In the past couple of years, turmeric has grown from a widely underused spice to one of the most revered natural remedies for a variety of ailments. The truth is that turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Southeast Asia. It’s a spice that is well-known in both Indian and Chinese medicine and is often utilized in their cuisine.
It’s been only recently, however, that Western society has learned of the many benefits of turmeric, fueling the current trend for the popular turmeric tea.
What is Turmeric Tea
Turmeric tea is brewed by using grated turmeric root (or pure powder) seeped in hot water. Aside from cooking with turmeric, turmeric tea is one of the easiest ways to get more turmeric into your diet.
While you can certainly make turmeric tea yourself, it’s not necessary as turmeric tea packets are now sold in many natural foods stores. The tea is often enjoyed with additional ingredients to increase its flavor and effectiveness.
For example, a little bit of honey is often added to give turmeric tea a sweeter taste, whereas whole milk or coconut oil (healthy fats) may be added to help with the absorption of turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin.
The Benefits of Turmeric Tea
The reason turmeric tea is considered incredibly powerful when it comes to its remedial qualities is that of the curcumin that’s in it. Curcumin is what makes turmeric yellow, and it’s also what provides turmeric with its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
Some of the benefits of turmeric tea include:
Helps ease arthritis
Because turmeric is anti-inflammatory, turmeric tea can help reduce the inflammation and swelling that typically causes pain in people suffering from arthritis.
Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Not only does turmeric’s powerful antioxidants help prevent the cellular damage that often leads to Alzheimer’s, research has shown that turmeric can reduce the amyloid deposits or plaques that are often linked to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Helps prevent cancer
Turmeric’s plentiful antioxidants make turmeric tea helpful in preventing cancer. There are currently human clinical trials being conducted to study the effect of turmeric on colon and pancreatic cancers, specifically.
Can lower cholesterol levels
A 2008 study found that patients who were given a low-dose of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, experienced a reduction in total cholesterol level, as well as a reduction in LDL cholesterol level in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
Helps prevent and manage diabetes
In a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, there was promising evidence that the curcumin in turmeric helped control elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance. Even more remarkable was that the curcumin was found highly effective in preventing the development of diabetes in those who were pre-diabetic.
Helps prevent relapse in those with ulcerative colitis
A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that patients whose ulcerative colitis was in remission and took curcumin experienced a significantly lower relapse rate than the patients who took a placebo.
Is Turmeric Tea Safe?
Turmeric tea is typically safe, so long as consumption of the tea is in moderation. Turmeric can tend to increase stomach acidity and have a blood-thinning effect.
For that reason, you should consult your doctor before consuming turmeric tea if you have any conditions that you think could worsen by drinking the tea.
How to Prepare Turmeric Tea
If you prefer to make your own turmeric tea, rather than use the store-bought packets, here is a simple recipe for doing so:
- Heat 4 cups of water until boiling.
- To the hot water, add 1 teaspoon of ground/grated/powdered turmeric
- Once the two are combined, allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
Some common additions include honey, lemon, ginger, whole milk, cream, nut milk, or coconut oil. The honey, lemon, and ginger will improve the antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits of the tea. The milk, cream, and oil will add fat, which helps the curcumin dissolve better.