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The Girl With the Golden Tonsils

July 20, 2010

I have succumbed to my second case of ladyflu of the winter season. This ladyflu is even worse than the last one. At these foggy, snotty, achy, lethargic times, I look not to my local General Practitioner or pharmacist (who, let’s be honest, are going to give you an Asprin and tell you to HTFU), but to social media, that well of unlimited sympathy and the collective experience of thousands of years of cold and flu remedies.

My ladyflu began with a very sore throat. An untimely affliction, this crippled my capacity to speak audibly at my ten year school reunion at the weekend, which, in hindsight, may have been a blessing in disguise. As ever, Dr Twitter didn’t fail me though, and my beloved tweeps waxed lyrical about Betadine throat gargle. I dutifully purchased some (for the reasonably ouchie price of $14.95). And to be fair, it did work, but imagine gargling Betadine for 30 seconds. Rinse and repeat. Exactly.

Still sooking and searching for sweet relief, I chanced upon a natural remedy recommended by @Ganga108, blogger and guru of all things Indian. Like the Betadine throat gargle, this remedy was an alarming shade of fluro yellow. However, this was due to the active ingredient of turmeric, as opposed to iodine, which just doesn’t look like something you should apply internally. Happily, all this required was for me to raid the spices in the pantry.

Further reading showed that this magical turmeric milk has been used as a healing elixir by Indians in the know for generations. And contrary to what pharmaceutical companies might have us believe, it’s not even all old wives’ tales and crazy magic! Turmeric and honey are known for their anti-bacterial properties, and ginger as an anti-inflammatory and nausea suppressant. In fact, turmeric made into a paste with water can be applied to cuts and sores to disinfect and promote healing. Think about that next time you nick your hand with a honed blade in the kitchen! Now, I don’t know much about science, but I know what sounds good, and that sounds great! Just like a good chai, the spicy brew also opens up the sinuses and makes you feel toasty warm on the inside.

Like a modern-day snake-oil salesman I have begun my own small campaign against pharmaceutical giants by recommending this to other ailing Tweeps, and it has received universal praise. I’m not going to lie to you, I thought it would taste disgusting (partially due to my strange aversion to drinking milk) but it is spicily delicious, and I’ll continue to sup my way through the ladyflu and beyond with this liquid gold.

Turmeric Milk (based on recipe and information by Arun Shanbhag)

In a small saucepan, place 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp minced ginger. Choose a receptacle to drink your brew from, fill it with milk and then tip it into the saucepan. Bash two peppercorns (these help with the absorption of the magic whatnots in the turmeric) and two cardamom pods with the back of a knife. Add a teaspoon of honey. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain back into your receptacle of choice (or if you can’t be bothered, just allow the bits to settle at the bottom.)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. sue webber permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:44

    Here’s the final challenge for Master Chef!

    • felixexplody permalink*
      July 20, 2010 10:48

      I just realised that due to said ladyflu I woke up in a fog and forgot about our ride. AGAIN! Sorry Sue, I hope you won’t expel me from the posse! Probably best I wasn’t there to cough on you anyway. 🙂

  2. July 20, 2010 10:56

    Because I’m one of the world’s biggest skeptics, would you have any links that explain (with evidence beyond annecdotal) that “Turmeric and honey are known for their anti-bacterial properties, and ginger as an anti-inflammatory and nausea suppressant.”?
    I’m not saying that this didn’t work for you, just that I’m interested in the scinece behind it.

  3. Emma permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:57

    I’m so with you re:Betadine gargle! When I heard about it my first thought was ‘you want me to put betadine…in my mouth???’. And it definitely lived down to expectations.

  4. Emma, your colleague permalink
    July 20, 2010 15:27

    Cold or no cold, that sounds fecking delicious! I don’t do food as medicine, but if it tastes good, I’m all in. I’ve always thought the old hot honey and lemon drink only works because it’s the only thing one CAN taste with a heavy cold, and so it cheers one up no end. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  5. kristinmoore2 permalink
    July 20, 2010 21:58

    That remedy was given to us in India and I use it all the time – I also make an alternative cold killer with green tea, turmeric, honey, lemon, ginger & chilli for the times when you just can’t bear the milkiness amongst all the snot!

    Indian women use turmeric on their skin a lot, and they use it to disinfect their homes and all sorts of stuff…

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