Turmeric tea is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Learn more about how you can make your own turmeric tea and how it can benefit you in our latest blog post.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years and is an essential part of ancient Chinese medicine. It is also used in Ayurveda, which is the traditional system of Hindu medicine. Turmeric residue was found in Delhi cooking pots dating back to 2500BCE. Today, turmeric has been growing in popularity, thanks to its many health and nutritional benefits.
Turmeric is a plant that is part of the ginger family, originally from India and Southeast Asia. The turmeric powder comes from the plant’s stem, called rhizomes, boiled, dried, and ground into a powder. It is then used in various ways, including as a dye, food coloring, and flavoring for a variety of Asian dishes, such as curries.
Turmeric tea is an easy and tasty way to consume turmeric. It is brewed with pure turmeric powder or grated turmeric root. Turmeric that has been grated by the user provides the purest form of turmeric. Unlike green tea, turmeric doesn’t have caffeine. Its most active ingredient is curcumin, a polyphenol that gives turmeric its orange pigment. Turmeric is known for boosting the immune system and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eases Arthritis. Turmeric tea may help ease symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis is a disorder that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, and redness in the joints. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, affects more than 30 million Americans.
Alzheimer’s Prevention. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a neurodegenerative disease that starts as mild memory loss, with later-stage symptoms including significant memory loss, gradual loss of speech, weight loss, and other effects. The curcumin in turmeric is believed to help decrease the effects or prevent several age-related neurodegenerative conditions. It is also believed to help reverse cerebrovascular dysfunction, which are medical conditions that affect the blood vessels and blood supply in the brain. Cerebrovascular dysfunction is a major cause of dementia and cognitive decline in elderly individuals.
Cancer Prevention. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin are believed to help decrease the probability of cells in the body becoming diseased or damaged. Its anti-tumor properties may help prevent metastasis, which is the spread of cancerous cells and tumor growth. Turmeric is also anti-carcinogenic, helping to prevent cancer by diminishing the potency of cancer-causing agents or carcinogens.
Boosts Immune System. Curcumin helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, which protect the body from harmful foreign invaders and disease-causing pathogens. Turmeric is also believed to have anti-viral properties, helping the body fight or eliminate certain viruses.
Helps Lower Cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart attacks, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), and stroke. Turmeric is believed to help protect artery walls from hardening or sustaining damage. It is also believed to help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and decrease lipids accumulation in the blood. Lipids are fatty acids that are insoluble in water that can increase strokes and heart attacks.
Improve Digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help to keep stomach acid levels from becoming too excessive. Common signs of too much stomach acid include bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and decreased appetite. Turmeric may also help calm the digestive system and ease feelings of heartburn and upset stomach.
Help Treat Uveitis. Uveitis is an inflammation of the iris that affects 300,00 people annually. Symptoms include redness, eye pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, floaters in the eye, and decreased vision. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin could help reduce inflammation in the iris and be used to treat the medical condition.
Ease feelings of depression. Chronic inflammation may play a role in depression. The antioxidants in turmeric are believed to help reduce inflammation in both the body and the brain. This could improve brain health, which in turn eases feelings of depression and increases mood.
Making your own turmeric tea is a simple and easy process. The method is the same when making it with either a tea bag or fresh powdered turmeric. Here is a turmeric tea recipe to try:
- Boil four cups of water
- Add 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour into a cup through a sieve using it as a strainer.
- Add a pinch of black pepper for absorption.
- Add lemon or honey for taste.
Popular additions to turmeric tea are honey, milk, lemon juice, or ginger. They provide flavor and are used based on personal preference. Besides, it’s important to note that black pepper helps with the absorption rate of the curcumin. When using turmeric powder or the root, add a pinch of black pepper to increase its absorption by the liver.
In addition to turmeric tea, another beverage to try is turmeric milk, also known as “golden milk.” Like turmeric tea, this Indian drink is gaining popularity in Western cultures and has health benefits as previously described.
Golden milk can be made with the following ingredients:
- Unsweetened milk – Coconut, almond, etc.) ½ cup.
- Turmeric – 1 tsp
- Ginger – ½ teaspoon ginger powder or 1 small piece of fresh ginger (grated)
- Black pepper – 1 pinch
- Honey or maple syrup (optional) 1 tsp
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan or pot, bringing to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then pour into cups using a strainer. Add a pinch of cinnamon and serve.
Other popular golden milk recipes include adding 1 tablespoon of ghee, which is clarified butter.
When consumed in moderation, turmeric Tea is generally safe to consume. In some individuals, drinking too much turmeric may cause slight side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, or increased stomach acidity. Individuals who have had the following health conditions should consult with their doctor before consuming turmeric tea:
- Stomach ulcers
- Obstruction of bile passages
- Gallbladder stones or gallbladder inflammation
- Blood thinners
Turmeric tea has been consumed for centuries and has many health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and anti-inflammatory properties. Those looking for natural ways to improve their health should consider adding turmeric to their diet.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Dr. Daniel Pompa. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Pompa and his associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Dr. Pompa encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.