Through the shadows of cancer to the light of turmeric’s promise
In the darkest hours of my life, battling a foe as formidable as cancer, it wasn’t just medicine that pulled me through. It was memories of my grandmother’s old remedies and the all-encompassing warmth of turmeric milk. An ancient beverage, passed down through generations, its healing properties are not just tales but rooted deep in the wisdom of Ayurveda.
The golden hue of turmeric milk, popularly known as ‘haldi doodh‘ in India, is not just a comforting bedtime drink. It’s a symbol of ancient wisdom and the healing power of nature. This aromatic beverage holds a special place in many Indian households, often recommended as a remedy for everything from common colds to aches and pains.
As a cancer survivor, my personal journey has been fraught with challenges and uncertainty. Along this path, I’ve often sought solace in the ancient Indian teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda. These disciplines stress the importance of holistic well-being, intertwining the mind, body, and spirit. Embracing the wisdom of these traditions, I found the strength to persevere, and turmeric milk became more than just a drink; it became a ritual of self-care and healing.
The principles of Ayurveda, India’s ancient system of medicine, have always emphasized holistic well-being. It’s an intricate dance of mind, body, and soul, and turmeric milk perfectly epitomizes this balance. This isn’t just a drink; it’s a healing elixir that harnesses the potent properties of its ingredients to restore and rejuvenate.
Centuries of Ayurvedic practice have celebrated turmeric, or Curcuma longa, for its impressive health benefits. Rich in curcumin, turmeric possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These not only aid in reducing the risk of chronic diseases but also fortify the immune system. When combined with the aromatic cardamom, luxurious saffron, and nature’s sweetener, honey, this beverage becomes a powerhouse of health benefits, offering relief from digestive issues, respiratory problems, and even aiding in improving mood and cognitive function.
This drink, often termed ‘golden milk’, has been a staple in Indian households for centuries. The essence of turmeric milk lies not just in its radiant hue but in its health properties. The Yoga scriptures speak of balance, of the mind and body as one. And this balance, this Ayurvedic promise, is what turmeric milk delivers. Enriched with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and vital minerals, it’s no surprise that it has stood the test of time.
Cancer may have cast a shadow over my body, but my spirit, nurtured by resilience and hope, found solace in ancient wisdom. Every sip of turmeric milk felt like an embrace of centuries of Indian tradition. It was not just about healing but about understanding my roots, grounding myself in the traditions that have made us who we are today. Freshly ground turmeric, the heart of this potion, combined with the aromatic essence of cardamom, the luxury of saffron, and the natural sweetness of honey, creates a symphony of flavors, soothing not just the body but the soul.
My evening sojourns at Crowne Plaza Lounge soon became an integral part of my stay. Nestled in its calming ambiance with soft lighting, the Lounge presented the ideal backdrop to enjoy the golden brew. Yet, the environment was just one facet of this experience. It was truly the dedication of the team – Kamal, Arnob, Shyam, Anil, Jaswant, Vishal, Samir, Sudip, Sandeep, Rajdip, Inderaj, Sharanya, Neel, Rohit and many young enthusiasts from the service team – that elevated every cup to an elixir for my healing.
Each cup they served radiated their commitment to authenticity and warmth. They meticulously ensured that every ingredient, from fresh turmeric to cardamom powder and honey, was perfect, making every gulp a genuine embrace of tradition and excellence.
To think of turmeric milk is to acknowledge its medley of ingredients. But it’s also to recognize the hands that craft it, the stories it tells, and the legacy it carries. For me, it’s a reminder of life’s simplicity amidst chaos, and a nod to traditions that have nurtured millions before me. As the world evolves and health becomes a central discourse, let us not forget the ancient wisdom that has been our guiding star. Let turmeric milk be a bridge, not just between the past and present, but between the body and soul.
The story of turmeric milk isn’t just mine. It’s a narrative shared by countless souls who’ve found comfort, healing, and a touch of the divine in its golden concoction. As I continue to navigate life’s complexities, I am ever grateful for these age-old traditions, like beacons of hope, guiding, and healing us through the darkest nights.
Pratibha Rajguru is an eminent figure in literature and philanthropy, known for her vast literary prowess and family dedication. Her expertise encompasses Hindi Literature, Philosophy, and Ayurveda. She held an editorial role at Dharmyug, a leading Hindi weekly, in the 1970s. Currently, she’s crafting a poetic anthology, detailing her fight with gastro-intestinal cancer in Sankalp Shakti, and steering the digital platform Pratibha Samvad, highlighting her literary contributions.