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The truth and benefits of turmeric lattes...

Updated: Mar 6

Turmeric has been used in India for centuries as a medicinal herb, and the tradition of drinking turmeric has been around for just as long. More commonly known as ‘haldi doodh’ translating to 'turmeric milk' in India, this cup of golden milk has become more widely known as a turmeric latte in the west.

Turmeric, a golden-hued spice native to the Indian subcontinent, has an illustrious history deeply rooted in the cultural and culinary traditions of India. Its use in traditional medicine to cooking, ultimately making its way to global popularity due to its versatility.

In India, turmeric holds a sacred place, dating back over 4,000 years. Initially used in Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners valued turmeric for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As the spice began to intertwine with religious rituals and ceremonies, it gained significance beyond its medicinal applications. Turmeric became symbolic, signifying purity, prosperity, and fertility, and found its way into marriage ceremonies and other cultural rites.

The spice's culinary uses in Indian cuisine are equally ancient. Turmeric, with its warm, earthy flavor and vibrant colour, became a staple in curries, stews, and various dishes, contributing not only to taste but also to the visual appeal of the cuisine. Its inclusion in the spice mixtures of Indian households became ubiquitous.

While turmeric was deeply embedded in Indian culture, its popularity in the West, particularly in the United Kingdom, saw a significant rise much later. The British East India Company, established in the 17th century, played a pivotal role in introducing Indian spices, including turmeric, to the British Isles. The allure of these exotic flavours captivated the British palate, sparking a growing interest in Indian cuisine.

However, it wasn't until the late 20th century that turmeric gained widespread recognition in the UK for its health benefits. Research highlighting curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, catapulted the spice into the spotlight of the health and wellness industry. The Western world embraced turmeric as a superfood, incorporating it into dietary supplements, beverages, and a variety of recipes.

In recent years, turmeric has become synonymous with wellness trends in the UK. Its reputation as a natural remedy for various ailments, coupled with its versatility in the kitchen, has solidified its place in Western diets. From lattes to face masks, the golden spice has transcended its culinary roots to become a symbol of holistic well-being, bridging the historical gap between traditional Indian wisdom and contemporary global health consciousness.

What are the benefits of Turmeric lattes?

Turmeric as we have touched on already is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help to reduce inflammation levels in the body, improve digestion, detoxify the body, and even relieve pain. The list of benefits is almost endless, however, in the UK you are probably not getting the full effect from your average turmeric latte. I know, this hurts to know! All those days of hard work scrubbing the yellow off your tongue and trying to ease that coffee addiction for your health did not pay off. Why is that?

Well, how much turmeric is really going into that latte of yours? A small serving of turmeric, sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon in a glass of steamed milk is the standard recipe in the west. This is drastically different in India where turmeric is the main star of the drink, paired with a good pinch of black pepper to help with the absorption of curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that provides all these health benefits, yet its kryptonite is the fact that it has low bioavailability. In simple terms, it is poorly absorbed when orally ingested and that is why black pepper comes to save the day. The recipe does not just stop there though, Indian households pair a range of fresh herbs and superfoods into the mix to create a healthy balanced beverage.

If you are familiar with the former explanation as the lingering taste of cinnamon and a lack of black pepper rings a bell in your mind, its time for change. This means the time has come to swap out the sugary yellow coloured beverage for a more authentic turmeric latte! At Wild Chai we only provide blends that will soothe both mind and body and that is why our turmeric blend contains 7 key ingredients.

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