The use of Turmeric in Mauritius: Turmeric Milk and Turmeric Paste
In the summer heat, the fresh smell of raw turmeric filled the tiny rustic kitchen blended with the open wood fire that my mum used to cook. That day she was busy preparing a milky concoction for my dad. From the other room, with his broken leg, my dad commandingly tells my mum to also make the turmeric paste. He is in pain; he twisted his ankle. It’s the woman’s duty to now become the healer and the natural doctor!
The paste my mum prepared was flattened over a banana leaf, wrapped around the broken area, then tighten with a bandage. The turmeric paste, replaced by a fresh one every 12 hours or so. Banana leaves were used because they are nonabsorbent making sure the juices from the turmeric stays in.
Get the picture??
The first thought was never to go to the hospital but to reach for a homemade ‘la tisane’. That was 20 years ago. Sadly, this tradition is now quite disappearing.
In the midst of all that I have a wonderful flashback of a turmeric plant growing in my parents front garden. I’ve seen my dad digging the soil around the root carefully so not to break it, pulling the firm root, ever so delicately, With no fuss at all this valuable plant asks for little care.
Turmeric Plant can grow organically in a tropical climate. It is in fact quite resembling the ginger root in the way they grow. The plant doesn’t propagate seeds. Therefore, you’ll have to sprout the root to plant it.
As far as I know the leaves are not consumed but in India, the leaves are used for steamed rice dishes as we would with stuffed vine leaves. If you know any culture eating turmeric leaves please do let me know by commenting below.
Turmeric Use After Child Birth
Turmeric milk among the other home-remedies is believed to be crucial for the physical and mental healing after childbirth. Thankfully this one tradition is still kept in Mauritius. Turmeric milk is among the first drink offered to the new mammy. Women in Mauritius really gets a special treatment after delivering a baby.
Turmeric is one of the spices that I have been trying to use every single day whether it’s in stewed green leafy veg, Liver curry, flavoured rice or in my daily juice. After learning about the endless health benefits of turmeric, I would be a fool not to use it as often as I can especially when it’s sitting on my spice rack. You’ll be surprised in how many ways it can be used. I’ve already tried it in my banana bread (recipe coming in the future).
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of this popular Indian Spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. The curcuminoids are natural phenols that are responsible for the yellow color of turmeric. Curcumin has been regarded as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. It has been used in Chinese medicine to treat wounds, skin conditions and digestive problems.
Turmeric is often mentioned as having the ability to kill or prevent a number of cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, and skin. There’s speculation that curcumin may prevent blood vessels that nurture cancerous and thereby inhibit their growth.
Since curcumin encourages the gallbladder to produce bile, it may improve digestion. Its anti-inflammatory abilities may help to diminish the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatic conditions.
Some part of India worship Turmeric, in Japan women takes a dose of it daily (no wonder why they are all so healthy and beautiful), In Mauritius, Raw Turmeric has a therapeutic approach, whereas the whole dried turmeric was for a real luscious granny’s curry. Although, the powdered turmeric often for a quick weekly curry.
In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric is commonly used to treat internally and topically such as indigestion, throat infections, common colds, and liver as well as to cleanse wounds or treat skin sores.
To make a quicker version, you can heat the milk in the microwave then add all spices in powder form, stir and drink.
- 2 cups of milk, (I used almond milk)
- 1/2 tea spoon of raw turmeric paste or 1 tea spoon of turmeric powder
- 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon powder
- 3 green cardamon pods open or pinch of cardamon powder
- 3-6 whole cloves or generous pinch of clove powder
- 2 star anise optional
- small piece of grated ginger or 1/2 tea spoon of ginger powder
- Pinch of black pepper (optional)
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Raw honey to taste
- Put all the ingredients Except the honey into a small sauce pan.
- Using a whisk, combine all the ingredients specially the turmeric breaking all the lumps.
- Heat for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Sieve and drink immediately
AS A HOT DRINK
This aesthetically pleasing turmeric tea or golden milk is an immune boosting remedy that ancient cultures have used. It’s an outstanding drink if you want to replace the sugar loaded cocoa you used to drink every evening. Enjoy a hot drink and get the healing benefits at the same time.
What are ways you use turmeric?
If you think I have a special glow on my skin then you need to get my homemade face mask recipe. Comment below or email me if you want it.
The first time I made this recipe was an inspiration from The Happy Pear, but I tweaked it along the way.