fruit in their bowl or having a glass of OJ on the side – a highly “un-ayurvedic” recipe for an incompatible digestive disaster.

Hence, people develop a dairy intolerance. And it may only hit them down the track. Possibly when they finally begin to tune into their own body and become more conscious.

Let me also add, if you believe and accept the notion that “dairy is bad,” you negatively charge the micro-biome in the foods, stress out your own body and if when you eat dairy with guilt it will not digest well due to lack of harmonious compatibility. Mind is the culprit here.

However, Ayurveda on the other hand prizes dairy as one of the most medicinal and nourishing foods and one of the most anabolic foods that directly builds Ojas. Rest assured, it is not a requirement for anybody to drink milk all the time, but if someone is in need of strength or Ojas, milk is one of Ayurveda’s top choices.

What more, it is a classic Ayurveda sleep remedy to drink boiled milk with spices before bed, also having a profound stress reducing action. Modern science has proved ancient wisdom by showing cows milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%.(2)

Cows are considered sacred animals in India and cow milk is highly revered in Ayurveda as one of the most Sattvic of foods.

Please note: milk should always be boiled with equal amounts of water and un-homogenised and preferably organic. This will make it easier to digest.

If you have difficulty with cow’s milk don’t worry, first correct your agni, then slowly introduce dairy. (Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner). Also, there are six other superfoods on the list to choose from!

4. Lassi

Lassi is buttermilk, or diluted yoghurt.

  • Improves digestion and a fantastic pro-biotic.
  • Lassi is the best alkaliser.
  • As Lassi improves digestion and absorption it ultimately supports calcium absorption and bone health.
  • Balances heat (pitta) and clear the physical channels.
  • It is the best remedy (with a pinch of salt) for haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • A great food to introduce dairy to a lactose intolerant person after they have corrected their agni.
  • Lassi is very hydrating, and a great drink to have with lunch.

*Yoghurt should be fresh.
Ratios of Yoghurt : Water: 1:4, 1:6, or 1:14.

Lassi recipe here

sweet lassi in a silver cup

5. Honey

Honey is super Sattivc and directly nourishes our own life-nectar, Ojas. It is actually more of a medicine than a food. Due to its richness, it should be taken in moderation.

On the other hand, Ayurveda teaches that honey will be poisonous when heated above body temperature (that means no honey in hot teas, hot porridge, cooking with honey etc.) as it perniciously clogs the channels. This is why is it always important to purchase honey that is extracted at low temperatures.

Learn more: Honey: Nectar or Poison

honey dripping off a honey comb

6. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is the most thoroughly researched plant on this planet! and i don’t blame the scientists for the 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.

Turmeric has a vast catalogue of health benefits, but here is an essential summary on why to use Turmeric as medicine in your daily cooking:

  • It is the best anti-inflammatory.
  • It regulates mood and boosts cognitive function.
  • Protects the gut and stomach lining.
  • Supports joints: (pain, stiffness, swelling, arthritis) and healthy blood.
  • Since turmeric is anti-carcinogenic, it is vital to use when cooking meat due to the high risk of carcinogenic properties in most meat these days.

Turmeric powder is best advised, always with a pinch of black pepper, as black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%!(3)

Learn More: The Essential Uses of Turmeric

7. Almonds

Almonds are also Sattvic and help to maintain our Ojas. They are a good source of zinc, strengthen the body and grounding for the mind. But they are also quite rich and heavy, so again, moderation is the key. Half a handful of almonds a day is enough. To make them lighter and easier to digest, always soak almonds overnight in water and remove their skins the next day.

If you are in any doubt about your health please be sure to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner or your local health physician.

References:
(1)  "Superfood 'ban' comes into effect". BBC News. 2007-06-28.
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) Research done at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India Planta Med. 1998 May;64 (4):353-6. PMID: 9619120

article originally published on Welcome Earth

What do you think of these seven ayurvedic super food ideas? Comment 👇

Turmeric: Highly Medicinal Spice & Essential Uses

Turmeric Roots

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is the most thoroughly researched plant on this planet!

And I don’t blame the scientists for the 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.

Not another article listing countless benefits of turmeric, "I don't know where to start or what to use it for,"

Some of you may be thinking.

The bright orange rhizome deserves all these articles and documentation, but it can get a bit overwhelming.

In this article I will sum up the essentials and how to use Turmeric....

The average person in India eats about 2 to 2.5 grams of turmeric a day – almost every day of their lives. Interestingly, India has among the highest rates of prostate, breast, colon and lung health in the world. Some researchers credit turmeric for this.

The best part? Chances are, this spice may already be in your cabinet.

