Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday's Cleaning: Make Your Own Cold Remedy

I didn't have a desperate need for any cleaning products this week, but what I did need was a recipe for a cold remedy. The weather outside is beautiful. It's a cool ~65 degrees, sunny, and just pleasant. And despite the fact I have been taking my bee pollen and other vitamins regularly, and I've been drinking plenty of water, spending a few hours outside working in the garden for the past few days opened me up to catching a spring cold. I normally resort to taking a clariton, drinking hot mint tea, and sucking down some local honey like it's nobody's business the moment a cold strikes, but this one hit me in the middle of the night. My throat was instantly dry, scratchy, and just painful. I am going on vacation with my husband in the near future, and I didn't want a silly cold to keep me bundled up in the hotel room, so I began looking for some natural cold remedies to try.

I found one that I had not heard of before: tumeric milk, or Haldi milk. Now before I go and just mix a bunch of spices together and throw in my body, I did a little research on this so-called homemade cold remedy. I found some interesting things:

1. Tumeric apparently has "healing powers". One guy, Arun Shanbhag, on his blog, talked about how he remembers his mother and grandmother using tumeric for all kinds of things, including cuts. He said scientists are linking tumeric to have the same qualities as tylenol.

2. Another site, Eat This!, claims that scientists are now linking tumeric to curing or aiding in the cure of breast cancer.

3. Remedy Quarterly, an online journal, also claims Tumeric milk is a great way to cure a sore throat.

I found quite a few other sites that pretty much say the same thing, so I thought I would give it a shot. The ingredients are simple, already in my pantry, and I was ready to try anything. Here's the recipe (found, pretty much, across the board in all my research) and please read my review at the end before you try this.

Tumeric Milk

Things You'll Need:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • ground cinnamon
  • honey or other natural sweetener
  1. Boil the milk to a boil and add the spices. Bring down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Pour into a mug and add a sweetener.
  3. Drink before you go to bed. 
It's really that simple. Some recipes called for actual ginger to be crushed, others said it was fine to use the ginger powder. All said to include the pepper. Matter of fact, they said it was important to have the pepper because it helps the tumeric to release the "healing agents". 

This is what it looks like simmering. Just like any time you cook milk, it can burn easily, so keep stirring. 

My evening buddies 


  • Okay, first off, there is a reason why all the recipes called for sweetener. It is bitter. Oh man. It surprised me. At first it had the pleasant taste of chai tea. I was all excited to have a new drink, but then seconds later, it hit me with a great big, ew. 
Yeah, this was pretty much my face the entire time I drank it. 
  • Did it work? Well, I can tell you, I don't know if it's because I drank warm milk before bed, or if there is a reason you are supposed to drink this before bed, but I was seriously sleepy about 15 minutes after drinking it. And when I went to sleep, I slept hard, for about 4 hours. My dreams were crazy and vivid. I don't know if those dreams had anything to do with the drink or with the book I'm reading, but they were crazy. 
  • When I woke up this morning, my throat still hurt. Not as much, but it still hurt. I ended up making me a cup of hot mint tea, and I feel all kinds of better now. 
Now, I have a crazy amount of friends who are into doing everything natural. If you are one of those, and you have tried this recipe for a cold before, please respond to this post. Did I do it wrong? Do I need to drink it a couple of times before it works? Am I way off? 

As for me, I'm not sure I would try this again anytime soon, unless someone can make a good argument why I should. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my mint tea remedy. 


  1. I enjoyed your blog! I like "natural" remedies over, shall we say, synthetic alternatives. However, this combination of ingredients sound incredibly hard to swallow! Isn't tumeric used in indian food? Was your body emitting it this morning? Or am I wrong? My favorite remedy for a sore throat is my grandmothers old remedy of heating a little crown royal, lemon juice and honey :) Not only helps my throat but makes things look just a little sunnier! LOL!!!

  2. Yes, tumeric is used in a lot of Indian food. I actually had some in the house because I use it in a mixture of spices for a meat rub. You would think that maybe I would have some kind of side effect, but I really didn't have any. As for your suggestion, my husband is famous for making a hot toddy when he gets the slightest cold, but I wanted to try something I hand't tried before. :)

    Thanks for the comments. And welcome to my blog! :)