Most people know turmeric for the distinctive flavor and bright yellow color it adds to many traditional Indian dishes. More recently, turmeric has become famous in its own right for its numerous health benefits. It’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine but modern medical studies are increasingly proving the benefits of this powerful plant.
One easy and enjoyable way to add turmeric into your diet is in the form of turmeric tea. In this article, we’ll be looking at the health benefits of turmeric tea, as well as how to make it.
WHAT IS TURMERIC?
The spice we know as turmeric comes from the underground stem of the plant Curcuma longa. People often call it a “root” since it grows in the soil, but technically it’s a rhizome, not a root. It’s related to ginger, but its color is a much deeper yellow, and its flavor different. Most of the health benefits of turmeric tea are associated with curcumin, one of many compounds that occur naturally in the turmeric plant. Curcumin makes up between 2-8% of most turmeric preparations and is found in most commercial turmeric based teas. Turmeric and Microgreens are both rich in natural antioxidants that can help the body to recover after stress and exercise. Let's look at some of the other health benefits of curcumin and turmeric tea.
8 HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC TEA
1. MANAGES PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Curcumin in turmeric is recognized as a promising anti-inflammatory. One study showed that it can possibly reduce tissue damage and inflammation if taken regularly. It reduces inflammation, in part, by activating the Nrf2 pathway, which creates antioxidant proteins in your body.
Inflammation is a popular culprit that causes different illnesses. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and pain management effect actually paves the way for most of the following health benefits.
2. MANAGES DIFFERENT TYPES OF ARTHRITIS
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where your body’s own immune system attacks your joints. Normally, a type of white blood cells (WBC) called neutrophils, attack irritants that enter your body. They cause an inflammation to control the irritant and eventually get rid of it.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, because of an overactive immune system, the WBC attack the person’s joints instead. This causes the joints to become inflamed. Curcumin helps control neutrophils so they do not cause inflammation.
Osteoarthritis is the most recognizable type of arthritis. It is a degenerative condition, meaning it worsens over time. Your joints are normally covered with a material called cartilage. This acts as a cushion allowing smooth joint movement.
Osteoarthritis means that the cartilage in your joint is breaking down and this causes pain, inflammation and difficulty in movement. Curcumin has been found an effective remedy for osteoarthritis.
3. IMPROVES IMMUNE FUNCTION
Due to its popularity, lots of research were done on curcumin and it has been shown to be effective in controlling the immune system. Whenever an infection attacks the body, the immune system releases antibodies are to fight it.
Regularly consuming low doses of curcumin were shown to help antibodies respond faster to attacks, increasing the rate of recovery.
4. HELPS IN CARDIOVASCULAR FUNCTIONS
Cardiovascular health refers to the overall health of your circulatory system, parts of which are the heart and blood vessels. Regular exercise helps boost cardiovascular health by improving blood flow throughout the body.
Curcumin supplements can have similar effects on blood flow as exercise and it help may prevent cardiovascular diseases in healthy adults.
5. MAY HAVE ANTI-CANCER PROPERTIES
Curcumin’s medicinal potential has been subject to many studies and it is in fact being studied for possible anti-cancer properties.
While the studies are still coming in, the early evidence is promising. According to one study, “Curcumin has been shown to suppress transformation, proliferation, and metastasis of tumors.”
6. REDUCES SYMPTOMS FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
IBS is still incurable, but studies show that turmeric can help reduce the severity of symptoms. These findings say that turmeric is a promising possible treatment for IBS.
Generally, taking turmeric or curcumin supplements are not a health risk to IBS patients. However, intake of more than the recommended dosage can worsen gastrointestinal symptoms.
7. BOOSTS LIVER HEALTH
In one study, it was found that turmeric may help improve liver function. They found that it helps increase the liver’s ability to filter toxins from the body.
Oxidative stress is a condition that happens when free radicals do damage to the body. Antioxidants like turmeric help reduce or prevent this. It also increases the liver’s production of glutathione, the body’s naturally occurring antioxidant.
7. HELPS CONTROL DIABETES
A study published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) looked into over 200 studies about the effects of curcumin on diabetes. The ultimate conclusion of all these papers showed that curcumin helps manage diabetes in many different ways. The following are some of the health benefits of turmeric tea and curcumin for diabetic patients.
Insulin resistance happens when your cells do not respond properly to the hormone insulin. The body uses insulin to convert sugar into energy. With insulin resistance, blood sugar levels go up over time. This leads to the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Curcumin has been shown to improve insulin resistance, reducing the chance for diabetes.
Too much glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels putting people with diabetes at a higher risk. Curcumin’s ability to improve blood vessel function as mentioned in previous sections, help to minimize this type of damage.
This is kidney damage caused by diabetes. High glucose levels can hinder the kidney’s ability to filter toxins which leads to kidney failure. Curcumin has been shown to help improve kidney function and reduce stress on the kidneys.
8. IMPROVES LUNG HEALTH
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of several chronic lung conditions that can be eased with turmeric. It has been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects and this is very helpful in COPD and other inflammatory lung diseases.
Curcumin’s antioxidant properties also help rid the body of free radicals. Getting rid of oxidants helps reduce inflammation in the lungs. Aside from being an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant, curcumin is also a mucolytic. This means it helps lung disease patients break down and expel mucus to relieve coughing and ease breathing.
HOW TO PREPARE TURMERIC TEA FROM SCRATCH
You can also take on the challenge of making turmeric tea from scratch! Check out the recipes below for some ideas:
FRESH TURMERIC TEA
Making turmeric tea from a fresh root produces a stronger and more flavorful drink. Slice 1-3 inches of turmeric root, add to a few cups of fresh water and boil. You can adjust the amount of water to suit your taste.
Many people like to take turmeric with milk as this also helps soothe the stomach. This soothing latte is made by simply boiling together some non-dairy milk, a little bit of turmeric powder, some cinnamon, coconut oil, a bit of vanilla and black pepper. The black pepper is not just for added flavor, it also helps the body absorb more curcumin from the turmeric.
This is a recipe recommended by an autoimmune disease patient who found this tea helpful. It makes use of turmeric powder, fresh ginger, and cilantro, along with several other ingredients that come together for a great, relaxing tea.
Meghan Telpner, nutritionist and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, shares two of her turmeric tea recipes. The first recipe is a classic take on turmeric tea. This is followed by a next-level formula that boosts the health benefits of turmeric tea with other herbs and fat. She recommends also adding black pepper.
If it’s your first time to have turmeric tea, you might want to temper the flavor a little. Some people like mixing turmeric with fresh ginger. The latter makes the infusion taste better. Another trick to use turmeric tea as a base for black tea. Use it to steep your favorite black tea for a more aromatic and satisfying drink.
SHOULD YOU DRINK TURMERIC TEA?
Turmeric tea is a healthy drink that’s not just beneficial but also delicious and refreshing. When people take higher doses of curcumin extract as a supplement, they may experience some digestive issues if they go over 1000mg per day. In addition, the oxalate found in turmeric may produce kidney stones if you are prone to getting them. People taking blood thinners need to consult their doctor before taking turmeric tea since it is a strong anticoagulant. Turmeric tea is enjoyed by people the world over and it makes the perfect addition to your health regimen. Generally, this beverage is good for everyone. It improves the immune system and is far better than synthetic over-the-counter medications.