We’ve browsed Glow by Vasudha Rai from cover to cover and imbibed every bit of its guidance on Indian foods, recipes, and rituals for beauty, inside and out. From warmth inducing gluten-free bajra khichdi to a skin-clearing neem steam, from a shine-giving aloe vera hair mask to a glow-boosting anti-acne mask made from marigold petals, the book is full of nuggets that will have you under their spell. Even as you await your copy of Glow #DSSCRecommends three salubrious ingredients mentioned in the book, which will usher you on the path to greater well-being.
Decoding Raw Honey
The nourishing elixir used both orally and topically finds a place of pride in numerous recipes and remedies. The antioxidants and phenolic compounds in raw honey have a beneficial effect on the skin and hair. As we turned the pages of the book, we got versed with the science behind its nourishing properties, and a time-tested remedy to increase appetite and soothe the throat: Take 1½ tablespoons of ginger juice with 1 teaspoon of honey, 15 minutes before lunch or dinner.
All kinds of raw honey have antibacterial qualities and we’re always on the lookout for natural treatments. According to Rai, Ayurvedic texts suggest taking honey steam can provide relief for asthma patients.
Another gem we discovered via Glow is the Honey Purity Test, which helps making a conscious decision while buying this gift of nature off the supermarket shelves. Heat and pasteurization deprives honey of its precious enzymes that form the core of its healing properties. The honey purity test suggests pure, raw honey should be thick and viscous. Drop honey in a glass of room temperature water, and it should drop right to the bottom without dissolving immediately. When dropped on a paper or a cloth, the honey should not be absorbed by it.
From yearning for a piece of jaggery for a sweet treat as a kid to growing up to realise its myriad benefits, Rai has come a long way. The soaring AQI indices are a marker of the grim situation at hand, and while there are claims that jaggery helps ridden the body of air pollutants, Rai finds no Ayurvedic texts backing these claims. She, however, states in its favour, thus, “Jaggery helps clear mucous, soothes the respiratory system and also works against allergies, so perhaps it helps in an indirect manner.” Besides, Jaggery is armed with strength-giving goodness of minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Ayurveda recommends it as a remedy for cough and cold.
This blood purifying piece of goodness works as a nourishing tonic for joints, especially during winter, according to Glow. The traditional medicine system holds, “jaggery that is more than a year old is revered as a cardiac tonic.” It should, however, not be more than three years old. To boost strength and improve immunity, Rai suggests using “a small piece of jaggery with a cup of warm milk in morning.”
The Jaggery Purity Test suggests one should pick jaggery that is sweet, hard, and dark brown in colour, and not salty or bitter.
If you’ve had a tryst with Ayurveda, or know someone who practises this ancient system of medicine, chances are you would have heard of the antioxidant, weight reducing, immunity boosting, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and colon-cleansing properties of triphala. Though triphala is easily available in the form of a churan powder and even tablets, what better than making your own fresh batch of vitamin C packed triphala.
Prep time: 1 day + grinding time
Challenge level: Easy
From the pantry:
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) aka Beleric
- Amla (Indian gooseberry)
- Take moisture and dirt-free haritaki, bhibhitaki, and amla. Sun dry them for a day.
- Powder the ingredients in a spice blender in the ratio 1:2:4 for a higher ratio of antioxidants.
- Take this concoction with warm water in the morning to kick-start your day.
Get your glow on!
Feature Image Courtesy: foodphotographerireland.com