04 Aug Jon Cartu Publishes: Turmeric Tea Benefits and Recipe
Turmeric tea and Golden Milk lattes may be having a moment right now, but the concept of using this bright yellow spice in recipes is hardly a new one. Turmeric, which is part of the ginger family, is largely grown in India. As a result, turmeric has been used in Indian dishes and beverages for centuries.
Now that the West has caught up, it seems like everyone is on board, from wellness aficionados to celebrities like Gisele Bundchen and Victoria Beckham. The benefits of turmeric tea are talked about often, but what are they? And how often should you drink turmeric tea? Here’s everything you need to know.
Turmeric tea benefits
Turmeric has been around for centuries, and the benefits are wide-ranging. “Turmeric has been used in India for over 4,000 years, and the earliest accounts describe it as a topical used for food poisoning,” explains Shadi Vahdat, MD and L.A.-based holistic doctor.
These days, this colorful spice is famous for its healing benefits beyond treatment for food poisoning. “Turmeric consists of volatile oils, curcuminoids and 100 components that gives it the potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and anticancer properties it’s known for,” Vahdat continues. These benefits are what make turmeric famous for helping with improving mood, arthritis, wound healing, gut inflammation, and helping people fall asleep.
So, why turmeric tea? While you can reap the benefits of turmeric by consuming it in supplement form, Vahdat says that when it’s mixed with some form of fat (which is often the case when you making Golden Milk, a popular form of turmeric tea or latte), your body can absorb it more easily. “Due to turmeric’s natural chemical structure and oils, it is found to be best absorbed when consumed with other fats such nuts, avocado or coconut milk,” says Vahdat.
Related: 17 Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Recipes to Try
If you don’t like the taste of turmeric, can you get the same benefits in supplement form? Unfortunately, not as easily.
“Turmeric tea makes it easy to take in the benefits of turmeric,” explains nutritionist Trista Best. “Many turmeric supplements use turmeric powder rather than extract, which is less bioavailable and does not produce the same benefits. Turmeric tea is a way to get high quality turmeric extract in a delicious drink that can also have a calming effect. This compound is naturally anti-inflammatory which can help to improve joint health and gastrointestinal issues, among many others.”
How often should you drink turmeric tea?
You should always talk to your doctor to get official health recommendations, but in general adults can take 400 grams of turmeric powder up to three times a day or up to 3 grams daily of grated turmeric root, according to Carly James, Ph.D. “Turmeric is strong stuff, so I’d definitely recommend starting on the lower end and increasing if you feel the need.”
As for when you should drink it, that’s up to you—but you may want to change up the recipe depending on the time of day. “During the daytime I may make a turmeric tea with a little saffron to elevate my mood. The added saffron also has added benefits for depression and PMS,” says Vahdat. “At bedtime a nice recipe would include 1-1.5 cup of boiled coconut milk with 1/4 teaspoon of ground organic turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2-3 drops of organic vanilla extract and one organic chamomile tea sachet.”
Related: One-Pot Turmeric Chicken & Rice
Turmeric tea recipe
Speaking of recipes, this delicious, easy turmeric tea recipe by Aryn Doll, RD and Nutrition Education Specialist for Natural Grocers, is a great place to start.
Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 3-5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 cups organic whole milk (or unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon ground organic turmeric
- 1 organic cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon organic pepper corns
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon raw, unfiltered honey
- 2 teaspoons ghee or organic coconut oil
- Freshly ground nutmeg (for garnish)
- In a small saucepan, add the milk, seasonings, and ginger. Whisk to combine and bring to a light boil.
- Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Strain the milk into individual cups or another heat proof container
- Add the honey (or another sweetener of choice), stir in the ghee or coconut oil (1 teaspoon per cup) and sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Serve immediately.