The same turmeric you use to prepare delicious curry dishes can also be the key ingredient of healthy beverages. The turmeric tea is, in reality, a vast group of recipes using this and a few other ingredients to enhance the flavor and bioavailability of this spice, thus helping to collect more benefits too.
Benefits of turmeric tea
The benefits of turmeric tea are inevitably linked with those of curcumin, the most important antioxidant of this spice. Although its content is not as high or concentrated as the ones used in scientific researches, it still provides for some indications of the potential of this tea.
It may help with arthritis symptoms
Turmeric and curcumin extracts have been used traditionally in Ayurveda to treat arthritis. Although early studies seem to suggest this effect is real and not merely a placebo, the researchers behind the 2016 systematic review of randomized clinical trials advice caution.
According to them, so far, the studies performed were too small in scope and could not provide for a hard-based justification for their results.
It may help prevent and slow down Alzheimer’s disease
According to a 2017 study, curcumin, the main antioxidant present in turmeric, has the potential to inhibit the brain changes that result in Alzheimer’s disease and can work as a preventive as well as a treatment to slow down the progression of the disease.
However, the researchers alert that the results might be hindered by the low bioavailability of curcumin and that more studies are required to determine the minimal dose to produce results.
It prevents early aging signs
Turmeric is rich in more antioxidants than only curcumin. These compounds prevent oxidative damage by protecting against the harmful activity of free radicals in healthy cells.
By increasing the levels of antioxidants, this tea can then help prevent the early decay of body tissues.
Many chronic diseases are linked to inflammation in the body, mainly due to oxidative stress. Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory that helped reduce several inflammation markers in different scientific studies.
However, these results were not attained with the intake turmeric tea. The curcumin concentration was also higher than that found on moderate amounts of turmeric.
Simple turmeric tea: recipe
Preparing turmeric tea is as straightforward as with any other tea variety.
- 4 cups of water;
- 2 tsp. of turmeric, grounded or in powder.
Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat and add the turmeric. Stir a bit and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and strain the tea into a teapot or other container. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before drinking it.
The simple recipe of turmeric tea is not as popular as others with added ingredients. Curcumin has low bioavailability and mixing it with ingredients can help increase its absorption for more benefits. Black pepper is particularly good as it contains piperine, an active ingredient that enhances the bioavailability of turmeric.
The flavor can also result strange to most people and adding other ingredients can enhance the taste.
Turmeric and ginger tea
- 1 cup of water;
- 1 tsp. of ginger, grated;
- 1 tsp. of turmeric powder;
- 1 tsp. of lemon juice;
- 1 tsp. of black pepper.
In a saucepan, bring the water to boil. Lower the heat and add the turmeric and the ginger. Let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain the tea into a teapot or a container and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Turmeric milk tea (Golden milk)
There are several ways of preparing golden milk. Some recipes use a previously prepared turmeric paste, others include more spices or sweeteners and then there is even some debate about which is the best milk type to use.
- 1 1/2 cup of an unsweetened milk (almond and coconut milk are the most popular);
- 1 tsp. of turmeric powder;
- 1 tsp of cinnamon;
- 1 tsp. of raw honey;
- 1/4 tsp. of black pepper, ground or in powder.
Combine all the ingredients until smooth and frothy. Pour the mixture into a pan and bring it to boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Drink it warm. Straining is not necessary unless you use fresh turmeric and/or ginger.
If you don’t enjoy the thick consistency and prefer it more like tea, add up to 2 milk cups until achieving the desired consistency.
Turmeric and cinnamon tea
Cinnamon and turmeric go often together in tea recipes for their complementary flavors. These ingredients also share several similar health benefits, thus reinforcing the potential of the tea for the body’s well-being.
As with golden milk, there are several recipes containing these two ingredients. You can find this combination in turmeric milk tea, mixes with other teas or even in the most basic recipes of turmeric tea.
- 1 cup of milk, unsweetened (dairy, coconut, almond, etc.);
- 1 tsp. of honey;
- 1/4 tsp. of ground turmeric;
- 1/4 tsp. of ginger;
- 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon;
- 1/4 tsp. of cardamom;
- A pinch of ground black pepper;
- 1 tsp. of coconut oil (optional).
Warm up the milk with the honey and the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat right before it begins to boil and whisk in the spices minus the pepper until everything is well combined.
Add the ground pepper, stir and serve.
Side effects of turmeric tea
Turmeric is relatively safe to take. The side effects it produces are normally linked to an excessive intake of this spice, but it is hard to achieve this point only by drinking tea.
This Indian beverage may help treat ulcers, but if taken in excess it might increase the stomach acidity to the point of creating ulcers itself.
It also has a blood thinning effect that is usually very mild. Nevertheless, it is still not recommended to consume turmeric at least in the 2 weeks prior to surgery. If eaten in excess this effect might be worsened and trigger nosebleeds.