A quintessential grandmother’s ‘kaadha’ – that magical elixir that was supposed to fix everything from a heartbreak to the flu. While we lay no claims on this concoction being the remedy for heartbreaks, we do declare it to be the finest weapon in an arsenal for all seasonal ills. A haldi-adrak-tulsi concoction that will build up your immunity and keep you warm and active through the winters and even right through the summers!
Ingredients: Jaggery, turmeric, ginger, tulsi, ashwagandha, brahmi, black pepper, cinnamon, star anise, green cardamom, ajwain
Winter – that utterly gorgeous and beautifully perplexing season that calls out to something deep within our soul. It’s the season for bundling up in layers to ward off the chill. It’s the season for baring your face to bonfires. It’s the season for gloriously rich food and an abundance of produce. It’s the season of plenty, yet of starkness. It’s the season of sunny afternoons and dark, still evenings.
And it’s the season of ills.
The wildly fluctuating weather – sunny one minute, stormy the next – can play havoc on our bodies, laying us susceptible to the chills and bringing our natural immunity down. And that’s when home remedies come in – all the little nuskas and totkas that our grandmothers did to keep us warm and safe. Ammiji’s Winter Comfort is one such nuska.
The benefits of turmeric are widely documented. Pair that with magical home-ground dried ginger, throw in some herbs like tulsi, brahmi and ashwagandha and season the lot with spices which have their own benefits – and you’ve got a magical concoction, with manifold benefits.Here’s the list of ingredients and the effect each one of them will have on your body:
- Turmeric: Ayurveda has acknowledged the medicinal properties of turmeric for centuries, and the western world is waking up to its benefits too now. The golden spice, as it is called, it contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Remember the haldi-doodh you had as a kid? It was more for haldi than for milk. What’s more – turmeric is also an anti-depressant and promotes a sense of well-being.
- Ginger: Ginger reduces inflammation, aids digestion, soothes the stomach and is particularly good for relieving a cold or cough. Do you really need another reason? We’ll give you one. Studies show that regular consumption of ginger also brings down the risk of cancer.
- Jaggery – This natural sugar is a powerhouse of energy, sorely required in the colder months. It is also full of antioxidants and is a great in clearing the lungs of toxins, making it perfect to combat the effect of pollution on the body.
- Tulsi – Remember your mother or grandmother telling you to have aadrak-tulsiwaali chai when you sneezed a couple of times? Well, tulsi is a known anti-allergen and fights off all sorts of infections. It is also good for keeping the respiratory tract healthy and clear.
- Ashwagandha – Nowadays, quite a few fitness trainers recommend adding an ashwagandha supplement to your daily routine. This ancient Indian herb is a known vitality booster – increasing stamina, stabilizing moods and giving your brain a boost. It’s also great for reproductive health for men as well as women.
- Brahmi – Again, anti-inflammatory, chock-full of antioxidants. Brahmi is a great tonic for the mind – it increase mental agility and prevents the onset of age-related mental conditions.
- Black pepper: Kali mirchi is antibacterial and good for the digestive system. The piperine in it enhances your body’s ability to absorb nutrients – especially curcumin in turmeric – adequately.
- Cinnamon –This wonder spice regulates blood sugar levels and is full of anti-oxidants. It works steadily to build up your immunity.
- Green cardamom – Elaichi is good for the respiratory system and has essential nutrients.
- Star anise – This fragrant spice is not only good for alleviating a cold, but is also helpful in settling a stomach.
- Ajwain – This is that easily available, ever-present spice in our kitchens that has many benefits. It can treat a stomach ache, the common cold and even give you relief from pain.
Ammiji’s Winter Comfort is not only extremely beneficial but is also fragrantly refreshing. Here’s how to brew it:
In water – Add 1 teaspoon to 2 cups water. Boil till it reduces to 1 cup. Strain, add 1 teaspoon honey, and drink.
In milk – Add 1 teaspoon per cup. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste and drink.