Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange spice commonly used in curries and sauces. It comes from the turmeric root. The spice has been used for its medicinal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years.
Turmeric tea is one popular form of consuming turmeric. It has a unique but subtle flavor. The tea is also great way to reap the following health benefits of turmeric.
Turmeric tea’s strong anti-inflammatory properties can help ease inflammation and swelling in people with arthritis. This reduces painful symptoms. One study found that an active compound in turmeric, called curcumin, was effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
While research is still searching for what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease, it seems as though the curcumin found in turmeric may help prevent it. Turmeric’s antioxidants prevent damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Even more importantly, some research shows that turmeric can reduce the synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids linked to Alzheimer’s development.
Turmeric tea’s many medicinal properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, could contribute to cancer prevention. The National Cancer Institute has recognized curcumin as an effective anticarcinogen, or substance that helps prevent cancer.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition that causes ulcers in the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract. Turmeric could help maintain remission from symptoms. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a study found that UC patients in remission had significantly lower relapse rates if they consumed turmeric.
The medicinal properties in turmeric may be able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders. One study theorized that turmeric can moderate the immune system.
Lowering LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol can help reduce your risk of developing some serious conditions, including heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that turmeric is effective at doing just that. For example, a 2008 study that found that a low dose of curcumin was associated with reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the iris. Some early research has indicated that curcumin found in turmeric may actually be as effective of a treatment as corticosteroids, but without the side effects.
To make turmeric tea at home, follow these steps:
- Boil 3 to 4 cups of water on the stove.
- Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and stir.
- Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea into another container.
- Add in honey, fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice, and milk to taste.
Turmeric is generally safe as long as you consume it in moderation. You should check with your doctor about drinking turmeric tea if you have had:
- inflammation of the gallbladder or gallbladder stones
- obstruction of bile passages
- stomach ulcers
- diabetes (turmeric supplements may lower blood sugar)
Taking too much turmeric may cause side effects, however. These include:
- increased stomach acidity, which can cause ulcers
- a blood-thinning effect
Because turmeric may thin your blood, you should stop drinking turmeric tea two weeks before surgery. Do not take turmeric tea if you are on blood thinners, either.
Turmeric tea is considered safe for most people to drink. It can relieve pain and inflammation without the side effects that even over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs can cause, such as internal bleeding, ulcers, and reduced white blood cell count.
Almost anyone can benefit from drinking turmeric tea, especially because it can boost the immune system and act as an anticancer agent. People with pain caused by inflammation can perhaps benefit the most. People who have diabetes or who take blood thinners should talk to their doctors before trying any turmeric supplement, however.