Turmeric Tonic—Immune Elixir for Gargling & Wellness
Twice a day, every winter and spring of my childhood, my mother would make me a drink of turmeric and salt mixed with warm water. She’d tell me to gargle some of the mix, and then drink what was left over. It was a simple practice, but extraordinarily effective at supporting my health during the colder months. Gargling with turmeric and salt is a fairly traditional practice in many Ayurvedic households to support a healthy throat and protect the body’s natural defenses during kapha season.
Inspired by household tradition, we developed Turmeric Tonic—a bitter and slightly salty herbal mix designed to strengthen a healthy immune system and support a healthy throat.
Here is a breakdown of each ingredient and its action in the body:
- Turmeric, a main ingredient, works to strengthen a healthy immune system.
- Ginger and vidanga kindle agni (the digestive fire) and burn ama (natural toxins).
- Pippali strengthens the respiratory tract.
- Natural mineral salt is a crucial ingredient, especially for using this formula as a gargle. Even medical professionals appreciate the utility of salt water gargling for cleansing the mouth, throat, and improving dental hygiene.1
How to Use Turmeric Tonic
Steep ¼ teaspoon of the herbal mixture in 2 ounces of hot water, and let it steep until it’s warm enough to drink comfortably. From there, we recommend two primary ways to use Turmeric Tonic. The best is to do both.
Gargle for 30 Seconds
Using Turmeric Tonic as a gargle is a great option for cleansing the throat. Known as kavalagraha, gargling is a traditional Ayurvedic practice in which a small amount of medicated fluid is placed in the mouth, rotated and swished around for a time, then spit out.2
For centuries, gargling has been used for neck, jaw, eye, throat, gum, teeth, and sinus issues, and is considered an essential step in any dental hygiene routine. It helps clear the mouth and throat of any toxins that cannot be reached during brushing or flossing.3
Studies have shown that even gargling with plain water can help maintain a healthy respiratory system.4
For targeted support, we recommend gargling with Turmeric Tonic two to three times each day.
Drink as a Wellness Shot
Use Turmeric Tonic as a wellness shot for potent delivery of the herbs. The blend acts as more of a full-body tonic when taken this way, and can give an extra “boost” to your mornings.
This can be done immediately after or instead of gargling. If you decide to gargle first, gargle with half of the formula, spit it out, and drink what you didn’t gargle. You do not want to drink what you gargled.
In general, sipping on tea and warm liquids helps keep the body temperature slightly elevated, which helps burn ama in its variety of forms.