Turmeric is considered a very healing spice in Ayurveda. It’s primary ingredient, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is used to improve protein digestion, reduce uterine tumors, decongest the liver, dissolve gallstones, reduce joint swelling, increase ligament flexibility, manage diabetes, and reduce menstrual pain. In addition, turmeric cleanses the blood, so it is recommended to treat acne.
Cardamom is a heart opener. It’s used as an expectorant to soothe lung tissue. It is a carminative, so it will prevent and eliminate gas.
Ghee, clarified butter, is considered one of the most important ingredients in the Ayurvedic kitchen. It aids in balancing and pacifying all doshas. Ghee aids in digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes. Since ghee is a lipid, it helps in the cellular absorption and assimilation of vital nutrients.
In this recipe, we use a mixture of whole milk, water and ghee to aid in the absorption of the medicinal herbs, turmeric and cardamom. If you are using dairy, triple boiling the milk is recommended. Triple boiling is said to make digestion of the dairy milk easier. Triple boiling is not required for plant based milk.
Note: Cardamom can be a stimulant when consumed in larger doses. If you are preparing this before bed, and you find cardamom stimulating, just eliminate it from the recipe.
Recommended Dosage of Turmeric: ¼ to ½ tsp daily. I recommend starting with 1/4 tsp and then increase to 1/2 tsp over a couple weeks.
3/4 cup whole milk and ¼ cup water or 1 cup plant based milk
3 green cardamom pods
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ghee
2 tsp maple syrup, optional
a pinch of black pepper*
A sprinkle of cinnamon, optional
*It may seem odd to add black pepper to a warm, sweet beverage, but you will definitely want to give it a try. The addition of black pepper has been show to aid in the absorption of turmeric by 2000%.
Place the milk, water, ghee, and turmeric in a pot and heat it until it begins to boil and climb the pot. Reduce heat and allow the milk to settle back to a simmer. Increase heat and allow it to climb the pot again. Repeat one more time. Remove from heat. Add the green cardamom and let it steep for 10 minutes. There is no need to triple boil if you are using plant-based milk. For plant based milk, you can simply heat all the ingredients together, except the cinnamon and cardamom, remove from heat then add the green cardamon to steep for 10 minutes.
To serve, strain the cardamom pods out of the warm, turmeric milk, add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. I use a frother to create a fluffy foam and then I add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!
The cardamom flavor will be subtle when you prepare the recipe, as stated above. Ayurveda does not recommend boiling delicate spices like cardamom, so I add the cardamom after triple boiling the milk concoction. If you want to add the cardamom sooner, you can totally do that. You can also sprinkle ground cardamom and cinnamon on top to get more cardamom flavor in every cup.