Turmeric Tea, Anyone?

turmeric teaRead an article today online regarding the health benefits of turmeric and it reminded me of an article I once wrote about turmeric tea.  I have been aware of turmeric tea for quite some time.  It is very popular in certain parts of Japan where it is regularly brewed and served though it is a little difficult to find here in Australia, even online!

Studies cited in the article mentioned that elderly people in India have a far less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease because of the active ingredient, curcumin, present in turmeric.  Indian Ayurvedic medicines often use turmeric in the preparations they make, where it is reputed to not only be beneficial for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease but it is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and it is said to be helpful as an anti-depressant and alleviates anxiety as well.  There are some cautions when it comes to turmeric though: drinking excessive amounts of turmeric tea is not recommended for anyone with liver problems, circulatory problems or those taking blood thinning medication.

turmeric rootAs mentioned above, people from Okinawa, Japan have been apparently imbibing turmeric tea for centuries.  While it is readily available in Japan, it can be difficult to find here (though there are quite a few capsules and supplements available.)   Not to worry, you can actually make tea using the dried turmeric you buy from the spice section of the supermarket.  

Here are some different recipes that I have tried:

  • Measure 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric into three cups of water.  Simmer gently for 7-10 minutes and it’s ready to drink.  You may want to add a little honey and even a squeeze of lemon to make it more palatable.
  • You can also make a tea using milk instead of water, although in this case you should heat up the milk gently, making sure it does not actually boil.
  • Make a paste out of turmeric and honey – this can be kept in the fridge for a few days without spoiling.  Use 1/3 cup of honey and 3 teaspoons of dried turmeric powder.  Then, when you want a cup of turmeric tea just put a teaspoon of the mixture into a cup and pour boiling water onto it.
  • If you are prepared to spend a bit more time on your tea you can actually buy fresh turmeric root, grate it and use that as the base for your tea.

Spice up your tea:  As well as adding honey you can also spice up the tea by adding a touch of freshly ground black pepper , squeezing a lemon or lime into it, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, or some grated ginger to the cup.  Adding a cinnamon stick to the brewing tea also makes for a nice variation–especially if you are making it with a milk base.

Incidentally, apparently a paste made from turmeric and honey works wonders when applied as a face mask 🙂

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