Turmeric has a vast catalogue of health benefits, but here is an

Essential Summary of the Benefits of Turmeric:

• Anti Inflammatory - best anti-inflammatory along with ginger.
• Mood Regulating - In one study, curcumin (the active ingredient that is so heavily researched), was shown to boost the brain chemical norepinephrine, which supports healthy mood, attentiveness, sleep, dreaming and higher learning.
• Curcumin also boosted the levels of dopamine – the “motivation” hormone that supports pleasure, emotion, satisfaction and locomotion – and serotonin, which plays a key role in mood, memory, learning, appetite, sexual behaviour, sleep, and many other functions.
• Protects Gut - Turmeric creates coating around gut area for protection. This prevents toxins from absorbing and will assist the bile in detoxifying toxins like heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, candida, fungi and more. This decongests the lymphatic system.
• Reproductive Nourishment: Breast milk purifier, sperm builder and nourishes reproductive organs.
 Joint Support - It can reduce stiffness and swelling and strengthens joints in cases of joint pain. People with arthritis should be eating plenty turmeric daily.
• Healthy blood - blood purifier, enhances blood flow and can thin blood. Supports liver function.

Boost Absorption: Simply Add a Little Black Pepper:

Researchers found that turmeric taken with black pepper – both common ingredients in curry – increased the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%! with no adverse effects!

How to Use Turmeric as Medicine:

  • Turmeric Powder is indicated over fresh turmeric because it is more purified and easier to digest. Fresh turmeric can be used but less than 3x a week in teas, stir fries etc. You may use fresh turmeric more if it is purified with limestone.
  • Add at the end of cooking - Curries, stir fires, meat roasts, eggs, dahls, salads, really any savoury meal calls for turmeric. Add the powder towards the end of cooking to savour all the nutrients and healing properties. A general rule is to add powdered spices at the end of cooking (except hing).
  • Anti-Viral Paste - Mix up this paste if a cough, cold/flu or virus hits you or when you feel one coming on. Step in early! Recipe here.
  • Meat - As meat is vulnerable to acquiring infections and cancerous bacteria, turmeric with its anti-cancer properties is vital to add to the cooking of meat.
  • Boosts Oil Pulling - Add a pinch turmeric powder to 1tsp of sesame oil and swish in mouth for a stronger anti-bacterial action and to heal bleeding gums.
  • Golden Milk - Mix turmeric with hot milk + other necessary spices. This promotes sleep, reduces stress, purifies breast milk amongst many more benefits. Recipe here.

External Uses:

Turmeric is popular among many beauty and skin products. Here are some home remedies and uses. Just be careful as it can stain anything it touches.

  • Disinfectant - Mix turmeric with a little ghee, butter or honey (enough to make a paste) and you have a paste to apply on cuts and wounds. Turmeric doesn't only disinfect the wound (it looks just like Betadine), but also heals it. This is a great mixture to have on hand in the first aid kit.
  • Anti-itch - Eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, any skin condition or where itching is present apply turmeric + butter or yoghurt paste to cool down the skin and relieve the itching. This also heals the skin condition.
  • Face Mask - Purifying face mask to sterilise and draw out or pacify pimples, blackheads and oily secretions. A general mask to nourish and rejuvenate the skin.
    Recipe: mix 2 Tbsp chana flour (chickpea) +1 tsp turmeric powder + 3 tsps milk. Apply on face and lie down until mask dries, then wash off. Can also use as skin exfoliator before shower.
  • Skin-Cancer - Helps protects from and help heal skin cancers.

Properties:

Rasa (taste): Pungent, bitter
Virya (action): Heating
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
Doshas: Balances vata, pitta and kapha

Summary:

Simply, turmeric should be used daily in your cooking (with a pinch of black pepper). Further, get to know its potent medicinal components more by utilising the powerful powder for home remedy medical applications.


Cough & Cold Home Remedy: Honey + Spice Paste

home remedies for cough and cold

When the flu comes, it is important that you have some ayurvedic home remedies for cough and cold that allow you to enliven your immunity and fight back disease.

This is a simple and very tasty paste that you can make up and jar it to have on hold, especially for the autumn-winter-early spring time of year.
This home remedy for cough and cold increases immunity and fights infections.

Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of Honey*
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 10 drops of fresh ginger juice or 1/4tsp ginger powder

Mix a large batch of this up, keep it in a glass jar ready for use.

Dosage: Lick 1tsp 2-3x a day or when needed.

*Honey should be unheated (not above body temperature). Ensure the honey you buy is extracted this way.  Most honey in the supermarkets, even health food stores (organic included!) will be extracted at temperatures higher than 37 degrees. I suggest going to your local farmers market and speaking to the apiarist.

To learn What Exactly Is The Flu, + more simple home remedies for cough and cold, click HERE