Turmeric is a miraculous substance. We have been consuming it for thousands of years now and it’s eaten every day all over the world, but only in the last decade or so have the potential health benefits of this spice truly come to light.
In this short guide we’ll look at turmeric tea in particular asking what the health benefits of this drink are, what it can do for you and whether it’s worth drinking or not.
What is Turmeric Tea?
Turmeric tea is a hot drink made from the Indian spice turmeric, often used to add color and flavor to curries, sauces and more. This spice looks a lot like ginger in its natural form and it’s just as fiery. Like ginseng and ginger, it is often sold in a powdered form and this tends to be the most popular form of the spice as it’s easier to use for both drinks and food.
Does Turmeric Tea Contain Curcumin?
The main benefits of turmeric, which we will discuss soon, all come from the compound curcumin. Turmeric isn’t the only foodstuff in the world that contains this compound, but it’s the one that has the most of it in its natural form. Only about 3% to 3.5% of turmeric consists of curcumin, but you only need a small amount of this compound to experience the many beneficial properties.
Benefits of Turmeric Tea
Turmeric may be able to reduce your chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Not only have direct links been found, but we also know that India has one of the lowest rates of the disease and the highest consumption of the spice. It seems to be much more than a coincidence.
Turmeric has a direct impact on something known as beta-amyloid, the formation of which has been linked to many neurological diseases. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
As of yet, there is no concrete evidence that turmeric can help to stop the spread of cancer or reduce your chances of getting it. However, the studies that have been done are very promising and it seems highly likely that this spice will become an essential tool in the right against this disease.
It’s also a simple, side-effect free spice so it won’t do you any harm to consume it on a regular basis.
Other Health Benefits of Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is a very powerful antioxidant thanks to its curcumin content, so as well as all of the benefits discussed above it can also provide a boost to your overall health just like any other potent antioxidant can.
This means that it can fight free radicals to potentially reduce your chances of developing cancer. Its anti-inflammatory properties means it may also be an effective tool in the fight against disease, illness and injury. It is a powerful spice no matter how you look at it.
Can Turmeric Really Cure Cancer?
A lot of spurious claims are made about common foodstuffs. In fact, there seems to be a new “superfood” every single day and it’s usually based around some expensive ingredient that producers want to sell to us for a high markup. A lot of the claims made about these foodstuffs are based on speculation and questionable research, but turmeric is different.
Most of the studies that have been done on this spice have been positive, so much so that it has attracted the attention of cancer research groups around the world. They believe there is some potential here and if anyone knows about the ingredients that do and do no work in the fight against this disease, they do.
It’s still too early for us to say anything conclusive, but the research is definitely very exciting. They will never find that minimal turmeric consumption can stop all cancers from forming, because if that were true then cancer would be practically non-existent in cultures that eat a lot of curry. However, it may be that curcumin extracts can have such an impact or that consuming a lot of it can help to limit the size or spread of tumours.
Whatever the conclusions are, they will certainly be interesting and could change the way we treat cancer and other degenerative diseases forever. In the meantime, don’t get your hopes up and definitely don’t use turmeric in place of prescription drugs if you have do have a degenerative condition, but keep your eyes and ears open and try to work some of this spice into your diet.
How to Make Turmeric Tea
Turmeric tea is one of the easiest homemade teas to make. You just need some powdered turmeric and you’re good to go.
Add a teaspoon of the ground spice to a teapot of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes before adding honey or sugar to taste. Make sure it is fully strained and then drink. You can add lemon to cut through the taste and some people also recommend adding a pinch of black pepper. It doesn’t do a great deal for the taste but it drastically increases the absorption of the turmeric.
The Best Turmeric Tea
You can buy turmeric tea from tea shops, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The main ingredient here, and really the only ingredient you need, is turmeric, which is cheap and abundant anyway. If you want turmeric tea it’s just as easy to make your own and that way you also have more control over what goes into it.
There is some merit to teas that contain turmeric in addition to other healthy ingredients, but these teas may only contain a small amount of turmeric and to get the maximum benefit you need a lot of the stuff.
Should I Drink Turmeric Tea?
We probably should have opened with this, but we don’t really believe that turmeric should be consumed in tea form. It is a spice that can add flavor to food, but it doesn’t taste that good on its own. To make a pleasant tasting tea out of turmeric you likely need to add cream and sugar, which reduces the health benefits of this tea somewhat.
You can always take it in tablet form or just keep adding it to your food. However, this is not perfect either. The cooking may take some of those healthy turmeric benefits away and swallowing a tablet is never the best option for any beneficial ingredient.
There really is no perfect way to consume it and it’s all down to preference. Turmeric tea isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite, but you can stomach it without to much added cream or sugar, go for it. You can also try adding it to ginger tea and other teas that have a strong flavor like Earl Grey tea or even our favorite Greek mountain tea.