May 2014 Archives

Ode to Olena: A Love Song to Turmeric

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[Note: this poem is best when read aloud.

Its composition was inspired by Daniel Sullivan and Dr. Vaidya]


There is hysteria in America over Too-meric.

Also known as turrmeric; have you heard of it?


It is a rhizome -- meaning lateral shoots, horizontal roots.

Native to the most ancient of India, the Vedic sages there named her Haridra.


She is known to grow all over Africa,

as well as locales around Latin America.


On the Hawaiian Islands, her name is Olena. Bright yellowish Orange,

she dyes saints' robes, makes fine paint, and tints her sisters saris gold.


Yes she'll stain every thing in reach -- all that is, except teeth. Weirdly, these she

whitens, healing gum diseases with the anti-inflammatory qualities of a titan.


Have we mentioned her many antioxidant, antiviral,

antitumor, antibacterial activities?


Curcuma longa in Latin, consumed daily she frees the body from pain.

Curcumin detoxes Rakta, loves up the liver, kidneys, oxygenates the brain.


No herb is more studied, and these studies suggest

the herb resists Alzheimer's, cures cancers, and puts arthritis to rest.


Clean blood means cleaner skin.

Brides-to-be bathe in the Haldi, expose the Goddess within.


Pungent and bitter, she melds every flavor together.

Olena is most potent combined with fats and black pepper.


Drying and light, she warms on digestion.

Soothing kapha and vata, she is Queen beyond question.


Thus, and as such,

You're invited to invite

the bless├Ęd Spice of Life into all of your bodies.

Turmeric can help you unclog subtle nadis.

Olena removes all negative vibes,

Helping build healthy, golden, elongated lives.


Whether ingested or topical, root, powder or pill,

just get her in you, and be happier, you will.

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Alandi Images Cauliflower Kitchari.JPG

Cailifower kitchari with spiced green beans and cucumber raita.

Here is a great recipe to follow on from your pancha karma or kitchari cleanse. For a simple one-pot meal, serve with yoghurt and mint chutney. For a full Indian meal, serve with potato, squash and chard sabji, mint chutney, carrot raita and creamy almond pudding.

This recipe originates from Yamuna Devi's book Lord Krishna's Cuisine but has been modified into a lower carb version and with cooking instructions for altitude as well as a way not to turn the cauliflower to mush.

Serves: 9 with sabji

4 as a one-pot meal

1 cup basmati rice
1 medium to large cauliflower, washed, dried and cut into flowerets
1 pinch of hing (asafetida)
1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon minced seeded hot chilies (or as desired)
2 tablespoon cumin seeds

2 t turmeric
1 cup split mung dal
1 cup fresh green peas
7 cups water
2 teaspoons salt


  • Clean, wash, soak and drain rice and dal.
  • Have the hing ready next to the stove. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a 4-5 quart saucepan over high heat. When it is hot, stir in ginger root, chilies and cumin seeds. Fry until the cumin seeds turn brown. (they will darken in seconds).
  • Quickly add the hing. Add the rice and dal and fry for about 1 minute. Next, if living close to sea level, cook the rice and dal in a heavy-bottomed 4-5 quart saucepan for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the texture is similar to oatmeal. Add more water as needed. If living at altitude, cook the spiced rice and dal in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes, until the texture is similar to oatmeal. Ad more water if needed.
  • Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower florets and thaw the frozen peas.
  • Take the rice and dal mix off pressure, if using a pressure cooker. Add the turmeric, cauliflower, peas and salt. Cook together for a few minutes, stirring frequently, but do not allow the cauliflower to turn to mush or the peas to turn yellowish.


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